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In 11th-century England, King Edward the Confessor wants saxon Lord Leofric to marry a despised Norman woman, and has him jailed when he refuses. In jail, he meets Godiva, the sheriff's daughter, and soon they are wed. The times are turbulent and Godiva proves a militant bride; unhistorically, unrest between the Anglo-Saxon populace and the increasingly influential Norman French lead to her famous ride. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Leofric, I once told you that I was not given to vapours or fainting. But if you'll allow me just this one faint, I'm sure that the King will forgive our absence.
[moans and pretends to faint]
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The opening credits appear on the background of a medieval style picture of a nun leading the horse ridden by the naked Godiva, covered only by her long hair, through town. See more »
That's what I found myself yelling at the screen every time leading lady Maureen O'Hara got feisty, which was pretty much every scene she was in. It seems that this Saxon lass can toss a heavy tree log onto a fire without effort, and slap strong men, leaving not only their pride bruised, but their faces as well. It's a battle of the sexes, as well as the Saxons and Normans, when Saxon Lord George Nader weds feisty lass Godiva (O'Hara) and finds that she stands up to him on every level. This is no normal middle-ages woman, as Godiva is beyond feisty, yet compassionate. She demands to be treated as an equal, not asking for more or less. This makes O'Hara always delightfully likable, while Nader can't help but be amused in this age of cod-pieced men.
While the first half is a variation of "Taming of the Shrew", the second half is a political thriller of the conflicts of the Saxons and Normans which ends with Godiva's famous ride. The film's theme goes from lighthearted to serious. Overall, the film is pure entertainment, with a great leading lady, sumptuous photography, and a lot of fun. Probably historically inaccurate, it's still a step above the campiness of Universal's Maria Montez series which Ms. O'Hara took over and turned into a classier act.
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