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Prince Valiant (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 5 April 1954 (USA)
A young Viking prince strives to become a knight in King Arthur's Court and restore his exiled father to his rightful throne.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on King Features Syndicate's "Prince Valiant" by) (as Harold Foster)
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Cast

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Mary Philips ...
Howard Wendell ...
Morgan Todd
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the land of the Vikings ... into the hearts of millions ...


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prins Valiant  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,970,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the final sword fight between Prince Valiant and the black knight, Valiant swings and hits a wooden chair with his huge sword and doesn't even scratch it. See more »

Quotes

Unnamed Viking: [Boltar is trying to convince his men to rescue Val and his family] But Boltar, we'd die before we'd get through the gates !
Boltar: At least we'd die fighting.
Unnamed Viking: Would you lead the attack ?
Boltar: You will. I'll be inside. I'm the only one here they'll pass through the gates. And I'll take Gorlock. When I get him inside, he'll make his way to the tower. You gather every man. Be armed and ready. And when you see Gorlock wave the torch, attack !
Unnamed Viking: A torch waved from the top of the tower ? What will it mean ?
Boltar: That ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Valient rises above the comic book genre........
1 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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