Tyrone Power: The Swashbuckler Box Set

 

Blood and Sand (1941)      Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942)


Captain from Castile (1947)       Prince of Foxes (1949)      The Black Rose (1950)

 

Though famous for his dark, classically handsome looks that made him a matinee idol from his first film appearance, Tyrone Power was not just handsome but very versatile. He played a wide range of roles, from a protagonist with a darker side to light romantic comedy. In 1940 the direction of Tyrone Power’s career took a dramatic turn when his movie, The Mark of Zorro, was released. Power played the role of Don Diego Vega, fop by day, and Zorro, bandit hero by night. The role had been made famous by Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920 movie by the same title. Power’s performance was excellent, and 20th Century Fox often cast him in many swashbucklers in the years that followed.

 

In September of 1958, Tyrone Power went to Madrid and Valdespartera, Spain, to film the epic, Solomon and Sheba, to be directed by King Vidor. He had filmed about 75 percent of his scenes when he was stricken with a massive heart attack, as he was filming a dueling scene with his frequent co-star and friend, George Sanders. He died enroute to the hospital at only 44 years of age - fittingly, this was to be a familiar role, with again sword in hand. Gone but far from forgotten, 20th Century Fox are celebrating the swashbuckling films of this incredibly popular star with this 5 DVD set all made in the decade of the 1940's. A truly classic collection.

 


Titles

 

 


 

Blood and Sand
Stars Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, Alla Nazimova, Anthony Quinn
Directors: Rouben Mamoulian
Theatrical Release Date: May 30, 1941
Synopsis - Bullfighter Juan Gallardo falls for socialite Dona Sol, turning from the faithful Carmen who nevertheless stands by her man as he continues to face real danger in the bullring.

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake
Stars Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders, Frances Farmer, Elsa Lanchester
Directors: John Cromwell
Theatrical Release Date: January 29, 1942
Synopsis - Sir Arthur Blake has inherited title and lands from his brother. He also has his orphaned nephew Benjamin working for him as a bonded servant. While he believes the lad was born out of wedlock and so cannot claim the inheritance, he is taking no chances. Benjamin eventually rebels against his uncle and sets sail to try and make his fortune. This may enable him to return to prove his claim to being the rightful heir to the estate.

Captain from Castile
Stars Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Lee J. Cobb, John Sutton
Directors: Henry King
Theatrical Release Date: January 1948
Synopsis - Spain, 1518: young caballero Pedro De Vargas offends his sadistic neighbor De Silva, who just happens to be an officer of the Inquisition. Forced to flee, Pedro, friend Juan Garcia, and adoring servant girl Catana join Cortez' first expedition to Mexico. Arriving in the rich new land, Cortez decides to switch from exploration to conquest...with only 500 men. Embroiled in continuous adventures and a romantic interlude, Pedro almost forgets he has a deadly enemy...

Prince of Foxes
Stars Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix, Marina Berti, Everett Sloane
Directors: Henry King
Theatrical Release Date: December 23, 1949
Synopsis - In 1500, Duke Cesare Borgia hopes to marry his sister (widowed by poison) to the heir apparent of Ferrara, which impedes his conquest of central Italy. On this delicate mission he sends Andrea Orsini, his sister's lover and nearly as unscrupulous as himself. En route, Orsini meets Camilla Verano, wife of the count of Citta' del Monte (Borgia's next intended conquest); and sentiment threatens to turn him against his deadly master, whom no one betrays twice...

The Black Rose
Stars Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, CÚcile Aubry, Jack Hawkins, Michael Rennie
Directors: Henry Hathaway
Theatrical Release Date: September 1, 1950
Synopsis - In the time of the crusades, a Saxon youth is forced to run away from England. He goes with his loyal retainer who brings along a British long bow. The two go all the way to China where they become involved in intrigues in the court of Kubla Kahn. 

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1936 - 1948

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: 20th Century Fox (5-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: About 8+ hours of feature films.
Audio English (2.0 stereo) - DUBs in French and Spanish
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

  •  Commentary on Blood and Sand by Director of Photography 2003-2006 President of the American Society of Cinematographers - Richard Crudo

  •  Restoration split-screen and Photo Gallery
    Isolated Score for Son of Fury
     Featurette: Tyrone Power - Behind the Scenes

  •  Stills Gallery, Advertising Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

  •  Commentary on Captain From Castile by Rudy Behlmer, Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman

  • Isolated Score

  •  Featurette: Tyrone Power's Leading Ladies

  •  Stills Gallery, Advertising Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

  • Isolated Score for Prince of Foxes

  •  MovieTone Newsreel: Tyrone Power Weds Linda Christian in Rome Ceremony

  •  On The Black Rose - Featurette Tyrone Power: Family Reunion

  •  Stills Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

  • NOTE: Each DVD includes 4 Lobby Card reproductions (postcard size) of that particular film


DVD Release Date: May 1st, 2007

5 Slim Slim Keep Cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters: various 

 

 

Comments:

The 5 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim Keep Cases (see image above) and they are also sold separately. All 5 DVDs are dual-layered - coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. Generally they look very consistent - quite strong transfer-wise. Each offer optional English, French and Spanish subtitles and DUBs (French and Spanish).

Blood and Sand is in color and looks even to my eye - in fact for a color film of this age the appearance is very good. Detail and contrast are also at the high end. The supplements offer a commentary by Director of Photography 2003-2006 President of the American Society of Cinematographers - Richard Crudo. It is specific to his vast knowledge about the cinematography and he imparts some detail about Technicolor, its process and many points regarding cinematography in the production of this film. I can't see your average viewer being too interested but those keen on this aspect of film-making - it is a virtual clinic. Also included are a restoration split-screen comparison and click-thru slideshow photo gallery.

Son of Fury also looks very strong with the only flaw being some light flickering contrast. It also tends to look a little dusted at times but detail is very good overall. The benefit to the dual-layering is the lack of prevalent artifacts. Extras include the Isolated Score of the film (which is very enjoyable), a 15 minute featurette - Tyrone Power - Behind the Scenes which gives a brief overview of Power and the production of most of the films in this collection. Also included are a stills gallery, advertising gallery (posters) and a Theatrical Trailer. Another good disc and a great film.

Captain From Castile is the only film in this collection where I have an issue. To my eye, color is really out of whack in the first 20 minutes of the film - skin tones are vibrantly red/orange in spots and there appears to be a fair amount of saturation. I have never seen this theatrically so I have no idea whether this was the way it originally looked or it is a problem with the transfer. It settles down after that and the appearance is almost as good as Son of Fury. Overall though I think it may be the weakest looking disc in the boxset but it does have extensive supplements - there is a wonderful commentary by Rudy Behlmer, Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman. Behlmer is an old hand at this (as is Redman) and it is fun, full of knowledge and flows very smoothly. These guys work very well together. The brilliant isolated score is again offered - this one by the great Alfred Newman (uncle to Randy) - my favorite of the collection - I hope to get it onto CD somehow. There is a featurette: Tyrone Power's Leading Ladies - it is about 12 minutes long and has former actresses enthusiastically gushing over working with him - including Jayne Meadows and Terry Moore. Once again a stills gallery, advertising gallery and a theatrical trailer are included.

Prince of Foxes looks pretty strong - a shade of flickering contrast is noticeable - minor artifacts but detail is very good and black levels are adequate. It again has that dusted appearance at times but it didn't deter my enjoyment of the film one bit. Great to see Welles looking so majestic on screen. In the extras - Newman's score is again isolated for your listening pleasure - there is a MovieTone Newsreel: Tyrone Power Weds Linda Christian in Rome Ceremony running less than 3 minutes. Also included are a stills gallery, advertising gallery (mostly posters) and a theatrical trailer.

The Black Rose looks as good as any of the rest - possibly the best in spots. Colors seems quite natural but there is some digital noise to contend with. It looks a shade dirty and there are some minor speckles. Extras include a 19 minute featurette - Tyrone Power: Family Reunion with daughter Romina Power, son Tyrone Power IV, Taryn Power-Deer (granddaughter of Tyrone Power Sr.) and, former wife, Linda Christian sharing stories about his evolution as a legendary star. There is more in the way of a stills gallery, an interactive pressbook and an un-restored theatrical trailer. For those keen - the film was shot by master cinematographer Jack Cardiff but it may be the weakest movie of the boxset - minor entertainment and an unfortunate way to conclude the pleasurable collection. I could watch the first 4 films all over again.

NOTE: Each DVD includes 4 Lobby Card reproductions (postcard size) of that particular film and a one page lining the keep case with a color image and listing the chapter stops.

Overall I would say that I am happy with the transfers. I get the feeling that they are as good as the existing elements would allow. Far from perfect but as good as they have looked in a long time.

Tyrone Power: The Swashbuckler Box Set is a wonderful collection - 4 of the 5 films were definitely above average classic Hollywood fare and I felt I learned a lot about this actor - his versatility - and reasons for his enduring popularity. With all the supplements, 2 commentaries and decent transfers of solid adventure films from the Golden age - this is a must-own collection in my opinion. I strongly recommend it. I thoroughly enjoyed my viewings.   

Gary W. Tooze




DVD Menus


Supplements:


Slim Keep Case Cover

 

Also available individually here:

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Blood and Sand

Stars Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, Alla Nazimova, Anthony Quinn


Directors: Rouben Mamoulian


Theatrical Release Date: May 30, 1941

 

 


Slim Keep Case Cover

 

Also available individually here:

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake


Stars Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders, Frances Farmer, Elsa Lanchester


Directors: John Cromwell


Theatrical Release Date: January 29, 1942

 

 


Slim Keep Case Cover

 

Also available individually here:

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Captain from Castile

 

Stars Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Lee J. Cobb, John Sutton

 


Directors: Henry King


Theatrical Release Date: January 1948

 

 


Slim Keep Case Cover

 

Also available individually here:

 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 Prince of Foxes

 

Stars Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix, Marina Berti,

 
Directors: Henry King


Theatrical Release Date: December 23, 1949

 

 

 

 


Slim Keep Case Cover

 

Also available individually here:

 

 

Screen Captures

 


The Black Rose

 


Stars Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, CÚcile Aubry, Jack Hawkins, Michael Rennie


Directors: Henry Hathaway


Theatrical Release Date: September 1, 1950

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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