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The Scarlet Blade
The Scarlet Blade“During the English Civil War, as
  Cromwell’s men root out every Royalist
  true to the doomed King Charles I,
  The Scarlet Blade leads the resistance
  raiding Roundhead strongholds; aided
  by the loyalty of a would-be enemy
  and hindered by the betrayal of a star-
  crossed lover
...”

AS STAUNCH ROYALIST COLONEL BEVERLY prepares to face Cromwell's soldiers, led by the turncoat Colonel Judd (Lionel Jeffries: Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang), his eldest son Edward (Jack Hedley: For Your Eyes Only) attempts to get younger brother Philip, sister Constance and the Beverly's secret guest, King Charles I, to safety.

Unknown to Edward, they have been seen and betrayed. As the king is being escorted to the coast, he is arrested and taken to Hampton Court Palace to await his transfer to the Tower of London for his trial.

Colonel Beverly is killed for harbouring the king and a distraught Edward, determined to rid the country of Cromwell's government, leads the rebels in a series of raids against the Roundheads under the pseudonym The Scarlet Blade — a dashing Robin Hood figure who hides out in the forest.

It is 1648 and Colonel Judd, who was once himself loyal to the king but has now become a Parliamentarian giving his allegiance to the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, cannot understand why his daughter Clare (June Thorburn: Tom Thumb), still holds Royalist sympathies.

Clare has the deepest respect for the king and is visibly upset by the death of Colonel Beverly. Her father has set up his headquarters in the Beverly manor house, having been charged by Cromwell with ridding the area of the Royalists. He is soon to discover that there is a traitor in the household.

To add complications for Clare, her father's captain, Tom Sylvester (Oliver Reed: The Three Musketeers) has fallen in love with her and claims that he will even turn traitor if she could only return his feelings. She constantly tells him she does not love him but he is suspicious of her and, in turn, she is not sure if she can trust him. Not long afterwards she meets and loses her heart to Edward Beverly, but it is a love that will place them both in great danger.

In this historical adventure from the famous Hammer Film Productions, Cavaliers and Roundheads fight their bloody battles. Families are divided by loyalties and the romance between Clare and Edward seems set to end in tragedy. Will the plan to save the king succeed? Is Tom playing a double game and will Clare's father betray her and her newfound love?

The Scarlet Blade is an entertaining film, easy to watch and dramatically exciting. Very much a product of its time, it is a creditable Hammer Classic that may appear a little dated but is still a fascinating period offering.

The Scarlet Blade also features: Michael Ripper; Harold Goldblatt; Duncan Lamont; Clifford Elkin; Suzan Farmer; John Harvey; and Charles Houston.

Music is Composed by Gary Hughes; Director of Photography is John Asher, BSC; Screenplay is by John Gilling; Produced by Anthony Nelson Keys; and Directed by John Gilling.

The Hammer Classic The Scarlet Blade makes its world DVD Premier on its release on 16 January 2012. Certificate: PG | Running Time: 79 Minutes | Catalogue Number: OPTD2343 | RRP: 15.99.

"The Scarlet Blade is an entertaining film, easy to watch and dramatically exciting"

Maggie Woods, MotorBar