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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Action > Adventure > Literature > Tyrone Power Collection (The Black Rose/Blood & Sand/The Captain From Castile/Prince Of Foxes/Son Of Fury)

Tyrone Power Collection (The Black Rose/Blood & Sand/The Captain From Castile/Prince Of Foxes/Son Of Fury)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Films: B-



Even in the 1970s, the name Tyrone Power stood for big male movie lead, but that name and reputation has been lost a bit with the decades that followed, so it is a good thing that Fox has issued five of his best films in the new Tyrone Power Collection on DVD.  Those films include:


Blood & Sand (1941) a huge Rouben Mamoulian production with Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, Anthony Quinn and J. Carrol Naish as Power plays a matador torn between his blood sport and women.


Son Of Fury – The Story Of Benjamin Blake (1942) is the melodramatic John Cromwell tale about an illegitimate man (Power) fighting his way back to his birthright with Gene Tierney, George Sanders, Roddy McDowall, Frances farmer, John Carradine and Elsa Lanchester.


The Black Rose (1947) pairs Power with Orson Welles again as he plays a rejected and dejected man looking for success in The Middle East, directed by Henry Hathaway.


Prince Of Foxes (1949) is an earlier Power/Welles pairing as a warrior finds himself in the middle of a battle for land in Italy.  Henry King directed this smart drama also starring Everett Sloane.


The Captain From Castile (1950) is another big Henry King hit not seen as much in recent years with Power as Pedro De Vargas, who leaves Spain behind during The Spanish Inquisition to find The New World.  Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, and Lee J. Cobb are among the supporting cast.



I was more impressed with the films where Welles shows up than not, as the rest of the films are more melodramatic in an interesting way than you might expect.  To appeal to his female fans but keep the male audience, the melodrama is hidden in the story more deeply and that became the formula for his films in his peak years.  As this grew thin and Fox and Power wanted to go new places, they got more artistic and the result was some growth.  However, this is the kind of stagy “talk-at” school of acting I am not a big fan of and that puts some age on the films.  You can also see that it was his appeal that overcame some of these film’s shortcomings and shows the genius of the Classical Hollywood system.  Good thing they have been fixed up so nicely.



The 1.33 X 1 image on all five films is consistently good, thanks to preservation and restoration efforts by Fox.  Blood, Captain and Black were originally issued in three-strip Technicolor and these prints all have their moments where they reflect that, while the other two are in solid black and white.  All can show their age at times, as is the case with the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, in Mono or Stereo.


Extras on all five include mini lobby cards inside the slender cases, a slim booklet on the set, stills sections and theatrical trailers.  Blood adds a restoration comparison and audio commentary by Richard Crudo, a Director of Photography who was also president of the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) from 2003 – 2005.  He offers a terrific commentary that covers so much you need to know about the artform.  However, you may be surprised to hear a serious defense of cinematographers and how seriously he takes the craft and art, defending it against recent changes in the industry (which can seem out of place and will for those who might find some comments sudden) that are part of a simmering debate.  All serious filmmakers need to hear this one, whether they agree or not.


Fury, Captain, and Foxes add isolated music score tracks fans of composers and movie music will love, Fury also has a behind the scenes featurette, Castile has a featurette on Power and audio commentary by film historians Rudy Behlmer, Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman that is not bad.  Foxes also has a related Movietone News piece and Rose adds the featurette Tyrone Power: Family Reunion.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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