The Third Crusade as it didn't happen. King Richard Coeur de Lion goes on the crusade to avoid marrying Princess Alice of France; en route, he marries Berengaria to get food for his men. Berengaria.is captured by Saladin, spurring Richard to attack and capture Acre. But Saladin, attracted to her, takes her on to Jerusalem, and Richard is in danger of assassination. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Stuntman Jack Montgomery, who played a Christian cavalryman in the film, recalled in an interview the tension that existed between director Cecil B. DeMille and the dozens of stuntmen hired to do the battle scenes. The stuntmen resented what they saw as DeMille's cavalier attitude about safety, especially as several stuntmen had been injured, and several horses had been killed, because of what the stuntmen perceived as DeMille's indifference. At one point DeMille was standing on the parapets of the castle, yelling through his megaphone at the "combatants" gathered below. One of them, who had been hired for his expertise at archery, finally tired of DeMille's screaming at them, notched an arrow into his bow and fired it at DeMille's megaphone, the arrow embedding itself into the megaphone just inches from DeMille's head. DeMille quickly left the set and didn't come back for the rest of the day. For the rest of the picture, he never yelled at the stuntmen again. See more »
Marriage by token was an actual custom used by royalty. It permitted the marriage of couples, often only children, in widely separated countries. It would not have been considered proper with the individuals located as close as shown in the movie. See more »
The name De Mille evokes big sets, big costumes and bigger action and Crusades was his follow up to his earlier take on Christian oration from the scandalous - in a good way - Sign of the cross. Henry Wilcoxson, his Marc Anthony of Cleopatra and the always beautiful Loretta Young team up in this extravagant epic. King Richard the Lionheart is not a Christian and is not faithful to the ways of the sign of the cross but to escape a forced marriage he signs up for the Crusades to free the holy city of Jerusalem. Of course, there is scheming behind his back to seize his throne while he is gone. Along the way he trades for a wife, Loretta and haggles and argues with his other European leaders. Now, it has often not be said for it is almost as if De Mille build big sets and big stories to tell little moments for all his excess, his movies are ridiculously dialogue driven, even by the standards of the other expensive blockbuster-type movies made back then. De Mille loved dialogue scenes and focusing on character. Very strange. And this movie is really a politics and character movie as the future of Europe is argued and royal pompous exposed. The action sequences are obvious studio sets but well shot. The final moments have good heart that is not forced but earned. Thus, is this a good movie. It is hard to say because for every good scene there is a juvenile scene obviously put in to satiate the masses. Good direction though, very good direction. That said, Crusades lost money when first released, if you only look at its Domestic boxoffice rentals but was the biggest grossing movie of its year.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?