Yea! This undiscovered gem gets the treatment it deserves!
W. Schmidt | Beaverton, Oregon USA | 07/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Known in the rest of the world as HARLEQUIN, this modern mystical "Svengali" story with a twist has never had a decent home video release. Shot in expressive widescreen Panavision it doesn't translate well to indifferent pan & scan jobs, like the OOP VHS and U.K. cheapie DVD. Elite has issued a very nice looking 16X9 enhanced scope version with Director and Producer commentary, a nice and informative touch.
David Hemmings, a political hotshot, has a terminally ill son who seems to magically improve under the (seemingly) benign influence of a modern "court jester", (Robert Powell) who appears at his son's birthday party as a clown and ends up insinuating his way into a position of influence with his wife and child. If this sounds very Rasputin-like it is, but the story has a few surprises along the way.
If you've never seen this gem and like subtle and tense supernatural / suspense stories give it a try."
Robert Powell as a Harlequin with special powers.
James McDonald | Southern California | 07/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Alex (Mark Spain) is a nine-year old who is ill with Leukemia. Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazereth ) plays a clown at his birthday party and tries to cheer him up. Alex's father, Nick (David Hemmings) is a Senator who could become the next Deputy Governor. The clown also known as a Harlequin while he has a gift of performing magic for children and is able to produce thunder from the sky at will, the boy has become quite taken by the clown. After paying a surprise appearance to the sick boy with clown make-up, the family soon realizes this man, "Gregory", has special healing powers for the boy. However he has evil powers for others.
Released in 1980. Original Title: Harlequin"
Bartok Kinski | Prague | 04/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fascinating, dark study of a political family seduced by the powers of a traveling magician who befriends their ill son. The story works well on that level, and the acting is certainly passable enough to be entertaining.
Even more fascinating when one realizes that this is a retelling of the historical plot of the fall of the Czar of Russia! In history, Nicholas (Nicky in this film) and Alexandra (Sandy) had and extremely ill son, Alexander (Alex) and allowed the "Mad Monk" Gregory Rasputin (Gregory Wolfe) into the family with his promises of a cure for the the boy. Viewed on this level, this interesting enough B-movie become a fascinating study in parallels. Well worth a watch and some time to enjoy!"