Though Errol Flynn was well past his prime (and obviously well lubricated in certain scenes), he rises to the occasion of The Adventures of Don Juan with a spirited, athletic performance. As fabled Spanish swashbuckler/lover Don Juan, Flynn spends the early portions of the film romancing willing young ladies and dueling with jealous husbands. Spain’s Queen Margaret (Viveca Lindfors) assigns Don Juan to head the royal fencing academy to keep him out of trouble. When scheming Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas) plots to topple the monarchy, it is Don Juan’s eager young fencing pupils who come to the rescue. Though a troubled production (filming was habitually halted due to Flynn’s precarious physical condition and by constant changes and replacements in production personnel),The Adventures of Don Juan moves swiftly and enjoyably from start to finish, abetted by a rousing, semi-satirical Max Steiner musical score, which has since been heard in such 1980s films as Zorro, the Gay Blade and Goonies. Incidentally, Errol Flynn is doubled in the famous leap from the head of a long staircase by stunt expert Jock Mahoney.
1949, colour, 111 minutes
Commentary by director Vincent Sherman and historian Rudy Behlmer; Warner Night at the Movies 1948 short subjects gallery: vintage newsreel; Oscar-nominated Joe McDoakes comedy short So You Want to Be on the Radio; Oscar-nominated travel short Calgary Stampede; Classic cartoon Hare Splitter; Trailers of Adventures of Don Juan and 1948’s Silver River; Subtitles: English (feature film only)