One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a local bridge. She is rescued and taken ... See full summary »
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>
Anyone looking for insightful commentary on the human condition in a movie should avoid "Quentin Durward." Robert Taylor plays Durward, a poor knight out of place in his time, as he acknowledges to his uncle at the movie's start. Once the story preliminaries are over, Taylor goes on his mission to France, where everyone is against him, including Count de la Mark, the Beast of the Ardennes.
"Quentin Durward" has great castle background shots, great photography and pretty good action. Robert Morley's well fed appearance softens his role, a king who cheerfully sells everyone out, causing death and terror. In "Quentin Durward", life is cheap and death often comes in a grim manner. Without giving away the plot, there are a lot of peripheral characters who get messed up along the way. There are no big scale castle sieges like Ivanhoe, just the aftermath after de la Mark takes over the castle of the Bishop of Liege. The costumed characters in "Quentin Durward" have real problems, such as Kay Kendall's character, who is being forced into a marriage she doesn't want. Money, land and power are the driving forces of the bad guys (which would include de la Mark, Morley's Louis XI and even Durward's uncle).
In 1955, if MGM made a movie about crooked real estate speculators trying to rob a young woman of her inheritance, no one would pay to see the movie. Instead, MGM brings out the costumes, the great production values and a script tailored for Robert Taylor, including some snippy remarks, set in 15th century France.
Moviegoers in 1955 waiting for Robert Taylor to appear in his next MGM costume action movie were like the character in "Waiting for Godot." "Quentin Durward" was the end of a line of historical movies that MGM started 30 years earlier, with "Ben-Hur."
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