Errol On His Own
Flynn Steps On Skids with Crossed Swords (1954)
|Crossed Swords Came To Chicago, But Did Not Conquer|
Errol's greater interest was launch of William Tell, his producing dream project for which Crossed Swords served as dry run. He was gad-flying among Yank picture-folk who were thick as flies overseas, and free with advice; both John Ford and Orson Welles were observed in hobnob with Flynn during the Italo sojourn. 1953 had begun with Errol laid up with flu, then jaundice, this as topping to a liver said to be in free-fall atrophy. These as cap for already dissipating features made Crossed Swords a less than flattering Flynn debut as independent filmmaker. Still, his kind of action was catnip to worldwide audiences, and Crossed Swords had plenty of that, even if staging lacked polish of Warner duels past. Locations were a plus, however; borrow of castle and grounds adding grandeur to a not otherwise lavish production. Color photography by seasoned Jack Cardiff gave Crossed Swords at least the impression of richness.
Flynn was spirited and cooperative; this after all was opportunity to establish himself as a free agent who'd henceforth customize his own star vehicles. Principal players spoke English, a must for
United Artists sales wasn't to blame. They'd issue a lavish pressbook and arrange opens where bally might help most, but reviews were soft, Variety stamping Crossed Swords as "routine escapism for undiscriminating audiences." B.O. response varied according to territory, but common to all was distinct falling off in second frames, as experienced by