QUEEN, THE (director: Don
Chaffey; screenwriters: Clarke Reynolds/story by John Temple-Smith;
Dade; editor: Peter Boita; music: Gary Hughes; cast:
(Justinian), Carita (Salina), Donald Houston (Maelgan),
Andrew Keir (Octavian), Adrienne Corri (Beatrice), Niall
MacGinnis (Tiberian), Wilfrid Lawson (King Priam);
Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Temple-Smith;
Twentieth Century-Fox; 1967-UK)
"Silly Sword-and-Sandal costume pic that takes itself so seriously."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Chaffey ("Pete's Dragon"/Jason and the Argonauts"/"One
Million Years B.C.") directs this silly Sword-and-Sandal costume pic
that takes itself so seriously. It's based on a story
Temple-Smith and is written by Clarke Reynolds. It stars
the Finnish makeup artist/model Carita in her first
and last film. Hammer Films refuses to shoot for camp
in such a vacuous film and instead asks the viewer to
take such nonsense at face value. That's a mistake.
During the first century
AD, the Romans occupied the tribal Britons. The dying
king, King Priam (Wilfrid
the Iceni tribe, chooses his daughter Salina (Carita),
whose mom was a Viking queen, to be his successor.
Salina's dad wants her to keep the peace with the
Roman occupiers. But her people, the Druids, feel
oppressed by their Roman rulers and want to rebel. The
new governor-general, Justinian ( Don Murray), tries to be fair with
the Britons, but this angers the evil second-in-command, Octavian
(Andrew Keir). Meanwhile Justina courts
the beautiful Salina, but the bombastic Druid high
priest, Maelgan (Donald Houston), refuses to grant her
permission to marry the Roman. Without his blessing,
she would no longer be able to rule. Maelgan hysterically tells the queen that her
destiny is written that she will be the Viking queen
who picks up the sword to lead her people to rebel
for their freedom.
When the angry Briton
merchants, upset with Justinian for favoring the
poor over the rich, arrange for a revolt in a faraway
goes to put down their uprising. Thereby Octavian
takes over command and begins a reign of terror on the
homefront. After the baddie Octavian administers a public
flogging of Salina, a full-scale revolt takes place
with Salina picking up the sword as prophesied. When
Justinian returns, he has no choice but put down the
rebellion and witness Salina die from a self-inflicted
wound in battle. We have to suffer through Carita's
uninvolving death scene, and perhaps rejoice only in
knowing this turkey is over.
The pic was historically
inaccurate, badly executed, and poorly acted by the
miscast thespians. At least, it was visually pleasing
to the eye.
REVIEWED ON 10/24/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ