Saturday, June 23, 2012

Best Chatsworth Movies -- Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) is a story based on a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.  This impressive Warner Brothers film was directed by Michael Curtiz, and stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Patric Knowles

Major Geoffrey Vickers (Errol Flynn) countermands orders and leads a suicidal attack to revenge a previous massacre of men, women and children.


In 1854, Major Geoffrey Vickers (Errol Flynn) of the British Army's 27th Lancers and his brother, Captain Perry Vickers (Patric Knowles), are stationed at Chukoti in India.  Perry falls in love with his brothers fiancee Elsa (Olivia de Havilland) and betrayers him.

While visiting the local rajah -- Surat Khan (C. Henry Gordon) -- Geoffrey saves the rajah's life from a leopard while hunting. 

Later, inhabitants of Chukoti -- mostly dependents of the lancers -- are massacred by Kahn and his forces.  Kahn then joins with the Russians, who are fighting the British in the Crimean War.  Kahn spares Geoffrey and Elsa from slaughter to repay his debt to Geoffrey for saving his life.

Major Geoffrey Vickers learns that Surat Khan is with the Russian forces battling the 27th Lancers, so he secretly replaces the written orders of Sir Charles Macefield (Henry Stephenson) to the commander of the Light Brigade, Sir Benjamin Warrenton (Nigel Bruce). 

Vickers orders the famous Charge of the Light Brigade (a suicidal attack) so the lancers can avenge the Chukoti massacre.


Errol Flynn as Major Geoffrey Vickers
Olivia de Havilland as Elsa Campbell
Patric Knowles as Captain Perry Vickers
C. Henry Gordon as Surat Khan
David Niven as Captain James Randall
Nigel Bruce as Sir Benjamin Warrenton
Spring Byington as Lady Warrenton
Donald Crisp as Colonel Campbell
Henry Stephenson as Sir Charles Macefield
G. P. Huntley as Major Jowett
E. E. Clive as Sir Humphrey Harcourt
Robert Barrat as Count Igor Volonoff
J. Carrol Naish as Subahdar-Major Puran Singh
Walter Holbrook as Cornet Barclay
Princess Baigum as Prema's Mother
Charles Sedgwick as Cornet Pearson
Scotty Beckett as Prema Singh
George Regas as Wazir
Helen Sanborn as Mrs. Jowett

The vast majority of the film was lensed at Lone Pine and the Ahmanson Ranch (Lasky Mesa), but there is a spectacular 2 minute battle scene filmed at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth.  

See the Iverson scenes here

Kahn's forces on Three Ages Rock with Nyoka Cliff in the distance.

Major Vicker's (stunt double) overpowers one of Kahn's leaders with Bill Rock in the background.

Members of the Light Brigade drag brush -- raising dust -- and giving the appearance of a large British force arriving.  Three Ages Rock is on their right, and Nyoka Cliff is in the distance.

From a camera position near Overhang Rock (on the left) you can see dust rising in the gorge.  The Garden of the Gods is in the distance.

As Kahn's rebel forces retreat we get a good view of the back side of Devil's Doorway in front of them.

Major Geoffrey Vickers posing as Kahn's leader (who he overpowered) urges the rebels to flee the coming British forces.

As Major Vickers rides back to rejoin the Light Brigade passes Overhang Rock.  In the distance is Crown Rock (far right) and 'The Wall.'

So if -- like me -- you are a fan of Iverson Ranch movies this one is worth watching.

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

No comments:

Post a Comment