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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 »
When the Earl of Mackworth reveals his plot to Myles, he says the lands that should have belonged to him and his sister were given to the Earl of Alban. According to English law of the day, only sons could inherit, unless there were none living. Lord Mackworth would never suggest that Meg could inherit the family's estate during Myles' lifetime. 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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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.
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