While calling this a 'Swashbuckler' collection is misleading (these aren't the swordfighting, acrobatic adventures synonymous with Fairbanks, Flynn, Lancaster, or even Power, in "The Mark of Zorro"), these are vastly entertaining films, and Tyrone Power is always a joy of watch!
The oldest of the films, "Blood and Sand", is the strangest entry of the collection; while the other films are historical epics, this technicolor morality tale, told in a bullfight saga, was released in pre-WWII 1941. A remake of Rudolph Valentino's 1922 silent classic, Power is the fearless matador loved by sweet Linda Darnell, but corrupted by sophisticated vixen Rita Hayworth (being groomed for stardom at the time). The fun of this film isn't so much the drama, however, as the beauty of Power and Hayworth, and a fabulous supporting cast, including Anthony Quinn, Laird Cregar, and John Carradine; watch for future 'Superman' George Reeves in a small role!
"Son of Fury" (1942) is best-known as the film that helped launch Gene Tierney's career, and the sad swansong of Frances Farmer's attempted comeback, but it is closer in spirit to "Anthony Adverse" than swashbuckler. Supposedly illegitimate Power is abused by sadistic uncle George Sanders, and flees to the South Seas to gain the wealth to contest his status, falling for island girl Tierney. Don't miss the climactic fistfight between Power and Sanders; it's nearly as spectacular as the Wayne/Scott brawl in "The Spoilers"!
The end of WWII brought a new 'consciousness' to historical epics, and Power's films would be among the best, marred only by some poorly-cast leading ladies. "Captain from Castile" (1947) offered the one exception, sultry Jean Peters; while the concept was similar to "Son of Fury" (hero goes overseas...Mexico, this time...seeking fortune and fame to clear name), the film benefits from breathtaking Technicolor Mexican locations (watch for the active volcanoes!), a first-rate cast, including Cesar Romero (fabulous as Cortez), and Alfred Newman's unforgettable score. "Prince of Foxes" (1949), first of two Power teamings with Orson Welles, is one of Hollywood's first 'intellectual' epics; In 16th certury Italy, a pretender (Power), gains the confidence of legendary Cesare Borgia (Welles), who uses Power's wiles to win cities in his plan to conquer and unite Italy. Unfortunately, conscience (in the form of miscast Wanda Hendrix), would get in the way! "The Black Rose" (1950), set in 13th century Britain, completes the collection; again, Power goes to foreign lands (this time, China) to win a fortune, and save his Saxon family's estate and honor, accompanied by loyal Jack Hawkins (who nearly steals the film). He enters the service of exotic General Bayan (Welles), and wins the heart of captive Cecile Aubry (easily the worst of Power's leading ladies), bringing China's wonders back to the West. Produced in England, on a smaller budget, the film lacks the 'sweep' of the other titles, and Power (at 36) is getting a bit old to be playing youths, but it is still entertaining!
For Tyrone Power's many fans (including me), finally seeing these titles on DVD is a cause to celebrate, and one hopes that more of his film work will soon be available!