The Sword And The Rose
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Duels, dastardly deeds and a damsel in distress all add up to a rousing romantic adventure in the medieval court of King Henry VIII. Based on actual historical events, THE SWORD AND THE ROSE tells the story of the forbidden love between Mary, Henry's youngest sister, and Charles Brandon, a commoner. Unhappily betrothed to Louis XII, the King of France, and pursued by the sinister Lord Buckingham, Mary tries to run away with Charles, her one true love. Believing that Charles abducted the princess, he's later captured and scheduled for execution. Mary barters for Charles's life by agreeing to marry the King of France. After Louis dies, Buckingham kidnaps her and tries to force her to marry him but Charles escapes from the Tower and rescues her in an exciting swashbuckling finale. On DVD for the first time, THE SWORD AND THE ROSE is a thrilling adventure for all ages and an absolute must-have in your DVD collection.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Sword And The Rose tells the mostly fictional story of King Henry VIII's younger sister Mary and her love affair with commoner Charles Brandon. (Yes, there was a Charles Brandon and he DID marry Mary Tudor.) While seeking passage to the new world Brandon is waylaid at the Kings court and ultimately finds himself unwittingly made Captain of the Guard through the machinations of Mary, who is smitten with the handsome Charles. What follows are a series of adventures and derring do which almost cost Charles his life, however there is much fun along the way including a charming ballroom sequence.
The Sword And The Rose was broadcast on Disney's 1950's Disneyland T.V. series a few years later under its original literary title "When Knighthood Was In Flower" and was a huge success, particularly with young girls who were entranced with Glynis Johns' feisty, liberated portrayal of the Princess Mary. (Yes, liberated not only for those times, but also for the staid '50s). While the rest of the British cast is uniformly excellent (especially James Robertson Justice's marvelous portrayal of Henry) it is Ms. Johns who has the most screen time and makes this little known gem a wonderful historical romance. I'm glad Disney FINALLY released this title on DVD domestically even if it is only a club "exclusive". You can still buy it on Amazon (as of this date) and while the richly textured colors may be a little less so on the big screen it still looks very good, about as good as can be expected for a title unlikely to receive a major restoration. However, stay away from the Asian ALL REGION import as it is inferior.
SPOILERS Alert (sort of)
Instead of showing Mary and Charles growing up together as playmates with Henry, it portrays Charles as just coming into court for the first time right before Mary is to be married off.
It doesn't show or mention when Charles had to bring Mary into the French court (for Henry)to marry the French king.
They portray Charles as being somewhat of a pirate(in my opinion, which he was not.
From the way the movie is put together, it gives off the impression that Mary was only married to the French king for maybe a week. They were actually married for a coupe of months.
It shows Charles being sent to the tower, which of course never happened.
It shows Charles and Mary trying to run away on a ship to America, with Mary dressed as a man. This is completely inaccurate. I doubt Mary's Tudor pride and stubbornness would have allowed for this to even come close to occurring.
"The Sword and the Rose" is immensely enjoyable, assuming you have an affinity for classic swashbucklers from the 1930s through 1950s. It's quiet by today's standards, and there's little actual swash (a wrestling scene at the opening and a brief rapier duel at the climax), but a compelling story with first-rate acting, humor, beautiful dialogue -- really, the words alone make the film -- and simply gorgeous costumes and cinematography (the latter by the acclaimed Geoffrey Unsworth). Just as with Errol Flynn's "Crossed Swords", the clothing here is simply a joy to behold. Frame after frame can be paused and lingered over, just for the pleasure of devouring the color and detail of the costumes.
Which is not to say the story isn't good, because it's top drawer. Just don't expect historical accuracy, which is not the point of a swashbuckler and, more often than not, would defeat it. This is the storybook Tudor era -- everybody's clean and has fine, white, straight teeth! I, for one, am glad for it!
Of this film, I remembered only three or four scenes, but I remembered the beautiful score even more. It is Vaughan-Williams and Gustav Holst and Richard Rogers all meshed together. Just beautiful. I remembered best the scene where Brandon finally meets Buckingham and duels with him.
I love "pageantry" and this film has plenty. "Quentin Durward"," The Black Rose" and "Prince Valiant" are others of my favorites. If you do not know it, "Fire over England" and "The Sea Hawk" are well worth your viewing.
If you love pageantry and "Elizabethan" England and its times, buy this film and watch it again and again. It is wonderful.