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The War Lord (1965)

Approved | | Drama, History | 17 November 1965 (USA)
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 »

Director:

(as Franklin Schaffner)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bors
...
Bronwyn
...
Guy Stockwell ...
Niall MacGinnis ...
Odins
...
Marc
...
Frisian Prince
Sammy Ross ...
Volc
...
Piet
John Alderson ...
Holbracht
...
Tybald
...
Rainault
Dal Jenkins ...
Dirck
Johnny Jensen ...
Boy Prince
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Until this moment, the shield was his only bed...the sword his only bride! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Senhor da Guerra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Chrysagon first sees Bronwyn naked in the water, we see a close-up of Rosemary Forsythe in the water. When it cuts to a wide shot of Charlton Heston wading in and helping her to stand, Bronwyn is clearly a different girl, a stand in who has darker hair. See more »

Quotes

Chrysagon: From under his right hand, I took that sword. I've lived twenty years with that cold wife.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlton Heston goes for poetry instead of bombast, romance instead of heroism
22 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

If you want a movie about long ago and far away, this one is highly recommendable, unless of course you need light sabers or all-powerful rings to hold your attention.

Costume pictures often reek of Classics Illustrated comic books. This is among the few whose script as filmed is not an insult.

Director Franklin Schaffner obviously loves the material. He later returned to the period with "Lionheart: the Children's Crusade," after "Planet of the Apes," "Patton," and his other famous epics.

The film's atmosphere is incredibly strong - I was absolutely sure that this was shot on location in Europe until I recognized the Universal hillside towards the end. Rarely does a Hollywood movie hide its back lot origins so thoroughly.

Minor drawbacks must be acknowledged. The girl suffers well silently but can't deliver her few lines. Maurice Evans is an awful ham, showing once again why he was Orson Welles' least favorite actor. There's a handful of clumsy process shots, and Paul Frees not only delivers the opening narration but voices both Sammy Ross and Michael Conrad, later familiar from "Hill Street Blues." Someone in the Universal sound department thought that Frees' voice was undetectable; and it isn't. (It gets worse: you can hear Frees as four separate characters in "Spartacus.")

None of these quibbles matter. The "War Lord" is romantic, poetic, mildly gritty (by today's standards), and the production design, cinematography and music are all gorgeous. The tumultuous siege of the tower is solid in the way things were before computers, and features what seems to be every stuntman in Hollywood, including Joe Canutt, Hal Needham, Richard Farnsworth and Buddy Van Horn.

I wish Universal could figure out a way to keep the DVD in print. Remastering might help. If you have a multi-system, multi-region player, at this writing a far superior widescreen Danish transfer is available from both UK and German Amazon.

IMDb lists at least 250,000 worse ways to spend two hours than "The War Lord." Make yourself comfortable and enjoy.


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