The Flame and the Arrow

Synopsis: Twelfth-century Lombardy lies under the iron heel of German overlord Count Ulrich 'The Hawk', but in the mountains, guerillas yet resist. Five years before our story, Ulrich stole away the pretty wife of young archer Dardo who, cynical rather than embittered, still has little interest in joining the rebels. But this changes when his son, too, is taken from him. The rest is lighthearted swashbuckling, plus romantic interludes with lovely hostage Anne.
Director(s): Jacques Tourneur
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

"We set this, our bond, in writing... that all good men will know

our reason and our purpose.

From this night forward,

we will not rest...

...until we have gathered the strength

to free ourselves of the invader."

If we are agreed...

...then we better be starting back

to our homes.

Brave talk from old men.

Where are the young ones tonight?

I'm frightened. Frightened for us all,

young and old.



Hey, Bambino. Look who's coming.


-We didn't expect you until next week.

-I'll meet you at the tavern.

Dardo wouldn't miss

the Hawk's homecoming.

Dardo, shoot a cap.

-Caps ready?


Let's go.

Further back.

All right, caps in the air.

-Whose hat did you pick?

-Fat Tony's.

I know why, I've seen his sister.


Papa Pietro.

We missed you at the meeting, Dardo.

Signor Apothecary,

you sound like his wife.

I'll leave the talking to you.

You're good at it.

We need you.

We're depending on you.

On me? Why? I don't depend on anyone,

why should anyone depend on me?

-Right, Rudi?

-A man of the mountains has to learn...

...that he can't depend on anyone

but himself.

-There, you see?

-He's your own true son, Dardo.

Each for himself

and devil take the hindmost.

Drink at the tavern with your own kind

the day the Hawk comes back.

Let the rest take care of themselves.

Apothecary, the herbs for your cures.

But don't try curing me. I'm incurable.

-Where's Alberto working today?

-The Vasselis.


Do you think

you can hit that chimney?

-It's an awful long way away.

-Go on, try it.

Pull it back close to your cheek.

Aim low, now.

-I hit it. I hit it.

-You certainly did.

Hey, what dirty-faced, son-of-toilet--


Benuto. Giovanni.

He's here again.

I'll meet you at the tavern.

It's true. The apothecary

talks too much sometimes.

But this time, he's right.

We just have to do something

about the Hawk.

You there, Dardo Bartoli.

Do you think people are made of money

to go buy new caps everyday?

And besides,

I haven't seen you in four weeks.

Women just don't understand,

do they, Tony?

Here, take my cap for the boy.

I'll get it back tonight.

What's it going to be like

if we let the Hawk back--

Why don't you let me alone?

A man can live his life two ways:

-With or without.

-Without what?

-Rudi, tell him.


-People and things.

-People get you into things...

...things get you into trouble...

...trouble gets you mixed up

into people.

-Then it starts all over again.

-My son.

Now, come on,

let's have some of Giulio's good wine.

-Can we all hang out?

-Dardo, what's up?

-Are we all here? The butcher?

-Hey, Giulio, the wine.

-The tinker.

-Bring out some wine.

Where's Piccolo?

Well, where's Piccolo?

I can't drink without Piccolo.

Hey, Piccolo, what's the matter?

Didn't you hear us?

Have you stopped drinking?

Are you sick?

What's on your mind?

Oh, the Hawk's coming.

-Run along. I wanna talk to Piccolo.

-We're not afraid of the Hawk, are we?

Run along and teach those city kids

some mountain manners. Now, come on.

You're not worried about the Hawk.

It's the boy's mother.

Look, I've told you before.

I'm through with all that.

It's been five years

since she went away.

Every man's wife leaves him sooner

or later...

...only some don't take their bodies.

Now, forget it. I have.

I just thought the boy ought to see

the Hawk, that's all. So come on.

Well, come on.

When you come to it, Francesca was

the only satisfactory woman I knew.

She left me alone.


I don't know which gives more pleasure,

kissing or hitting you.

"Don't move until I come back."

A girl could starve

waiting for you to come back.

I'll see you tonight.

Tell Giulio we'll have a keg of wine,

a ham, chickens from the spit...

...another keg of wine

and six yards of bread.

-This fellow says he won't serve us.

-Oh, you won't?

Dardo, we're closed.

The Hawk is coming.

Dardo, the north bell is ringing

and the Hawk is already in the city.

Do you serve us wine

or do we take it...

-...and leave the money on your chest?


You come here. And you too, Pietro.

Pietro, your wife wants us.

Lucretia, get the food.

Clear the square.

Nonna Bartoli, what's the harm

in a little drink?

At your age, Pietro,

it only takes a little drink.

I might have known you would be here.

Why did you come?

To see your beautiful eyes.

I know you

since you were no bigger than Rudi.

I know that mouth. You've come

looking for trouble and I don't like it.

-Why did you have to bring the boy?

-To meet the Hawk.

For the boy's sake, let it be.

There's no reason he has to know.

-Would any of us tell?

-Not one.

Rudi's my son, Nonna.

We don't lie to each other.

What good can it do him

to know his mother?


Make way for Ulrich, count of Hesse.

Come. I want you to meet someone.

-Who is he?


My uncle's indiscretions

come back on him.

Rudi, I want you

to know your mother.

There she is.

I want you to look at her... you'll never feel

you missed anything.

Now you'll know what people

are talking about if they make remarks.

That's Count Ulrich, the Hawk, the man

she went away with five years ago.

So you see,

there's no real reason to hate her...

...just pity her for bad judgment.

As for him, I suppose you can pity a man

who has to buy a woman... keep from living with himself.

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Waldo Salt

Waldo Miller Salt was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses during the era of McCarthyism. He later won Academy Awards for Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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