on 5 March 2012
1978 period drama charting a young man's story, his trials and tribulations and building gradually into his involvement with the American war of independence. In fact, the story ends just as the war starts. So this is not a war drama, more of a period romp centered around one man's adventures complete with sword fights, friends, enemies, lovers etc. The plot moves from rural France to England and on to Boston, USA.
Along the way there are a whole host of famous faces including Donald Pleasance, Kim Cattrall, William Shatner and Tom Bosley (the dad off Happy Days) who plays Benjamin Franklin, complete with long grey wig, small round spectacles and even takes a naked 'air bath'!
It's lighthearted and but it also moves along at a very watchable pace. I enjoyed it on loads of levels. At first i found myself giggling at how seriously it takes itself despite having some dodgy accents, hammy acting and some wonderfully naff lines of dialogue. But it is also very warm hearted and fun.
For me, this is perfect sunday evening viewing. All the nostalgia of late 70's tv combined with a hearty late 1700s period drama adventure and a slightly unintentionally funny edge throughout.
Think 'one man' Three musketeers meets Barry Lyndon lite. Entertaining, cosy and well recommended if you like this sort of thing.
(p.s. - length of feature is in fact 3hrs, not 4hrs as stated above and on the dvd case itself).
The Kent Chronicals is another great historical novel from one of the best historical fiction writers John Jakes, turned into a best seller mini-series. This DVD contains the first part-.In Summary, here we meet Philip Charboneau who is French and the illegitimate son of an English Duke who on travelling from France to England to claim his inheritance, meets the wrath and anger of his fathers family. Consequently he flees to the United states where he is embroiled in the events leading to the civil war. It is before the North and South trilogy, and historically accurate.
I had wanted to see this so many years ago after watching North and south for the umpteenth time. The cost of the region 1 imports were prohibitive, but this region 2 import is real value for money. It is an all star cast, and the acting is superb.
"The Bastard" is Part One of The Kent Chronicles
a TV mini-series of the John Jakes historical
novel by the same name, and was released just
around the time of the American Bicentennial
in the late 1970's.
Andrew Steven's plays Phillipe Charboneau
the French born bastard son
of the Duke of Kentland and a French actress, who
journey's to England to accept his birthright after
being acknowledged by his father.
Being rejected by the family, he finds employment
as a printer and following more misfortune and a
chance meeting with Benjamin Franklin, sets off
to seek his fortune in the American colonies.
It is the 1770's and the colonists are tired of
King George III and his crippling tax laws,
it is a time to make a stand.
A good working cast of actors such as Patricia Neal,
William Shatner,Kim Cattrall, Donald Pleasance, Tom
Bosley, Olivia Hussey and a small cameo from Lorne
Greene as the Bishop, all go to make this a watchable
if hammy viewing experience. There is plenty of sword
play and Andrew Stevens hardly ever manages to get a
hair of his head out of place. Must have kept the
make-up and stylists busy throughout.
While claiming to be historical, we should remember
that it is fiction based around real times and seasons
and with that in mind, there is little of real substance.
It is nevertheless, a fun swashbuckling film of around
3 hours duration.
To get the most out of the story it might be wise to
purchase the follow-up, "The Rebels" both are bargain
I rate it five stars.
on 23 November 2011
When I bought the DVD I just wanted another movie starring William Shatner.
In reality, "the Bastard" is much more than that.
Through the story of family vicissitudes, the viewer becomes involved in what are the facts before the American Revolution.
In practice, a historical film in a novel, played by great actors.