Charge of the Lancers (1954)
APPROVED · 1h 13min · Action, Drama · 1 February 1954
The downward spiral of the quality of films Paulette Goddard appeared in in the 1950's would cause a gravitational blackout to anyone viewing them in a single day, but with some of the all-time great schlock names serving as the producers---Sam Katzman, the Danziger brothers, Albert Zugsmith and---gasp---Sigmund Neufeld--- the results easily met the low expectations. This one is set during the time of the Crimean War and the efforts of the Allies to take the Russian naval base at Sebastopol. Jean Pierre Aumont and Richard Stapley are guardians of a new cannon that can pierce the walls of the Russian fortress, and also rivals for the favors of nurse Karin Booth who, as it turns out, is a Russian spy. Not a spoiler...somebody had to be. The Russians kidnap Stapley (in his pre-Richard Wyler days)to learn from him the secret of the new cannon. Aumont is assigned to rescue him. Oh, okay he says and sets out. On the way he encounters a gypsy family that includes Paulette Goddard as a daughter---beginning to sound like Ray Milland and Marlene Dietrich in "Golden Earrings" in a different time and another war--- and Aumont disguises himself as a gypsy and locates Stapley. The success of his task was guaranteed the instance the name of writer Robert E. Kent appeared on the screen about 58 minutes earlier, allowing 10-12 more minutes for Aumont and Stapley to win the war. Miss Goddard had already phoned in her performance and gone home.
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