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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 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
This was Universal-International's first feature in CinemaScope. See more »
During the final battle, Myles gets a number of scuff marks on his shield from deflecting his enemy's mace blows. These damage marks appear and disappear between shots. See more »
[Sir James instructs Myles to ride a horse among a series of pells - upright supports - with his hands over his head. When he fails, he complains to Sir James that he cannot control the horse]
How is the horse supposed to know, unless he has more sense than I?
A possibility not so remote as you might imagine.
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Instead of trying to portray real historical events, Hollywood instead opts for a fictitious story set in the England of Henry IV. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Unusually for Hollywood, they actually make an effort to get things right historically, and broadswords are used as broadswords and not as rapiers. The weaponry and military techniques are pretty OK for a Hollywood film, and are, on the whole, accurate.
The fight sequences are very exciting and, along with the training methods, are probably the best bits of the film.
As to Tony Curtis's accent. Well, we have in Geoffrey Chaucer an authentic idea of what the English language in London was like in the early 15th century. It is ridiculous to write the script in Chaucerian English - not if you want to fill the cinemas, at any rate. Compare Tony Curtis in Black Shield with Olivier in Henry V. Is Olivier's accent any more correct or authentic? This is not the deepest film ever made, but there is plenty to enjoy about it.
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