Friday, 13 September 2013

Bonnie Prince Charlie

The ever-quotable Alex von Tunzelmann makes this film about Bonnie Prince Charlie sound so bad it's good.

Obviously, there were problems with production: "Halfway through the nine-month shoot, Niven cabled producer Sam Goldwyn: "I have now worked every day for five months on this picture and nobody can tell me how the story ends stop advise." Goldwyn couldn't help: according to Niven's biographer, Sheridan Morley, he thought the movie was called "Charlie Bonnie", and was "apparently under the mistaken impression that it was to be the story of a lovable Scots terrier".

But the outcome sounds superb: "In Rome, the Old Pretender, James Stuart, and his son Charlie (Niven) plot their return. The Old Pretender is wearing a massive grey wig and rhinestone-encrusted frock coat; his son is in a white wig and dazzling jacket. If you remember how Sir Elton John and his husband dressed for the singer's 50th birthday party, that's the look."

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