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The Black Shield of Falworth (1954)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, History, Romance  |  2 September 1954 (USA)
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Technicolor & tights. In the days of King Henry IV, stalwart young Myles and his sister Meg have been raised as peasants, without any knowledge of who their father really was. But one day ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gilbert Blunt, Earl of Alban
William, Earl of Mackworth
Torin Thatcher ...
Sir James
Prince Hal (as Daniel O'Herlihy)
Craig Hill ...
Francis Gascoyne
Ian Keith ...
Doris Lloyd ...
Dame Ellen
Diccon Bowman
Leonard Mudie ...
Friar Edward
Maurice Marsac ...
Count de Vermois
Leo Britt ...
Sir Robert


Technicolor & tights. In the days of King Henry IV, stalwart young Myles and his sister Meg have been raised as peasants, without any knowledge of who their father really was. But one day they journey to Macworth castle. There Myles falls in love with the Mackworth's daughter Anne, makes friends and enemies, and learns to be a knight so that, through the planning of Mackworth and his friend, Prince Hal, Myles can regain his true birthright from the evil Albon, and bear the black shield of Falworth. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All the wast pageantry...the towering excitement , the thundering thrills of knighthood's epic age ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der eiserne Ritter von Falworth  »

Box Office


$1,171,750 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(magnetic prints) (Western Electric Recording)| (Perspecta Sound encoding) (optical prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Universal-International's first feature in CinemaScope. See more »


During the trial by combat, Alban strikes Myles with his lance, breaking it. In the next shot, Alban rides away with his lance intact. See more »


Myles Falworth: [after holding a stone in his outstretched arm for a long length of time] My arm feels as if it shall fall off.
Francis Gascoyne: That's alright, you'll be allowed to use the other.
See more »


Referenced in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown
8 December 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Black Shield of Falworth is the only other story I know that concerns itself with the time of Henry IV. He's played here by Ian Keith and the film like the Shakespeare plays about him concern efforts to topple him from his throne. But other than Prince Hal, played here by Dan O'Herlihy, the rest of the cast are fictional characters from a novel by Howard Pyle.

Young Tony Curtis and his sister Barbara Rush have been raised in the forest by Rhys Williams. They are in fact of noble birth, but Dad was accused of treason, his lands forfeited and his family under a death sentence.

They're sent still unaware of their identity to another nobleman's digs in this case Herbert Marshall's. Curtis trains first as a squire and then a knight by tough drill sergeant man at arms, Torin Thatcher. It's for the day he can challenge villain David Farrar and his equally villainous brother Patrick O'Neal for plotting against his father.

Of course Curtis also falls for his then real life wife Janet Leigh who O'Neal is also interested in.

The Black Shield of Falworth was the first Universal film in cinemascope and Universal was far more interested in the spectacle of the film than the story because they were competing with the small screen that was populating the homes of America. In his memoirs Tony Curtis says that the lack of interest in the story was all apparent, but that he did like working with director Rudolph Mate and his then wife Ms. Leigh.

Favorite in the film however has to be Torin Thatcher. You won't forget this rough and rugged old knight with a Rooster Cogburn eyepatch and a staff to support him walking. Still he's one tough old bird. Coming in second is David Farrar who is plotting to take the throne away from Ian Keith.

Which if you remember your Shakespeare was one that a lot of people felt he usurped from Richard II. So what we're watching The Black Shield of Falworth is just another reason why Ian Keith was not sleeping good at night.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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