Royal Flash (1975, GBR/USA) C-102m. *** D: Richard Lester. Starring Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates, Florinda Bolkan, Oliver Reed, Tom Bell, Joss Ackland, Christopher Cazenove, Alastair Sim, Lionel Jeffries, Britt Ekland, Bob Hoskins, Roy Kinnear. Typically irreverent Richard Lester fare, which the director made right after his MUSKETEERS movies. McDowell plays a coward, who somehow wins a medal for bravery during a 19th century war and goes on to become a hero. Otto von Bismarck (Reed) also uses him as a pawn to impersonate a prince. Not exactly memorable or a classic, but engagingly done, with a good score (by Ken Thorne) and nice photography (by Geoffrey Unsworth). Based on a novel by George MacDonald Fraser, who wrote the screenplay himself.

© Ron Altman