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One of the best of a bad genre, Franklin J. Schaffner's Sweeping Historical Romance manages some moderately intelligent historical observations amid its lavishly re-created period decor and the puppy-dog pathos of the two central characters (Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman). When James Goldman's script hits one of its frequent dead spots, Schaffner's camera is there to take up most of the slack with elegantly designed wide-screen compositions. A movie like this would be unthinkable without a star-studded cameo cast: the walk-ons here include Laurence Olivier, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Michael Redgrave, Alexander Knox, and Tom Baker (1971).

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