Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Exile on TCM
Turner Classic Movies played The Exile tonight, and I happened to catch it right as it started. Set in the Netherlands during the fourteen-year exile of Charles Stuart, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. portrays the Merrie Monarch as a dashing rogue content to con and seduce stolid Dutch peasants until such time that all of England calls for his return. Roundhead assassins are on the prowl, and Charles conceals himself as a laborer on the farm of a blond Dutch tulip farmer and innkeeper, played by the lovely Rita Corday.
The movie concludes with the discovery of Charles' whereabouts and identity by the Roundhead Colonel Ingram. A chase ensues, first around the inn where Charles is discovered, and then in a windmill. The action is great, and while Junior is by no means the stuntman his father was, he does a credible job, up and down the vanes of the windmill dodging the assassins and then battling the sanctimonious Ingram inside the mill itself.
Rita Corday would go on to play a masked swordswoman herself in The Sword of Monte Cristo in 1951, four years after The Exile.
The Exile also features Latina bombshell Maria Montez. ¡Ayúdame!
For anyone not familiar with the story of King Charles II of England, I can recommend no better brief biography than this one. Make sure your sound is up first.