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Adventures of Don Juan

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Errol Flynn's farewell to big-budget swashbuckling has him playing the legendary Don Juan, the Spanish lover who fights to save the Queen Margaret and her King from the treacherous machinations of her minister Duke de Lorca.

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The Adventures of Don Juan is more fun than its reputation suggests, but it inescapably plays as a footnote to Errol Flynn's swashbuckling career. The heroic, athletic figure that lunged, leapt, and sashayed through Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk had thickened a bit thanks to middle age and, not to mince words, booze. Accordingly, and with an eye toward the star's real-life aptness to the role of Don Juan, the picture is at least as interested in eliciting chuckles as serving up thrills.

Flynn's creative partnerships with top action directors Michael Curtiz and Raoul Walsh were history. Vincent Sherman lacked their finesse and gusto, but he ably steers the actor past self-parody to a reasonably graceful performance. On the commentary track, Sherman (who died in 2006 at age 99) recollects that only once did Flynn arrive on set the worse for alcoholic wear; Flynn couldn't stand, so the director reblocked the scene with Don Juan seated while his bête noire, the Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas in the Basil Rathbone part), strode around him deploying insults and rapier flicks. It's the best scene in the film.

For latterday viewers, the real excitement is the vivid Technicolor. Part of the reason is that cinematographer Woody Bredell, who shot such pungent noirs as The Killers and Phantom Lady, lit the movie as though he were still working that black-and-white territory. The effulgent hues of the Oscar-winning costumes reinforce the effect. In a footnote to a footnote, the film was edited by Alan Crosland Jr., whose father directed the landmark 1926 silent Don Juan--and that film's action climax on an outsized palace staircase is echoed here. --Richard T. Jameson


Special Features

  • Commentary by director Vincent Sherman and historian Rudy Behlmer
  • Warner Night at the Movies 1948: Vintage newsreel, Oscar-nominated Joe McDoakes comedy short "So You Want to Be on the Radio," Oscar-nominated travel short "Calgary Stampede," classic cartoon "Hare Splitter"
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Errol Flynn, Viveca Lindfors, Robert Douglas, Art Gilmore, George O'Hanlon
  • Directors: Friz Freleng, Richard L. Bare, Saul Elkins, Vincent Sherman
  • Writers: George Oppenheimer, Harry Kurnitz, Herbert Dalmas, Herman Boxer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M2E304
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,770 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adventures of Don Juan" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on August 12, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN was intended as something of a 'comeback' film for Warner Bros. resident 'bad boy', combining the heroic elements of 'ROBIN HOOD' and 'THE SEA HAWK' with Flynn's well-established (by 1948) reputation as a hell-raising womanizer. Unfortunately, the color production was not a box office hit, but the comic adventure is today embraced by his many fans as one of his best roles!

It was not an easy film to make; despite Flynn's initial attempts to be punctual and a cooperative, he eventually 'fell off the wagon', and his carousing and frequent disappearances stretched the filming out by months, forcing frequent reshooting. Director Vincent Sherman, cinematographer Elwood Bredell, and editor Alan Crosland often had to 'cut-and-paste' snippets of many takes to achieve a decent performance from the star, and careful lighting had to be used to play down the increasingly obvious effects of the star's hedonistic lifestyle. (The closing scene, featuring then-wife Nora Eddington, was shot nearly a year before the remainder of the film, and the change in the Flynn's physical appearance is clearly evident.) At 38, the star, who always hated being called a 'pretty boy' (to the extent that his home had few mirrors) was aging rapidly, and badly.

All this being said, Flynn tried to give the film his best he could. It had been a landmark film for his friend/mentor John Barrymore, in the first Warners' film with sound, employed for music and special effects only, in 1926 (THE JAZZ SINGER would introduce 'talkies' a year later). It reunited him with friend and frequent costar Alan Hale, who, at 56, was still a popular character actor, and whose son, Alan Jr., was starting to make his mark around town (he would eventually be best known as the Skipper in 'Gilligan's Island').
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
"The Adventures of Don Juan" was Warner Brothers' last big investment in Errol Flynn. Their resident bad boy had long ago used up any goodwill he might have had with the studio -- goodwill based primarily on Flynn's power at the box office. But in the late 1940s, Errol Flynn's star was on the wane, and the studio was beginning to take a hard and skeptical look at their one-time box office bonanza.
In an attempt to rekindle some of the old fire, Warner Bros. produced "The Adventures of Don Juan," in which Flynn plays the title role. His Don Juan is world-weary, a man for whom all the loves and swordfights and scandals are beginning to wear him a bit thin. But the most compelling aspect of this Don Juan's character is his sense of humor. Flynn brings a humorous, tongue-in-cheek element to the character that is extraordinarily appealing.
The film is lush and well-appointed. There are times when Flynn shows the effects of years of hard drinking and womanizing, but for the most part he is strikingly handsome. Stunt doubles were used extensively for him, particularly in the final duel scene. In the shot where Don Juan leaps down a long staircase and lands on top of the villain, future "Yancey Derringer" star Jock Mahoney performed the leap.
"Don Juan" did poorly in the United States and fabulously well in Europe. Its cool reception at home convinced Warner Brothers that Flynn was no longer a bankable commodity, and considerably less money was spent on his films in the few years he had left under his contract.
But in the intervening years, "The Adventures of Don Juan" has earned a huge following among Errol Flynn admirers and movie buffs as well. It is a grand, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable jaunt with the King of the Swashbucklers, and one that should not be missed.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SPIDERED on September 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Don Juan was really Errol Flynn's last huge budget extravaganza, and it is a magnificent production. If there was ever someone born to play Don Juan then that someone was Errol Flynn. Equally amazing performance from Viveca Lindfors, Robert Douglas and Alan Hale. This film is definitely one of top three best. Right up there with "Robin Hood" and "Seahawk" . This is a Top Quality Korean Import DVD with picture perfect image and crystal sound. A must in all Errol Flynn‚s fan.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on January 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"Adventures of Don Juan" (1948) emerged as Errol Flynn's last memorable swashbuckler before his sad decline. The Warner Bros. production is colorful escapism on a grand scale, with lavish sets, Oscar-winning costumes and a fine Max Steiner score. Flynn's deterioration is somewhat evident, yet seems appropriate for the debauched, world-weary Don Juan. Director Vincent Sherman also rises to the occasion by adding a darker edge to the lighthearted romanticism. Robert Douglas and Raymond Burr are appropriately slimy villains, while Viveca Lindfors' Queen of Spain is not easily won over by Flynn's charm. The film is a bit dialogue-heavy and it's easy to see how Warner saved money through the occasional use of stock footage. However, these flaws are compensated by first-rate action sequences and sword duels. Though only a moderate success in American theaters, "Adventures of Don Juan" remains a classic swashbuckler.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Veronique Guemise on April 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Errol Flynn had already hit a steep decline when Don Juan was eventually made. Origionally slated for 1939 (after the success of Robin Hood), it was held up by the war and was eventually made in 1948. By this time Flynn had been hit by a number of scandals, a life of hollywood hedonism, and a decline in his popularity at the box office due in large measure to him walking through his roles in the late 40s with and no longer caring about the scripts he was getting.

Thus it is a older, but thankfully still recognisable Flynn that was called to once again don period costumes after a break of eight or nine years where he hadn't made a single swash-buckler. And he really gives it his all. This is a first rate film, and perhaps the last great film in which he starred, and a film that occupies the rung just below his greatest films.

On this DVD the picture is pristine. Crystal clear. I would be tempted to say it is clearer now than when it first came out on the cinema screen. The colours are truely vibrant. The sound quality is also excellent.

The extras include the usual "Warners night at the movies" that, as a nice touch, includes the trailer for another Flynn film "Silver River".

But the highlight has to be the audio commentary from the films director Vincent Sherman with film historian Rudy Behlmer. Sherman shows that age hasn't affected his memory or his fondness for Flynn and although he probably only contributes about 30% of the talking his is by far the most interesting for Flynn fans.

This really is an excellent addition to the Flynn DVD collection. A first rate swashbuckler, excellent picture quality, and a nice set of well thought out extras. A must have for Flynn fans and those that love films of action/adventure.
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