Ivanhoe, a worthy and noble knight, the champion of justice returns to England after the holy wars. He finds England under the reign of Prince John and his henchmen and finds himself being ... See full summary »
A rich, young beauty, Louise Durant, follows the man she loves and hopes to marry to Zurich where he studies violin at the conservatory. A piano student at the conservatory falls madly in ... See full summary »
In 1796, Captain George Brummell of the 10th Royal Hussars Regiment offends the Prince of Wales with his straightforward outspokenness and gets fired from the army but is chosen as the Prince's personal advisor.
In the centre of this Walter Scott classic fiction inspired film the chivalrousness and the daring stand. Ivanhoe, the disowned knight join to the bravehearted and high-minded Robin Hood, the valiant of Forest Sherwood. They want King Richard to rule the kingdom instead of evil Prince John. Written by
Kornel Osvart <email@example.com>
In the final sequence, apparently Cedric is able to go to Austria and the king is able to reach England in the same time as it takes for Ivanhoe to ride to the court, perhaps a few days. (In fact, when Ivanhoe announces Rebecca's location to her father, he states Isaac has 40 days to ransom her or she will be tried as a witch. The trial takes place after the 40 days have expired and the combat at Ashby is held 3 days later, giving Cedric at least 43 days to reach Austria, ransom Richard, and return to England.) See more »
The difficulty with bringing a piece of revered literature to the big screen has more to do with pleasing the fans of the work than in making a pleasing movie. Those who hold Walter Scott's classic "Ivanhoe" in high esteem will deem any adaptation to a largely visual medium unworthy no matter how much care and devotion are given to visualizing the original source.
This version of "Ivanhoe" holds up well and remains one of the more realistic films dealing with the myth, legends, and pomp of the High Middle Ages. The pictorial representation of Judaism at a time of wide-spread persecution of that religion throughout Europe by Christians who continually used the Jews as scapegoats was noble indeed for 1952, the height of the McCarthy witch hunts. The audience of the day undoubtedly overlooked this point when Rebecca is accused of witchcraft in order to insure conformity and stifle opposition to Prince John's tyrannical rule of England in King Richard's absence.
From a historical perspective, this film is about as accurate as any of the numerous Robin Hood tales prevalent at the time in the movies and on TV. Ivanhoe's father is correct when he remarks that Richard would be no better than John as far as the Saxons were concerned. Both Richard and John were ineffectual rulers. Prince John (later King John) has received a bad press as a result of the lionization of Richard the Lionheart. At least John stayed home and attempted to rule England; whereas, Richard was always traipsing about Europe and the Near East on a Crusade or leading his knights in battle mainly for personal gain. His ransom as a result of falling into the hands of the Germans was costly for his realm. Neither Richard or John was the skilled administrator their father, Henry II, proved to be, one of England's greatest monarchs. Neither inherited the diplomatic skills of their mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the great women leaders in western civilization.
The division between the Saxons and Normans as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066 is at the crux of the story, Ivanhoe being Saxon, the royal family being Norman, descended from William the Conqueror. Nothing is said about those who lived on the British Isles before either the Saxons or the Normans, the Celts first, then the conquering Romans.
A highlight of "Ivanhoe" is the jousting tournament, leading to rivalry between Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor) and Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert (George Sanders), a rivalry that extends to winning the hand and heart of Rebecca. The alluring nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor who portrays Rebecca is at the peak of her beauty and loveliness. George Sanders and Robert Taylor were much older than Elizabeth at the time. Taylor was uncomfortable making love, even on celluloid, to one so young, especially since he recalled her as a child in the early days of his movie career.
The brilliant Technicolor cinematography is bewitching even by today's standards. Adding to the eye-catching color are the action scenes, especially toward the end of the movie. The besieging of the castle is directed with élan by Richard Thorpe, who learned his trade well from directing action packed B films.
The acting is top notch throughout with Guy Rolfe as the loathsome Prince John stealing every scene he's in. The weakest is Emlyn Williams who plays Wamba (a chattel who becomes Ivanhoe's Squire). Wamba apparently is supposed to supply comic relief and is given some good lines by the writers, but Williams tends to overplay the part to the extent that at times the character becomes an obnoxious loudmouth.
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