The Flame and the Arrow ★★★½

I’m not particularly familiar with the genre of medieval adventure films outside of the canonical The Adventures of Robin Hood, but this made me curious to explore more. A little tedious for the first hour, though never without wit or amusement. But truly takes up a whole different meaning by the finale, as Tourneur literalizes the Rabelaisian carnivalesque to raise the revolution against the oppressive king. Lancaster stars here with his own former circus performer, Nick Cravat (who plays a mute because he had a thick Brooklyn accent), and the stunts are genuinely exciting. Also a sign I need to dive into more Tourneur, who usually has a heavier presence in the other films I’ve seen of his (even Wichita gets pretty brutal), while this never takes itself seriously.