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In 1465 Quentin Durwood travels to France to meet Isabelle, Countess of Marcroy, on behalf of his elderly Scottish uncle whom, for political reasons, the Duke of Burgundy intends she marry. A man of honour who may have sworn too many oaths, Durward finds he and Isabelle being used as pawns in a deadly game by the Duke and devious King Louis XI. One look at Isabelle has convinced Durward this is where he and his heart have to be. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
I have perhaps sworn too many oaths in my time. My life grows complicated.
The Adventures of Quentin Durward is directed by Richard Thorpe and adapted to screenplay by Robert Ardrey and George Froeschel from the Walter Scott novel. It stars Robert Taylor, Kay Kendall, Robert Morley, George Cole and Alec Clunes.Music is by Bronislau Kaper and Eastman cinematography by Christopher Challis.
"Our story begins in Scotland in 1465~~when knighthood was a drooping blossom~~but the Scot, as usual, was poor in naught but cash."
So it begins, the tale of Quentin Durward (Taylor), who travels to France to find out if the Countess of Marcroy (Kendall) will make for a suitable bride for his aging uncle. Once there, though, Durward gets wrapped up in the political shenanigans of King Louis XI (Morley) and the Duke of Burgundy (Clunes). More pressing, mind, is that the Countess and Durward are attracted to each other.
The third part of an unofficial swashbuckling trilogy made by Richard Thorpe and Robert Taylor, Quentin Durward comes out after Ivanhoe (1952) & Knights of the Round Table (1953). Out of MGM's British studio at Elstree, film is delightful in period flavours and potent as a costume romance, but sadly lacking in vigorous wonders. The weakest of the three Thorpe/Taylor swashers, picture often has tongue planted firmly in cheek as it unfolds its story amongst some marvellous French and English locales. Cast are good value, especially the likes of Morley & Clunes, but Taylor at 44 is a bit long in the tooth to be entirely convincing in the derring-do department.
Good honest fun in the main, if a little too plodding in patches, but a climatic bell tower duel played out on swinging ropes is alone worth viewing the film for. 6/10
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