Sunday, February 07, 2021

Tonight's Movie: The Golden Blade (1953) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

The adventure film THE GOLDEN BLADE (1953) is part of a three-film Rock Hudson Blu-ray collection recently released by Kino Lorber.

In the '50s no one was better than Universal Pictures at creating escapist desert fantasies in gorgeous Technicolor.  THE GOLDEN BLADE is one of a number of such delightful films, which also included THE DESERT HAWK (1950), THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951), FLAME OF ARABY (1951), and SON OF ALI BABA (1952).

In THE GOLDEN BLADE Hudson plays Harun, whose quest to avenge his father's murder leads him to Bagdad.  In short order Harun meets Princess Khairuzan (Piper Laurie of SON OF ALI BABA) and acquires a magical golden sword. 

The sword is greatly desired by Jafar (George Macready) and Hadi (Gene Evans), who are plotting against Khairuzan and her father the Caliph (Edgar Barrier).  However, rather like the Sword in the Stone, the golden sword can only be pulled out of a wall and successfully used by the right person, who at this point in time happens to be Harun.

Together Harun and Khairuzan work to save her kingdom, including keeping her from having to marry an evil man -- so that she can marry her true love, Harun.

Like the other films mentioned above, THE GOLDEN BLADE is delightful fun; its 81 minutes fly past. The color is amazing -- the opening credits are truly stunning -- and the film is blessed with a terrific hero and heroine.

Something I love about these films is that the leading ladies, played by actresses like Piper Laurie, Ann Blyth, Yvonne De Carlo, and Maureen O'Hara, never cower in the background but fight for their futures alongside the hero. (In SON OF ALI BABA Laurie even managed to drag Tony Curtis to safety in a fire sequence!)  These heroines are sometimes locked in harems and expected to marry to seal political dynasties, but they don't wait around for rescue.

Add to the above beautiful costumes, well-choreographed action sequences, romance, and a touch of humor, and you have a movie that's a winner.

THE GOLDEN BLADE was directed by Nathan Juran.  It was filmed in Technicolor by Maury Gertsman.  The story and screenplay were by John Rich.

The opening narration is by Richard Carlson.  The supporting cast includes Steven Geray and Alice Kelley.

Kino Lorber's Blu-ray is perfection, with a terrific picture and a strong, clear soundtrack.  Disc extras are a commentary track by Phillipa Berry, the trailer, and two additional trailers for other films available from Kino Lorber.

A note regarding the poster on the Blu-ray cover: That's the second female lead, Kathleen Hughes, featured on the cover rather than Piper Laurie.  I've been fortunate to see Hughes in person on a couple of occasions, at the 2014 Loretta Young Centennial Tribute and at the 2015 Palm Springs Classic Science Fiction Festival.

I'm looking forward to watching the other films in this set, SEMINOLE (1953) and BENGAL BRIGADE (1954), which I'll be reviewing here at a future date.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I caught this in the past year and what a treat! The Golden Blade has a marvelously fun script and the performances match it perfectly.

5:08 AM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

The only Rock Hudson high adventure picture I've seen is THE SEA DEVILS which was harmless fun.

I adored THE DESERT HAWK (I'm a big Yvonne de Carlo fan). If THE GOLDEN BLADE is along the same lines then I'm just going to have to buy it.

And now you've got me sorely tempted to grab FLAME OF ARABY as well.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Caftan Woman, I'm so glad you go to enjoy this! It really is great fun.

DforDoom, if you liked THE DESERT HAWK I anticipate you will enjoy the other titles I mentioned, including THE GOLDEN BLADE and FLAME OF ARABY. They're just pure fun. SON OF ALI BABA is another that's out in a great-looking Kino Lorber Blu-ray release. Let me know if you try some of them!

Best wishes,

9:17 AM  

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