DVD: The Scarlet Blade (PG)

This 1964 Hammer production is blessed with two hammy performances from Lionel Jeffries, as the sadistic Colonel Judd, and Oliver Reed, as the dissembling Captain Sylvester.

They play two of Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads during the English Civil War. Sylvester hungers for the Colonel's royalist daughter, Claire (June Thorburn), so he risks his neck to help her and her royalist pals, who include Jack Hedley's ill-defined hero, the Scarlet Blade. Unfortunately, after a couple of hours in his company, Claire falls helplessly in love with the Blade. Sylvester's livid. A very theatrical and verbose melodrama, which ends very abruptly, but Reed's charisma here is undeniable.