Saladin, ruler of the kingdoms surrounding the Latin state of Jerusalem, is brought to attack the Christians in the Holy Land by the sacking of a convoy of Muslim pilgrims, a group which ... See full summary »
Mohamed Abdel Gawad,
Tewfik El Dekn
Matt Denant, ex-RAF flier, sentenced to three years in Dartmoor for striking and accidentally killing a detective who was attempting to arrest a lady of the evening to whom Denant had been ... See full synopsis »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
In 1191, King Richard the Lionhearted, along with several other European monarchs, is in the Holy Land intent on retaking Jerusalem from the Saracens. There is much infighting and outright treachery in the European encampment encampment however. Two nobles in particular, Sir Giles Amaury and Conrad of Montferrat, want to eliminate the English king and attempt to have him assassinated. Severely wounded and on his death bed, Richard is brought back to health by a Saracen doctor recruited by one of his loyal knights, Sir Kenneth of the Leopard. The king recovers from his wounds but when he hears that Sir Lawrence wishes to marry Lady Edith Plantagenet, the knight is banished only to be taken in by the very doctor who treated the king and who has an altogether different identity. Written by
The film invents a military order of "Castelaines" or "Castlers", of which Sir Giles (Robert Douglas) is the Master. In the source novel, these characters are Knights Templar, whom Sir Walter Scott invariably depicted as villains. It is unclear whether the change was made because of the Production Code (Templars were a monastic order, so hostile depictions might fall under the rules against negative depictions of clergy), or to avoid upsetting the Masonic Knights Templar, of which a number of distinguished Hollywood figures were members. See more »
Much of the heraldry depicted is incorrect. The arms of Montferrat are argent, a chief gules (white or silver, with a red band at the top), not the fanciful design with fleurs-de-lys depicted in the film. See more »
Hollywood was in the business of producing entertainment and not necessarily historical documentaries. I consider this film to be a very good action-packed movie, the kind we would expect when going to the movies on a Saturday night when we were younger. It's just great sitting through this one.
I like George Sanders in this role as he has more scope here as Richard the Lionhearted, and at least he isn't a cad or the usual bad character as in most of the other films he's done, so it's a nice change.
Laurence Harvey is just fine as Sir Kenneth, the loyal Scotsman, and portraying a Scot he displays their usual staunch reserve by nature, quite in character I thought.
Of course Rex Harrison as Saladin is the master showman here, wily and filled with crafty schemes, at the beginning he manages to work his way into his enemies' camp, in the guise of a physician sent there by Saladin to treat Richard's wound as he has been laid low by a poisoned arrow shot at him. Luckily he survives.
Lovely Virginia Mayo lights up the screen in my view with her exquisite beauty and although she doesn't have a really fulfilling role, her portrayal of Lady Edith is well done.
It's good entertainment with lots of action and should be appreciated as such. I'm glad to add it to my collection.
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