Black Rose, The (1950): Tyrone Power in Sweeping Adventure

This almost-sweeping historical adventure is one of Tyrone Power’s best and most commercial movies.

A star vehicle designed as a follow-up to Prince of Foxes, the movie reunites the first picture’s two stars, Power and Orson Welles.
Powers plays Walter of Gurnie, the thirteenth century Saxon nobleman, who is ostracized for heading a rebellion against King Edward (Michael Rennie).

After the failed revolt, he sets out to seek his fortune in the Far East. In the company of his friend Tristam (Jack Hawkins), Walter meets the powerful North African warlord Bayan (Orson Welles).

Walter and Tristam arrive in China, only to escape from their hosts and return to their native country. Though formerly renounced by King Edward, Walter is welcomed back because of the cultural and scientific innovations he has brought from China
The title’s Black Rose is Maryam (Cecile Aubrey), Walter’s love object while both were prisoners.

But, alas, Tyrone Power is not Errol Flynn, and the whole film lacks the spectacular swashbuckling of the latter’s good epics in the 1930s and 1940s.

Even so, it’s an enjoyable film, largely due to Henry Hathaway’s skillful direction and the lavish production values, especially Color Cinematography (by ace lenser Jack Cardiff, who later became a director) and Color Costume Design, which was Oscar-nominated.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Color Costume Design for Michael Whittaker

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Color Costume Design Oscar went to the team of “Samson and Delilah,” designed by Edith Head and Dorothy Jeakins.


Running time: 120 Minutes.
Directed By: Henry Hathaway
Tyrone Power as Walter of Gurnie
Orson Welles as Bayan
Jack Hawkins as Tristram Griffin
Michael Rennie as Edward I Longshanks
Finlay Currie as Alfgar
Herbert Lom as Anthemus
Mary Clare as Countess Eleanor
Laurence Harvey as Edmond
Alfonso Bedoya as Lu Chung
Cécile Aubrey as Maryam
Gibb McLaughlin as Wilderkin