16 June 2001 | artzau
A CLASSIC--Sadly, not available
There have been a lot of good movies based on classics or semiclassics that for one reason or another have slipped through the cracks and have not had legs. This excellent film based on the Kenneth Roberts novel about the revolution in Haiti is such a case. Fine cast with Dale Robertson playing the lead and Ann Francis playing the title role. French character actor Charles Korvin, kind of a poor man's Charles Boyer complete with cleft in chin, and the African-American actor, William Marshall add to the action. It's a fine film full of intrigue, action and color. Robertson is dashing, Francis is charming, Korvin is scheming and Marshall, well, is a ham (he always was: viz, his role as the ego-driven computer genius on one of the old Star Trek episodes). The story is about American colonials who are caught up in Haiti's dash for independence from France. It's too bad we can watch inane reruns of I Love Lucy on video and can't see this fine little film about an interesting time in Haiti's history. Robert's novel is fiction but well researched for local accuracy, the Marshall's King Dick character is loosely based on real characters...as was McNeil's Emperor Jones. So, if this film does show up on the late show, check it out. You'll be pleased. I remember seeing it high school after having read the novel and a history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispanola.