HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  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 3590 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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: