HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Silent Flute, The You Have Much To LearnBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Richard Moore
Stars: David Carradine, Jeff Cooper, Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Eli Wallach, Anthony De Longis, Earl Maynard, Erica Creer
Genre: Martial Arts, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 3 votes)
Review: In a far off land, Cord (Jeff Cooper) is taking part in a tournament to see who will be the chosen one. This champion will then embark on a journey to seek the mysterious Zetan (Christopher Lee) and read the contents of a holy book thereby providing him with much enlightenment. However, in spite of his great skill at fighting, Cord is not a fair combatant and disables his opponent, Morthond (Anthony De Longis), when he is lying on the ground so Cord is disqualified although he technically won. But he will not accept this and follows Morthond as he sets out, determined to succeed in the quest...

A silent flute? That would be a stick, wouldn't it? In fact, the flute of the title actually doubles as a fighting staff for the wise blind character played by David Carradine, and it makes noise when he uses it, so a better title might have been The Quite Noisy Flute. A missed opportunity, there. But Carradine, though not playing the lead character, is important in this film's production for this, as a pre-credits message informs us, was originally intended as a vehicle for the legendary Bruce Lee, which he had developed with his friend James Coburn.

Stories vary about how far into being made this film was when Lee was alive, but he was to have taken the Carradine roles and Coburn the Cord part. That Coburn was replaced by Cooper, who few people had heard of before, was not a good sign and as this was a flop, it did nothing for his job as an action hero and he was relegated to TV appearances for the rest of his short career. Also suffering was Richard Moore, a cinematographer here making his directorial debut who never helmed a movie again, although on the plus side he does ensure the landscape photography is attractive.

It was Carradine who secured the rights to The Silent Flute, also known by its other name Circle of Iron, and created it as part tribute to Lee, but mostly a tribute to himself. The result is essentially one of those martial arts cash-ins on the reputation of the prematurely deceased star, only this was straight out of Hollywood and therefore featured far less of the action sequences than it might have done had this been made in Hong Kong. What it did have in spades was a large portion of would-be mysticism that Moore and his writers, Stirling Silliphant and Stanley Mann, allow no opportunity to extol pass by.

So for your patience you get a lot of frankly bizarre life lessons in the way of the exploding fist or whatever, which is irrevocably pretentious and at times it's not clear whether the filmmakers have much of a grasp on their material. Among the weirdness is Carradine dressed up like a monkey and providing Cord with his first trial, which in spite of what the blind version of Carradine says is not much of a humourist, or Eli Wallach as a man in a barrel of oil all the better to dissolve his lower half to rid himself of his libido. You don't know whether to laugh at this kind of thing or shake your head, and although Christopher Lee is second billed in the opening titles, don't get your hopes up: he only appears for five minutes at the end and doesn't get into any combat scenes. If you feel like expanding your consciousness, there are better ways than this, which comes across like a silly facsimile of the real thing. Music by Bruce Smeaton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3403 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: