Ronald Lewis and Oliver Reed in The Brigand of Kandahar (1965)

A Hammer in Kandahar

Having returned to base and informed his seniors of another soldier's death Lt. Case (Ronald Lewis), a mixed race soldier, finds himself charged with cowardice thanks to the estranged husband of Elsa (Katherine Woodville) who Case has been having an affair with. Fortunately for Case his man helps him escape from the military jail and takes him to where he meets a bunch of rebels lead by Ali Khan (Oliver Reed), joining forces so to exact revenge on those who would persecute him. But as time passes Case realises that both Khan and his sister Ratina (Yvonne Romain) are uncontrollably dangerous.

I don't know what it is about Hammer movies as there are many who love them but no matter how much I try their movies tend to disappoint me. And it is not just their classic horror movies as the Hammer excursions into other cinematic genres rarely succeed in entertaining me any better. Now in fairness disappoint may be a bit strong as many a Hammer movie remain watchable it's just that they do little to fill me with the excitement I hope for and rarely do they make me think I must watch that again. All of which is how I feel about "The Brigand of Kandahar" a forgettably generic drama from Hammer.

Trying to put my finger on what it specifically is which lets "The Brigand of Kandahar" down is not that simple as it is a combination of things. There are the sets which go from looking flimsy to looking over dressed whilst the location shots look like the Hammer production team have taken a small vacation from their Elstree base and headed to Wales to use their mountains. Then there is the acting and whilst Ronald Lewis has a touch of the Flynn about him he is unable to bring any real energy or personality to the character of Lt. Case. In fairness Oliver Reed is not much better as the evil Ali Khan and as for Yvonne Romain well you spend more time noticing how well her costume fits her. I could go on because then there are the costumes with this being a movie from the time when miraculously a soldier can do battle in the dusty heat and yet their clothes remain clean and smart.

What this all boils down to is that "The Brigand of Kandahar" did little for me and whilst by no means a terrible movie it is one which I would guess would work better for those who have some rose tinted memory of watching it from when they were younger.