The War Lord (1965)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History  |  17 November 1965 (USA)
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A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »


(as Franklin Schaffner)


(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Stockwell ...
Niall MacGinnis ...
Frisian Prince
Sammy Ross ...
John Alderson ...
Dal Jenkins ...
Johnny Jensen ...
Boy Prince


A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the barbarians at the border and is making progress until he falls in love with one of the local women. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Battled Two Empires For The Love Of One Woman. See more »


Drama | History


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Senhor da Guerra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Charlton Heston's published diaries, "Charlton Heston: The Actor's Life; Journals 1956-1976" he wanted Julie Christie to be his co-star, but she was vetoed by the studio. See more »


The War Lord's hawk is a Harpy Eagle, a species recognizable by its dark eyes and crested head. However, Harpy Eagles are from South America, a continent unknown and unreachable for European people in the Middle Age. So, it's impossible for a Middle Age, European Lord to own a bird that comes from South America. See more »


Draco: This place has the dimensions of heresy.
See more »


Referenced in Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A Castle and Some Swampland for Chuck
20 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The War Lord is Chrysagon, as essayed by Charlton Heston, a knight come to a moody medieval place with his retinue to take charge. This is one of Heston's best performances, as he actually loses himself in the role, at least in a few spots, rather than projecting his standard Chuck persona. He's somewhat superstitious, as everyone is during this period, longing for a little love which he never had a chance to have before, and in strange, if expected, competition with his younger brother (Stockwell). The fighting scenes are excellent, a bit ahead of their time, even if they don't seem so now. Back then, having guys clanking swords always carried the same limited appeal, but here there's some nicely energetic choreography, quite complex in places. As someone states near the beginning, the atmosphere has a queer, moody tinge and all the players seem caught in a suffocating tragedy waiting to happen. Director Schaffner, as he would continue in later films, conveys a reality to all the proceedings, despite a rather fantastic setting from our point of view in modern times.

Most of the actors are terrific. Boone is Boone, being his usual tough ornery personality; no one would mess with this guy. Stockwell is tremendous; it's a shame he only appeared in a few more films which no one went to see and faded. He's very intense here, his envy of his brother and coveting his station a palpable energy. Forsyth, the object of Heston's desire, does seem out of place, never really in sync with the rest of the cast. In a way, this works in her character's favor, what with the suggestion of witchery surrounding her. Farentino, in an early role, doesn't get to show much range but what he does show is very effective. You genuinely feel for his plight towards the end due to the strong emotion he projects. In all, this is a smaller-scale epic than what one is used to from Chuck ("El Cid" and "Ben Hur" for example) but the almost intimate focus on this patch of land and the small cast of characters works in its favor.

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