Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Overlooked Movies: The Golden Arrow

Like some other movie stars whose careers were on the decline, Tab Hunter went to Europe in the '60s and made some spaghetti westerns and this Arabian Nights fantasy.  When I was a kid, movies like this (except better ones) were a matinee staple, so I thought I'd give The Golden Arrow a try.  Unfortunately, the movie was pretty dire.

Tab Hunter is the prince who is a thief.  He doesn't know his true origin, but it turns out that he can bend the bow that shoots the golden arrow, which makes him the true heir to the throne of Damascus.  He falls for Rossana Podesta, a princess, who's of course about to be given in marriage to someone else by the evil Grand Vizer.  There's always an evil Grand Vizer in these movies.  

Tab can't let this marriage happen, but he's been chased far away, and he'll have to get back to her somehow.  He's aided in his travels by three supposedly comic genies, and his various encounters make very little sense.  Not that it matters.  This movie was obviously intended for kids who wouldn't care about that kind of thing.

The sets and scenery are great, so the movie had a nice budget.  Tab's voice is dubbed for some reason.  Maybe the Italians didn't like his line readings.  If you're desperate for something to watch, the entire movie is available on YouTube.  I can't imagine anyone being that desperate, however.


Dan said...

I found an excellent review of it at Steve Lewis' MYSTERY FILE:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow, if kind Bill Crider can't find something to like about it I know I won't.

Bill Crider said...

I agree, Dan, an excellent review. And the movie does look great. Too bad they couldn't have used a bit less money on the scenery and a little more on the script.

Patti, I did like Tab Hunter and the scenery.

Mike Doran said...

For What It's Worth:

I recall reading somewhere that all Italian movies are dubbed.
Apparently Italian film makers don't believe in live sound recording (or at least they didn't back then).
The movies were shot silent, and afterwards everything (voices, sound effects, music, all of it) was added in post-production, in as many different languages as the world markets would bear.
There was a magazine-TV feature some years back about Mickey Hargitay, post-Mansfield, when he was doing Italian movies (Westerns, sword-and-sandals, monsters, et al.) pretty much non-stop.
They showed a Western scene with the leading lady speaking Italian and Mickey speaking his own Hungarian-English; then we saw the same scene dubbed into all available languages for world sales.
This would have been late-'60s or early-'70s; maybe things have changed since then ...
Where this left Tab Hunter and other expat actors - well, maybe someone wrote a book about it ...

Bill Crider said...

I wouldn't be surprised if that were true. I wish they'd had Hunter dub his own part, though. I read his autobiography a few years ago, and I think he didn't care for THE GOLDEN ARROW. I should dig out the book and see.