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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Flesh & Blood (1985)

(aka: The Rose and the Sword)



Reviews and Comments

Paul Verhoeven's medieval drama is a long sight better than most of his films, though that may not be saying much. Rutger Hauer is the leader of a band of ruffians cheated out of the spoils of a war they helped win, and Tom Burlinson is the son of the nobleman that did it. Caught in between Jennifer Jason Leigh, the either clever or fickle woman they both love. The characters are well rounded, and as such, there is no clear division between the goodguys and the badguys. They're also intriguingly unpredictable. The plot is well constructed, solid and convincing, and for the thinking viewer. Small unrelated anecdotes toward the beginning are made significant when recalled toward the end. Unfortunately, the film is ruined by a ridiculous level of torture, gore, nudity, and general tastelessness. Not for the faint of heart.