HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
   
 
Newest Articles
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
   
 
  Magic Sword, The The Old George And Dragon
Year: 1962
Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood, Gary Lockwood, Anne Helm, Liam Sullivan, Danielle De Metz, Merritt Stone, Jacques Gallo, David R. Cross, Vampira, Angelo Rossitto, Richard Kiel
Genre: Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sybil (Estelle Winwood) is a sorceress of the decent variety, and is lamenting her adopted son George (Gary Lockwood), now grown into a man, is more interested in Princess Helene (Anne Helm) than learning any more from her. Sybil doesn't think the Princess is worth pursuing, but George is smitten and spies on her bathing in a pond through the use of a magic lake which shows him all he wants - something handy picked up from mother. But as Helene is drying off, an apparition appears and spirits her away - could this be something to do with the evil wizard Lodac (Basil Rathbone)?

Why, yes, it could. This was producer and director Bert I. Gordon's attempt at a St George and the Dragon style rendering of a tale of yore, a venerable legend that here is reduced to something you might have seen on television of the day, the budget not being particularly high. It certainly begins on sitcom level, and if it were not bad enough that our dashing hero is a Peeping Tom, he also has an overinflated opinion of himself. When Helene is kidnapped as revenge against the King's execution of Lodac's sister, George thinks it will be a cinch to get her back.

Especially when he has the assistance of his mother's magic armour, shield and, but of course, that sword of the title, which glows at crucial points so you know it's something special. Not that Sybil wants him to go, and he is forced to lock her in a cellar to get away - is that any way to treat your mother? To help along the journey, George additionally revives six knights of various nationalities and varying degrees of convincing accents, so they can be the suckers who succumb to the seven deadly curses of Lodac instead of him.

Off they trot, and the first curse they meet is an ogre, as being a Bert I. Gordon film they had to go up against a giant monster somewhere along the way, the dragon granted. After a while the story looks as if it could have been adapted into a pretty good computer game, with George and the boys moving up a level with each curse and losing lives in the process. Such things were not thought of in 1962 however, and it just means the experience is a bit of a plod through encounters with such dangers as a killer jacuzzi and a spinning hypno-wheel that will turn you into a zombie.

All the while we keep cutting back to Lodac and Rathbone emoting as if he were offering us his Richard the Third rather than a cut-price trickster. He gleefully feeds some other princesses to the dragon, cunningly kept off screen until the last possible moment, and commands an army of what appear to be Saturday Night Live's Coneheads, lifting the enterprise a notch whenever he appears. Lockwood settles down into being a pretty stock protagonist for this kind of thing, and a few horror moments, some provided by a heavily made-up Vampira herself (you know, from Plan 9 from Outer Space), sustain your waning interest until an admittedly fairly impressive dragon climaxes the film. If you don't mind its decidedly Californian approach to Merrie Old English myth, then The Magic Sword is fine for what it is. Music by Richard Markowitz.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3563 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Bert I. Gordon  (1922 - )

Known as Mister B.I.G., this American writer, director and producer came from advertising to make a host of giant monster movies in the 1950s - King Dinosaur, Beginning of the End, The Cyclops, The Amazing Colossal Man, Earth vs the Spider and War of the Colossal Beast. Attack of the Puppet People featured minituarisation, as a variation.

The 60s saw him make various fantasy and horror movies, such as Tormented, The Magic Sword, Village of the Giants and Picture Mommy Dead. The 1970s only offered two giant monster movies, Food of the Gods and Empire of the Ants, plus horror Necromancy and thriller The Mad Bomber. Subsequent films in the eighties were made with the video market in mind, and he made a comeback in 2015 at the age of 93 (!) with psycho-horror Secrets of a Psychopath.

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: