Here is a $4 million (and claimed to be more) picture that looks its cost. That goes even for the lost footage through mishap with Peggy Cummins, the original candidate until Linda Darnell replaced. And she does quite well.
The lusty yarn [from the novel by Kathleen Winsor] is treated for what it is. Darnell runs the gamut from romantic opportunist to prison degradation and up again to being the king’s favorite and finally a discarded mistress, grateful that the royal equerry invites her to supper after Charles II gives her the brush-off.
In between there’s a wealth of derring-do, 17th-century knavery and debauchery, the love of a good woman (Jane Ball), and the rest of a depraved court’s atmosphere. It’s solid escapology.
Darnell manages her chameleon Amber character very well. Her blonde beauty shows off well in Technicolor, and she is equally convincing when she is thrown in a pauper’s gaol.
Cornel Wilde is the No. 1 juve, although Glenn Langan suggests he might have made an excellent choice for that role instead of a secondary swain. Richard Haydn plays his a.k. role well as the arrogant earl who Amber premeditatedly weds in order to gain a title. John Russell is convincing as the highwayman; Anne Revere is sufficiently despicable as a keeper of a thieves’ den; Jessica Tandy does all right as Amber’s maid; George Sanders turns a neat character.
1947: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture