Royal Flash (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Royal Flash (1975)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Novelist George MacDonald Fraser penned the script for this swashbuckling, picaresque adventure tale. The story is based on one of the books in his "Harry Flashman" series, loose sequels to "Tom Brown's Schooldays" that followed that story's central bully character through his checkered post-graduate military career. Malcolm McDowell plays Captain Harry Flashman, a cowardly, lascivious poseur who desperately seeks entry into high European society. Recognizing an opportunity to advance their own sinister political agendas, scheming Otto Von Bismarck (Oliver Reed) and Rudi Von Sternberg (Alan Bates) convince Flashman to masquerade as a Prussian noble and marry a beautiful duchess (Britt Ekland), a flawed plan to which Flashman agrees. Inevitably, the transparent ruse is discovered, and Flashman is forced to try to escape across 19th century Europe, narrowly missing one disaster after another and experiencing first-hand some of history's most momentous events. Director Richard Lester and Fraser used similar baroque settings, tongue-in-cheek characterizations, elaborate stunts and breakneck pacing for The Three Musketeers (1973) and its sequel, The Four Musketeers (1974) with similar efficacy. Fraser would try again with analogous material three years later with Crossed Swords (1978), a lavish version of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi


Malcolm McDowell
as Capt. Harry Flashman
Alan Bates
as Rudi Von Sternberg
Florinda Bolkan
as Lola Montez
Oliver Reed
as Otto Von Bismarck
Britt Ekland
as Duchess Irma
Lionel Jeffries
as Kraftstein
Tom Bell
as De Gautet
Roy Kinnear
as Old Roue
Alastair Sim
as Mr. Greig
Michael Hordern
as Headmaster
Henry Cooper
as John Gully
Leon Greene
as Grundwig
David Jason
as The Mayor
Noel Johnson
as Lord Chamberlain
Ben Aris
as Fireman
Bob Peck
as Police Inspector
John Stuart
as English General
Frank Grimes
as Lieutenant
View All

Critic Reviews for Royal Flash

All Critics (3)

[Richard] Lester takes us out of this closed, hostile, and serious world, encouraging us to live. [Full Review in Spanish]

July 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Completely fails to capture the charm of the book.

May 28, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A final outburst of the style of filmmaking Richard Lester was largely responsible for creating.

June 6, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Royal Flash


A damn good romp, what.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

Malcom McDowell and Olver Reed, now theres a comedic duo. Really enjoyed this comedy from 1975. A little surprised more people havent seen in it, given the quality. Has a fairly complex plot, but keeps the laughs in regular supply. Several bad ass sword fighting scenes. Malcolm McDowell is really funny throughout. Alan Bates also definently has his moments. Florinda Bolkan is hot. All in all a really good time. More people need to see this one.

Ed Fucking Harris
Ed Fucking Harris

Super Reviewer


'Royal Flash' Shows Spark Another slow starter, and with a treadbare plot, but still provides enough entertainment to forgive its flaws. Who wouldn't enjoy a roguish Malcolm McDowell attempting to impersonate a German duke against his will after being kidnapped by a sinister Oliver Reed? Highlight is a side-splitting attempted rescue of the real duke held prisoner in a castle dungeon which includes a memorable comedic swordfight in the spirit of the Elwes vs. Patinkin throwdown later exhibited in The Princess Bride.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

Royal Flash Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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