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Captain Lightfoot

Captain Lightfoot

Genders: Adventure, Drama, History

Director: Douglas Sirk

Writer: W.R. Burnett (novel), W.R. Burnett, Oscar Brodney

Actors: Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Jeff Morrow, Kathleen Ryan

Year: 1955
Run time: 92min
IMDB score: 6.5
Updated: 2 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Captain Lightfoot

Genders: Adventure, Drama, History

Imdb Score: 6.5

Runtime: 92min

Released: 26 Mar 1955

Director: Douglas Sirk

Writer: W.R. Burnett (novel), W.R. Burnett, Oscar Brodney

Actors: Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Jeff Morrow, Kathleen Ryan

Imdb Link

Captain Lightfoot Available Subtitles

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Review

The Original Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

6/10 Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow came over from America to appear with a cast of Irish players starring in Captain Lightfoot. It's a story of Ireland in the post Napoleonic era with the dashing Captain Thunderbolt looking for a successor to carry on with banditry and villainy all in the cause of a free Ireland.

Morrow is the legendary Thunderbolt getting on in years and when in the guise of a parson spots young Rock Hudson taking on a British dragoon. That was it, Morrow has found his man.

He also finds his son-in-law as well as his daughter Barbara Rush eventually falls for Hudson who after a period where she thinks of him as a country bumpkin, starts falling for him. She names his Lightfoot because of lack of ability on the dance floor. There relationship is not approved of by Morrow and first and Rush is a spitfire. There's a lot of borrowing from The Taming Of The Shrew here.

Hudson seems a bit ill at ease in a part that a young Errol Flynn would have gone to town with. Also if you've seen Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in The Fighting O'Flynn with that kind of elan Fairbanks brought to the part it was a shame he was about 15 years too old for the role.

Rush and Morrow are great and the Irish locations and the talents of the supporting cast, many of them members of the Abbey Theater really do make the film a visual treat and a treat for the ears. The finale involving storming the castle at Ballymoor is well staged.

He wasn't well cast, but the role did no harm to the rising career of Rock Hudson.

2 years ago

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

5/10 This is not really a drama;this is not a story of sound and fury either. Sirk's swashbuckler is a bit tongue-in -cheek .He often makes a fool of his hero (Rock Hudson ,his favourite actor ,he will be featured in many other Sirk works including the stunning "magnificent obsession" and "written on the wind" ): he tries to help captain Thunderbolt to escape and ends up himself in prison;on the roof he unintentionally rings the bell.Barbara Rush (another Sirk's favourites:she will team up with Hudson again in " Taza" and "obsession")gets a good whacking.The political side remains vague and neither the Irish nor the English seem to take it seriously although it's not really a comedy.But the main interest is the splendid cinematography ,the marvelous landscapes :the scene when Lightfoot and Regis try to escape and end up in the river is masterfully filmed.There's something nonchalant ,which makes "captain Lightfoot" a distant cousin of "a scandal in Paris" (1946) in Sirk's filmography.

That said,it's entertaining but I do not think that it ranks with the director's best films.

2 years ago

Classic Historical Romantic Drama.

8/10 Set in Ireland in 1815, this magnificent Technicolor production is full of romance, intrigue, action and adventure. The three principals in the cast, Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush and Jeff Morrow, all shine in this studio vehicle for young star Rock Hudson, who is terrific in the title role, with style, sex appeal, and a good Irish accent (Hudson was full-blood Irish, his real name was Roy Fitzgerald). Jeff Morrow, also an Irishman in real life, was especially good in one of his greatest roles as Captain Thunderbolt, leader of the Irish resistance against the British dragoons, sent to occupy Ireland by the British crown; Morrow had to take lessons to learn how to swordfight from Basil Rathbone. Filmed almost entirely on location in Ireland, this was one of the first Universal pictures to be filmed away from Hollywood. A fine, rousing adventure and a warm, sensitive romance. One of the best films made by the producer-director team of Ross Hunter and Douglas Sirk. Sadly, many Universal pictures of the 1950s and 1960s are still unavailable on home video. Universal should be ashamed of themselves for not releasing this great film on video, and a wide-screen letterbox version on DVD as well. Ay, tis the luck o' the Irish.

2 years ago

A young star flexes his wings

5/10 Universal in the early Fifties was a decidedly second rate studio in desperate need of a star of their own. Director Douglas Sirk spotted Rock Hudson in a bit role and sensed star potential. Sirk almost single handedly coached and groomed Hudson towards stardom, which was achieved with the wildly successful "Magnificent Obsession" (1954). They would make eight movies together, "Captain Lightfoot" being the fourth, and the first in which Hudson would appear as an established star.

Hudson's newfound stardom is palpable throughout the movie. He exudes a boyish confidence as yet unseen in his work making this the joyful romp that Sirk intended. He is matched by a feisty Barbara Rush who played opposite him in the inferior "Taza, Son of Cochise" and supported by an cast of Irish players vastly superior to the bit players Universal would have supplied had the movie not been shot in Ireland.

Sirk's Hollywood career can be divided into three phases. First, the early years in a new country, finding his feet with some solid, if unexciting movies. The middle period was characterized by light weight comedies and trying his hand at different genres such as the western, the costume and historical dramas. Finally, would be his golden period of the melodramas for which he became famous. "Captain Lightfoot" signals the end of the middle period.

While extremely enjoyable, it lacks sufficient substance to make it memorable. Sirk fans would naturally not want to miss this, but Rock Hudson fans in particular should seek this out. He seldom seemed to be truly having such a good time as here when flexing his new grown wings of stardom.

2 years ago