Home Movies: The Treasure of the Golden Condor
By Kent Jones
A 1953 Technicolor remake of the 1942 Son of Fury, Delmer Daves’ one and only swashbuckler is notable for its storybook charm and visual fluidity, not exactly hallmarks of the genre. The director makes Cornel Wilde somewhat viable in the role of Jean-Paul, who, after years of indentured servitude and the denial of his aristocratic birthright by a devious uncle (George Macready, a little more animated than usual), joins a wily Scottish adventurer (the great Finlay Currie) in a search for ancient treasure. Daves transposes the action of the original Edison Marshall novel from London to pre-revolutionary Paris and from the South Seas to Central America, and the Guatemalan location shooting in the film’s central section, its presumable raison d’être for Daves and for Fox, is as wondrous as its surrounding context is adolescent and shopworn. Broken Arrow it ain’t, but it is Daves.