The book that Robbery Under Arms was based off of was originally printed in 1882, and it is one of the few books that maintained continual publishing for over 70 years. This Thomas Alexander Browne work transfers beautifully to the silver screen, and eir characters truly come to live with the inclusion of a superb cast and crew. The action is headed up by Peter Finch, who settles into the role of Captain Starlight. Fleshing out the main characters are Ronald Lewis as Dick Marston and Maureen Swanson as Kate Morrison Mullockson.
Despite the film’s age, VCI Entertainment has provided on DVD an absolutely stunning transfer. The film is at the level that viewers in the fifties would have experienced it in, with an audio track that is similarly strong. While there was a later film adaptation of Robbery Under Arms, I feel that this 1957 film captures more closely the action that takes places during the Browne book. It is nice to see other period actors like Max Wagner (Sergeant Goring) and Jean Anderson (Ma Marston) take up significant roles in the film, and the cinematography seems utterly current in a period where a great many of the films seem to exclude based on different interpretations of what seemed fitting and proper.
If you are a fan of forgotten fifties films, check out VCI’s 2011 re-release of Robbery Under Arms on DVD. Keep an eye out for the company’s slate for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 – I am sure that they are continuing to uncover some seriously bonkers types of films. Check out our video review section for more coverage of VCI releases, past, present and future.
Robbery Under Arms (DVD) / 2011 VCI Entertainment / http://www.vcientertainment.com