The film that sank Goldcrest, and almost ruined the careers of Al Pacino and Nastassja Kinski... The plot was a muddle, and the characterisations cardboard implausibilities. It attracted opprobrium in the US for hinting at commercial self-interest among the Rebels. If anything - this was a co-production - British/Canadian audiences had more reason for annoyance.

The Redcoats were depicted as affected sadists (Steve Berkoff) and/or pursuers of small boys (Donald Sutherland - bizarrely, about the most convincing performance, as the tough sergeant with a soft spot for his drummer), and Loyalists as venal, grasping merchants. As to the central romance, between New York Loyalist's daughter Daisy McConachy (Nastassja Kinski) and Tom, the grizzled trapper (Al Pacino) - it strained credulity. I know 18C people were more tolerant of unpleasant odours than we are, but a well-scrubbed and elegant New York lady is unlikely to have been so enamoured of the smell of rancid bear-grease and various pelts...!

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