Charge of the Lancers (1954)

73 mins | Adventure | February 1954

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robert E. Kent

Producer:

Sam Katzman

Cinematographer:

Henry Freulich

Editor:

Henry Batista

Production Designer:

Paul Palmentola

Production Company:

Esskay Pictures Co.
Full page view
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Dec 1953.
---
Daily Variety
16 Dec 53
p. 4.
Film Daily
20 Jan 54
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 53
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 53
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 53
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
20 Mar 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Jun 54
p. 33.
Variety
30 Dec 53
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1954
Production Date:
7 April--18 April 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 December 1953
Copyright Number:
LP3103
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
73
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16537
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1856, at the height of the Crimean War, Turkish ally Great Britain sends munitions expert Maj. Bruce Lindsey with a model of its new, powerful cannon to British headquarters in Balaklava. After Capt. Eric Renault escorts Bruce through dangerous enemy territory to the fort, the major demonstrates the breech loading cannon's potential to Gen. Stanhope. Impressed, Stanhope immediately orders Bruce to return to London with a large order for the new weapon to fight against the impregnable Russian naval base at Fort Molokov in Sebastopol. Before leaving, Bruce briefly reunites with nurse Maria Sand, who puts off his proposal of marriage until the war's end. Shortly after his departure, Bruce is seized by Russian troops, who have been mysteriously tipped off as to the nature of his mission. When Stanhope learns of Bruce's capture, he summons Eric, whose experience in the French diplomatic corps he hopes will assist in negotiating Bruce's freedom. Along with Corp. Tim Daugherty, Eric sets off in search of Bruce, only to become trapped behind enemy lines when Stanhope is forced to withdraw his troops after a harsh Russian assault. Eric and Tim seek help from a caravan of traveling gypsies, musicians Asa and Keta and fortune-teller Tanya, who reluctantly agree to shelter them from a Russian patrol. That night when Russian corporal Bonikoff attempts to force himself on Tanya, Eric insists that not only is he her husband, but that Tanya is under the special protection of Russian general Boris Inderman. The following day, Bonikoff places the men in a cave outside the city of Sebastopol, and takes Tanya and Keta into Fort Molokov, where he presents ... +


In 1856, at the height of the Crimean War, Turkish ally Great Britain sends munitions expert Maj. Bruce Lindsey with a model of its new, powerful cannon to British headquarters in Balaklava. After Capt. Eric Renault escorts Bruce through dangerous enemy territory to the fort, the major demonstrates the breech loading cannon's potential to Gen. Stanhope. Impressed, Stanhope immediately orders Bruce to return to London with a large order for the new weapon to fight against the impregnable Russian naval base at Fort Molokov in Sebastopol. Before leaving, Bruce briefly reunites with nurse Maria Sand, who puts off his proposal of marriage until the war's end. Shortly after his departure, Bruce is seized by Russian troops, who have been mysteriously tipped off as to the nature of his mission. When Stanhope learns of Bruce's capture, he summons Eric, whose experience in the French diplomatic corps he hopes will assist in negotiating Bruce's freedom. Along with Corp. Tim Daugherty, Eric sets off in search of Bruce, only to become trapped behind enemy lines when Stanhope is forced to withdraw his troops after a harsh Russian assault. Eric and Tim seek help from a caravan of traveling gypsies, musicians Asa and Keta and fortune-teller Tanya, who reluctantly agree to shelter them from a Russian patrol. That night when Russian corporal Bonikoff attempts to force himself on Tanya, Eric insists that not only is he her husband, but that Tanya is under the special protection of Russian general Boris Inderman. The following day, Bonikoff places the men in a cave outside the city of Sebastopol, and takes Tanya and Keta into Fort Molokov, where he presents them to Inderman. Inderman takes an immediate liking to Tanya and agrees to place the gypsies in a privileged cottage under his protection in exchange for the women's private attendance. Upon leaving Inderman's rooms, Tanya spots Bruce, beaten senseless, being escorted to the general by Dr. Manus. Manus reports to Inderman that Bruce has apparently suffered a mental collapse from the interrogation torture, but Inderman demands they continue to discover the details of Bruce's mission. Eric, Tim and Asa are forced to work for the Russians during their battles, but Eric uses the opportunity to study the fort's troop relief schedule. When Tanya reveals she saw a beaten British officer, Eric surmises it is Bruce and plots to find him. Meanwhile, acting on Dr. Manus' suggestion that Bruce might be shocked out of his stupor by a familiar face, Inderman sends a telegraph to Stanhope indicating that because the Russians are short of medical assistance, they will allow an English medical delegation to come to the fort to tend to their injured soldiers. Believing Eric is dead and viewing the offer as another opportunity to locate Bruce, Stanhope sends a contingent that includes Maria. Back at the fort, Eric asks Tanya to help him attend a large party thrown by Inderman the following night, and she coaches him on several fortune-teller tricks. At the party, Eric impresses Inderman and his guests, and the general wonders if Eric's talents are legitimate. Eric agrees to a test and when he outwits Inderman, the general takes him to Bruce, hoping Eric can read the dazed officer's mind. When Eric relates that Bruce's thoughts are jumbled but include a nurse and a cannon, Inderman is further convinced of Eric's mind-reading abilities and gives him full access to Bruce. When the British group arrives at Fort Mokolov, Maria, who is actually Inderman's spy, contacts Inderman, who hopes her presence will also assist in rousing Bruce. That night, Eric visits Bruce alone and learns that his friend has been shamming his stupor. When Maria visits Bruce, he asks her to take a message back to Stanhope detailing Eric's information of the troop change movements, which will provide a vital window for attack. Instead, Maria informs the men of her true loyalties before heading off to report to Inderman. Eric and Bruce attack the guard and race after Maria, and in the ensuing chase Maria is struck and killed by a runaway wagon. Eric asks Bruce to break into the telegraph office and send a coded message to Stanhope to begin an immediate bombardment, followed by a cavalry assault at the critical moment of the troop change at dawn. Eric then returns to Inderman's rooms for Tanya, and in the ensuing struggle, kills Inderman in a shootout. Eric and Tanya then outrace the British bombardment and meet Bruce and the others safely just as dawn breaks and the cavalry assault begins. After the successful destruction of Fort Molokov, Eric is presented with a medal of commendation and he and Tanya are married. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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