The Lady and the Highwayman, produced by Lew Grade as part of a series of Barbara Cartland dramatizations in 1987, contains all the ingredients that made her unique style of romantic fiction so successful. The highwayman ... more »in question, known as Silver Blade, is actually an aristocratic outlaw played by a youthful Hugh Grant in a bouffant mullet wig. The lady is Panthea (Lysette Anthony), delicate but firm of purpose, who knows her man when she sees him. It's Restoration England, so the frocks are fabulous. But Cartland's pretensions to historical accuracy evaporate when she makes Charles II's mistress, Barbara Castlemaine (Dynasty's Emma Samms), the villainess of the piece. From there, it's a freewheeling ride of Robin Hood-inspired philanthropy, duplicitous cousins, and some uncomfortably fetishistic shots of the rituals and instruments of execution, although everybody is rescued in time for the romantic soft-focus finale. Full of splendidly self-indulgent performances from the likes of Claire Bloom, John Mills, and Michael York, The Lady and the Highwayman is a feast of thespian ham. Somehow, the cast triumph over the banality of the basic material. --Piers Ford« less
Misty C. from MARSHALL, AK Reviewed on 8/10/2013...
The DVD quality is very poor, it is like a badly worn VHS tape. It is out of focus and has lots of static. Lots of great costuming, but totally smaltzie storyline.
Aimee M. (AimeeM) Reviewed on 3/3/2008...
Yes, this movie is as corny as it looks.
The acting is LAME (I think Hugh Grant was just getting into the whole acting scheme) the storyline is VERY predictable, and it looks like an editing job I could do! :)
The Dialog will either annoy you, or make you bust up laughing.
If you just want to watch a lame, sappy movie to laugh at, then you'll like it! I thought it was funny anyway! :)
Parents should know that there are SOME sexual references. The king has a "mistress" etc. And in one scene a dog is murdered. Of course you don't see anything, but there is plenty of high-pitched obnoxious screaming.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
First Hugh Grant movie I ever saw!
Barbara Farr Kelley | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw this movie, it was on a TV movie of the week, I believe on a Sunday night. I did not get in on the names of who was in it, and I wondered who that great looking, gorgeous man was who played Lucias. Well, many years later I'm watching another movie with this great looking, gorgeous man in it and find out his name is Hugh Grant. The man is a great actor.The story is a romance set back in the days of King Charles II of England. Hugh Grant was, of course, the hero of the story. The heroine of the story, I cannot remember her real name, played Panthea Vine, the damsel in distress, who is saved by the highwayman (Hugh Grant). He takes her back to her home after killing the man who forced her to marry him. He knew the way to her home without her telling him. She later realizes this must be her cousin Lucias who is suspected of being the legendary "Silver Blade".This movie has its group of meanies, too. Emma Samms is a spoiled, egotistical, but beautiful woman who wants Lucias. He turns her down right away, which really ticks her off. Another meanie is Oliver Reed who plays Cromwell, a well known buzzard back in that time in history.My brother thought he wasn't going to like this movie, but when he got into it he couldn't leave it. He jumped right up out of his seat when he thought the jailers were going to chop of Panthea's head with an ax.This is a great movie and everyone who loves romance should get it. By the way, did I tell you it is based on a Barbara Cartland novel? The same Barbara Cartland who has written over 600 romance novels."
Leave this Lady on the Highway
icefox | Colorado | 01/31/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was one huge disappointment from beginning to end.Firstly, I bought the DVD. Big mistake. The transfer was by far the worst I've ever seen and I've watched hundreds of DVDs. It actually looked worse than what I can get when taping something off of regular network television using the EP setting on my VCR. Not only was the whole thing blurry beyond belief, several scenes shake like crazy and through the middle of many of the scenes there were video tracking lines like you'd see on a over used low grade VHS tape. Which is what this transfer was probably taken from. The low list price might have prepared me for the lack of quality of the menu, but for it to be of a better image quality than the movie itself was a bit of a surprise.Secondly, the movie itself was awful. I love a good period piece movie and I really wanted to like this one despite my misgivings as to where it got it's plot line (although I like an occasional historical romance book, I'm not a fan of Cartland). But there was just nothing to like here. The story was ridiculous, the dialog was atrocious and the acting was just plain bad. Something that I'm at a loss to explain with all the known talent that was in this movie. I'm sure I can't imagine what the director must have been doing to get such a lousy end product.At first I wanted to give this movie/DVD zero stars, but since I could only go as low as one star I did manage to find one good thing to justify that star. The costumes were wonderful.Fair warning: If you're thinking about seeing this movie solely because you're a fan of Hugh Grant, you can forget it. He barely strings 10 words together in two scenes and two words together in 10 other scenes. He's just not the major character in this movie that he's made out to be by the cover of the DVD."
"Keep your eyes to the front you lecherous little dwarf!"
CodeMaster Talon | Orlando, FL United States | 11/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful '80's cheesfest features Emma Samms, Lysette Anthony, and Hugh Grant, speaking in a very weird, strangled manner that is apparently meant to be sexy.
Based on a novel by the immortal Barbara Cartland, the story follows the insipid adventures of the equally insipid Panthea Vine, orphaned heiress and milk sop extraordinaire. We watch as she endures a VERY quick marriage to an evil tax collector (about half hour before he is fortuitously disposed of), meets the hunky, Robin Hood-esque Silver Blade ("Thank you, thank you, Silver Blade!"), prances around the court of King Charles II, makes a powerful enemy (Samms, paying the rent), solves a family mystery and finally winds up fending for her life while being tried for treason.
It's all very silly, and highly entertaining if you're in the proper frame of mind. Other reviewers mention the hammy acting and ridiculous dialogue, but for me that's part of the fun. Rent it if you like costume romances, enjoy laughing at bad movies, or want to feel superior to the bunch of hapless Hollywood stars forced to say things like "My lord Chancellor is like all you men, simply a big belly surrounded by self-esteem!"
If you do see it, watch for the moment when Silver Blade challenges Panthea's husband to a duel. "But he's one of best swordsmen in England!" she cries. "I know that," he replies after a decidedly uncomfortable pause. Priceless. GRADE: C+/B-"
A nice adaptation of one of Barbara Cartland's stories.
Panthea Vyne | California | 02/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll be honest... You'll either like it or hate it! I happened to really like it. One thing viewers/readers need to keep in mind is that there were several video and two DVD releases of this movie. I own several releases and depending on which you buy, the picture and sound quality varies. In some cases, the DVD transfers are worse than some VHS releases. Remember though that this was made in Britain and unfortunately they did not do a good, quality filming. Even when it was shown on television back in the 80s, the picture was lousy. One release of the film that I found had pretty good sound and picture quality, plus I even saw scenes that I hadn't seen before! If you can get past all that, it's a pretty good story!Another thing people need to realize about Barbara Cartland stories, as this movie was based on one of her hundreds of books, is that they are "light romances". Not heavy, trashy, gothics. I think of them as being more of an adventure that happens to always have a boy-meets-girl (or lady meets Duke) sub-plot.So you put all that together and you get a pretty good swashbuckler romance. It's not the greatest, but I've certainly seen worse. If you're a Hugh Grant fan, this is one of those rare glimpses of him before he made it to Hollywood. It's a serious role and I'm not comparing it to "Sense and Sensibility"! I laughed out of embarassment at his role as Edward in that film. But here he plays a highwayman who saves a damsel in distress. Lots of famous faces make appearances in this made-for-TV movie, plus there is a lot of sword play, beautiful costumes, and a 'Robin Hood' theme about it. The location filming is wonderful... Lots of English manors and coutryside! Give this one a try! It's well worth it!"
What a waste of talent
teklah | the Desert Southwest | 09/14/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I could not believe that with such a great cast list I could be so totally bored! There is not a single rectifying statement I can make about this film. Oliver Reed, Michael York and John Mills - acting greats, all - are totally wasted in this venture into Cartland insipidity. The dialogue and "action" are filled with cliches, and there could not be a flatter relationship than that between Grant and Anthony - not one spark! Don't waste your time and money."