Technicolor and tights. In the days of King Henry IV, stalwart young Myles of Crisby Dale, and his sister Meg, have been raised as peasants, without any knowledge of their father's true ... See full summary »
In a time now lost in the mists of memory, the great King Arthur rules in the legendary citadel that is Camelot. His Knights of the Round Table commit acts of derring-do and spend their ... See full summary »
The last eighteen years in the life of Jesse James, showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders, his career of banditry with his brother Frank and the ... See full summary »
Young Prince Valiant, son of the exiled King of Scandia, journeys to Camelot to become a knight at King Arthur's Round Table. He hopes to help his father reclaim his throne from the pagan Viking usurper Sligon and restore the Christian faith to their homeland. On his journey he stumbles upon a mysterious Black Knight plotting with Sligon's representatives to overthrow Arthur. Barely escaping with his life, Valiant encounters Sir Gawain, one of the most illustrious knights of the Round Table, and an old friend of his father's, who tutors the young Viking in the skills needed to be a knight. Valiant and Gawain's pupil-mentor relationship is complicated by their romantic involvement with Princess Aleta and her sister Ilene, daughters of the King of Ord. If Valiant is to restore his father's throne and prevent the coup d'etat against Arthur, he must uncover the true identity of the Black Knight. Written by
The average shot length of this film is about 7 seconds. This is fast for an early CinemaScope film, and is low given the 8 - 11 second average of most Hollywood films made between 1930 and 1960. See more »
As Prince Valiant leaves the Abbey and his parents to go to Camelot, he departs standing upright in a simple "serving tray" shaped boat. As he shakily pushes off from the shore, you can clearly see a pontoon like arrangement hidden under the craft, obviously designed to try to steady it. In later shots, pulled up on shore, it is flat bottomed. See more »
Fifty years ago moviegoers found that Fox's PRINCE VALIENT was much better than expected, thanks to Henry Hathaway's fine direction and a wealth of good sense from 20th Century-Fox. Fox was still well-taken with their new CinemaScope process that just begged for action and beautiful, colorful settings. This movie excels at all, but it's mostly the rock-solid story of King Arthur and the Vikings that makes it.
Screen beauties Janet Leigh and Debra Paget almost never showed any leg in any movie, and herein (sorry) are fully covered as usual. Anyway, it's the men who dominate this story. Robert Wagner is perfect as Valient, and Sterling Hayden is at the top of his form, as is James Mason.
Truth is that in the age of comic book movies (2000-2008) Hollywood's cocaine sniffers have no clue how to craft this genre with any classic quality. The secret is to focus on (1) story, (2) character development, (3) spectacular sets and scenery, (4) challenge, redemption, faith, patriotism. The religion and honor in Prince Valient would make today's godless movie industry cringe.
These days the focus (if any) would be on animation, choppy editing, almost no dialog, and the usual/identical musical score: vim, vim, vim, vim on a violin while a chorus belts out wordless chants. Boring! Thus films like Jerry Bruckheimer's "King Arthur" -- to name just one, is no longer even a memory, let alone a classic.
Treat yourself! Rent "Prince Valient" on DVD.
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