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Prince Valiant (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 5 April 1954 (USA)
2:54 | Trailer

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A young Viking prince strives to become a knight in King Arthur's Court and restore his exiled father to his rightful throne.



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



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Complete credited cast:
Mary Philips ...
Howard Wendell ...
Morgan Todd


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


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


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prins Valiant  »

Box Office


$2,970,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alnwick Castle in Northumberland served as Camelot in all of the panoramic CinemaScope shots, while Warwick Castle was used for the main gate and courtyard. Although Alnwick is made of brown sandstone, and Warwick pale gray granite, carefully placed cameras, use of filters and post production color timing masked the difference in hues. See more »


In the scene where Valiant spies on the black knight and the viking chief on the beach, the black knight's visor is open when he's seen from behind, yet closed when we cut to a shot of him seen from in front, then open again in the very next shot from behind. See more »


Patriarch: [Holding up cross] By this sign shall ye conquer.
[Crowd repeats his words]
Boltar: Signs won't conquer Sligon !
Unnamed Viking: Boltar !
Boltar: I mean it, brothers. Words won't save our king.
Patriarch: We must trust in our Lord and keep the faith.
Boltar: Would there be any Christian faith if our people had never fought for it ? The Lord helps those who help themselves !
See more »


Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Exuberant Camelot/Viking Adventure a Great Family Film...
20 November 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

There is such a sense of childlike wonder and fun in Henry Hathaway's 1954 Camelot tale, PRINCE VALIANT, that it's easy to forgive the obvious incongruities in accents (Robert Wagner's broad American tones...hard to believe he plays Donald Crisp's son...Sterling Hayden, looking and sounding more like Wild Bill Hickok than Sir Gawain...Victor McLaglen as the most Irish Viking you'll ever see!), and concentrate, instead, on the energy, pageantry, and sweep of the adaptation of Hal Foster's classic comic strip.

Certainly, one would be hard-pressed to assemble a finer cast; in addition to Wagner, Hayden, McLaglen, and Crisp, you have James Mason as the villain, Sir Brack, dazzling, and far more believable than he had been as Rupert of Hentzau in MGM's remake of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA; Janet Leigh and Debra Paget, both ethereally beautiful as the sisters, Aleta and Ilene; and Brian Aherne, as King Arthur, so perfect in the role that you wish his part had been larger.

In the early 1950s, there was a resurgence of swashbuckling films in Hollywood, and a new sub-category appeared, 'Knights in Training', with Fox's PRINCE VALIANT, and Universal's THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH (starring Tony Curtis) both devoting ample screen time to the education of squires in the knightly skills of jousting and sword fighting. These scenes are great fun to watch, particularly for children (knights had to go to school, too!), and paint a far more accurate picture of the difficult work involved in mastering the required talents than did the recent film, A KNIGHT's TALE.

As we follow the adventures of the Viking Prince as he restores his kingdom, finds love, and wins a place at the Round Table, special credit must be given to Franz Waxman's spectacular music. One of the most memorable scores ever produced for a film, the theme has become a staple at the Hollywood Bowl, and for the Boston Pops. Once heard, it is not forgotten!

While the magical elements of the story are downplayed (the mystical powers of the 'Singing Sword' are more implied than actually shown), the story itself has such a sense of wonder that it isn't missed. The heroes of Camelot are all present (Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Gawain, and Galahad), and the Round Table scenes are as majestic as any film has ever accomplished.

PRINCE VALIANT may not be in a league with EXCALIBUR, but it certainly holds it's own against KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, CAMELOT, and FIRST KNIGHT, and as a family film it can't be beat!

16 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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