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The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 20 October 1936 (USA)
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A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem), Michael Jacoby (original story) (as Michel Jacoby) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Maj. Geoffrey Vickers
Olivia de Havilland ... Elsa Campbell (as Olivia De Havilland)
Patric Knowles ... Capt. Perry Vickers
Henry Stephenson ... Sir Charles Macefield
Nigel Bruce ... Sir Benjamin Warrenton
Donald Crisp ... Col. Campbell
David Niven ... Capt. Randall
C. Henry Gordon ... Surat Khan
G.P. Huntley G.P. Huntley ... Maj. Jowett (as G. P. Huntley Jr.)
Robert Barrat ... Count Igor Volonoff
Spring Byington ... Lady Octavia Warrenton
E.E. Clive ... Sir Humphrey Harcourt
J. Carrol Naish ... Subadar-Major Puran Singh (as J. Carroll Naish)
Walter Holbrook Walter Holbrook ... Cornet Barclay
Princess Baba ... Prema's Mother (as Princess Baigum)
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Storyline

Major Vickers is an officer at the 27th Lancers in India 1856. When the regiment is on maneuver, the barracks are attacked by Surat Khan and his soldiers who massacre British women and children. This leaves an inextinguishable memory and Vickers promises to revenge the dead. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The reckless lancers sweep on and on - so that a woman's heart might not be broken! You're not fighting a single legion - you're fighting the entire British army, Surat Khan! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Carga da Brigada Ligeira See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura Hills, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, director Michael Curtiz - a Jewish emigrant from Hungary whose command of the English language left a lot to be desired - exclaimed, "Bring on the empty horses!", meaning "riderless horses". David Niven would later use this phrase as the title of his autobiography. See also Casablanca (1942). See more »

Goofs

In the battle of Chukoti, many defenders are using breach loaders prior to their popular usage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sir Humphrey Harcourt: How do you fellows manage to look so comfortably, Vickers?
Maj. Geoffrey Vickers: We may look it Sir, but we're not. They say the first 40 years are about the hottest up here on the frontier, after that you get used to it.
Sir Humphrey Harcourt: Really?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This production has its basis in history. The historical basis, however, has been fictionized for the purposes of this picture and the names of many characters, many characters themselves, the story, incidents and institutions, are fictitious. With the exception of known historical characters, whose actual names are herein used, no identification with actual persons, living or dead, is intended or should be inferred. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le Film de les Nuls (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Tsar
(1833) (uncredited)
(Russian national anthem, 1833-1917)
Music by Alexis Lvov
In the score during the charge at Balaklava
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fictional version of historical charge is highly entertaining...
28 June 2005 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

As usual, Warner Bros. bent historical facts to provide ERROL FLYNN with some noble heroics in epics like this one and THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON. And as in BOOTS, it takes quite a bit of fictional footage to get to the climactic charge, but it's well worth waiting for.

Flynn has a role tailor-made to his specifications, the noble hero who looks even more splendid than ever wearing a trim mustache and military uniform. The script, in a twist, has his brother (PATRIC KNOWLES), who looks enough like Flynn to be his real brother, winning over the heart of the heroine (OLIVIA de HAVILLAND) at a military outpost in India. Flynn, as Major Vickers, decides to avenge the massacre of British women and children at the fort, thus forging the orders that lead to the famous charge.

All of it is strictly meant to entertain, offering political background of a confusing sort to give an idea of the events surrounding the charge. While all of it has been falsified for the sake of providing a screenplay that makes Flynn the noblest of heroes, there is no denying the epic sweep of the derring do and romance.

Flynn and screen partner de Havilland make a handsome couple and they are supported by a fine bunch of actors from Hollywood's British film colony, notably Patric Knowles, David Niven and Donald Crisp. Max Steiner has provided one of his best military background scores that gives added dimension to the exciting battle scenes.

For Flynn fans, this is a must see. For anyone expecting to see an historical account of the Charge, better tune in to the History Channel for that sort of stuff. But as entertainment, CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE delivers the goods and should make Flynn and de Havilland fans happy.


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