It's hard to think of Peter Cushing as an action hero but, given the chance, he could buckle a swash as well as the next man. Examples? Well, what about his athletic Van Helsing running and leaping at curtains in 'The Horror Of Dracula' and, of course, his starring part in 'Captain Clegg'?
'Captain Clegg' is based on the series of books by Russell Thorndyke about 'Doctor Syn' a scholar, swordsman, sailor, pirate, smuggler and general Robin Hood type gadabout kicking against the (unfair) system in 18th century Kent. By day he masquerades as a timid parson, but by night he and his men don hideous, luminous skeleton suits and distribute cheap booze amongst the grateful people of the county, always one step ahead of the bumbling forces of law and order.
The Hammer film, forced to change its name because of a rival production (see this blog tomorrow for more details) is a real pleasure, full of adventure and action and the ever brilliant Peter Cushing switching effortlessly between the bookish, distracted, gentle man of God and ruthless, firm jawed anti-hero. There's also plum parts for Michael Ripper, Oliver Reed and Yvonne Romain and, perhaps best of all, the mighty Milton Reid gets an (almost) starring role. Classic Saturday afternoon entertainment - recommended!