(1948)2.5Craig ButlerAlthough it takes considerable liberties with the Robert Louis Stevenson story that is its source, The Black Arrow is a moderately entertaining "swinging sword" movie. The young boys that are most apt to enjoy it may find it a bit dated and stagey, but they very likely will fall captive to its "ripping yarn" story. Older audiences, however, are likely to find that it's territory that has been well traveled many times before, and often in much better vehicles. The three credited screenwriters have not expended much imagination between them, and the situations they have developed are overly familiar, if not downright trite. Things would be helped by more muscular direction, which Gordon M. Douglas does not supply; he gets everything essentially right, but doesn't do anything especially exciting. Under the circumstances, the cast acquits itself, but you can't help feeling you're watching a "second choice" cast -- Errol Flynn wasn't available, so Louis Hayward fills in; Olivia de Havilland couldn't be had, so we have Janet Blair, etc. They're all fine and more than serviceable, but they don't supply the extra dash and magnetism that would make Arrow more than average.