Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

In director Michael Curtiz' stirring war-adventure epic film inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson's epic poem of the 1856 battle in the Crimean War ("one of the most distinguished events in history conspicuous for sheer valor"):

  • the gallant character of Major Geoffrey Vickers (Errol Flynn) - a dedicated officer in the British Army (the 27th Bengal Lancers) stationed in India during the mid 19th Century, who saved the life of local Amir Surat Khan (C. Henry Gordon) of Suristan during a leopard hunt
  • the love triangle between Major Vickers, Geoffrey's fiancee Elsa Campbell (Olivia de Havilland, in her 2nd of 8 films with Flynn), and his impulsive younger brother Captain Perry Vickers (Patric Knowles)
  • Vickers' words of encouragement to his men before leading the "charge of the light brigade" against Khan's stronghold near Balaklava in 1856: ("Surat Khan is on the field with the opposing Russian forces. The same Surat Khan who massacred the women and children of Chukoti. Our chance has come! Show no mercy! Let no power on Earth stop you! Prove to the world that no man could kill women and children and live to boast of it! Men of the Twenty-Seventh. Our objective is Surat Khan! Forward!")
  • the famous, suicidally-doomed death charge - with Max Steiner's four-beat bass changing in tempo with the pace of the charge and its fatal aftermath (for both dozens of horses and six hundred Lancers in the Light Brigade), when Khan and Vickers were killed in the attack (when shot and mortally wounded on his horse by Khan, Vickers threw a spear and impaled the evil ruler in the chest, and while dying, watched as others threw spears into the Khan's body)
The Deadly Charge of the Light Brigade

Major Geoffrey Vickers (Errol Flynn)

Elsa Campbell
(Olivia de Havilland)


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