19 February 2016 | bkoganbing
His Rebel Ways
Hal Roach who more often than one would think as his reputation has come down today sometimes left the two reel comedies and occasional feature films for Laurel&Hardy and did some big budget stuff. One of his biggest was this 18th century costume drama Captain Fury. It even snagged an Oscar nomination for Art settings.
This story which borrows most liberally from the legend of Robin Hood casts Brian Aherne as Irish convict who was fighting for independence in Ireland which activities got him arrested and sent to Australia which as we know was a penal colony in those days.
He's indentured to a most cruel and rapacious landowner George Zucco who treats the army of convicts in his charge like slaves. He's our Sir Guy of Gisborne in this tale. It doesn't take long for Aherne to escape with a few good men and take up his rebel ways once again. In the process he wins June Lang away from her puritan father Paul Lukas.
Lukas's mittel europa accent is easily explained when one realized that the King of Great Britain had some considerable real estate in the heart of Germany. The Hanover dynasty were first Electors of the Palatine. Lots of settlers from there migrated to all kinds of British colonies so Lukas by no means would have been out of place.
His is a strange character, a great example where one can get truly warped overindulging in religious doctrine. He doesn't like Zucco and his cutthroats, but can't get past Aherne's criminal activity.
The film also features Victor McLaglen just being his charming self. That's enough for a lot of people to watch the film.
Even without McLaglen's oafish ways, Captain Fury is a fine and dashing action/adventure film. I'm sure the parallels with The Adventures Of Robin Hood which came out the year before could not help being noticed by the movie going public.