While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the 9th century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Aelhswith
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Asher
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Roger
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Burrud
Alan Dobie ...
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Æthelstan
Vivien Merchant ...
Freda
Julian Chagrin ...
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Thanet
John Rees ...
Cuthbert
Christopher Timothy ...
Cerdic
Peter Blythe ...
Eafa
...
Edith
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Storyline

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the 9th century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows to take up arms against the invaders, leading the English Christians to fight for their country. Alfred soundly defeats the Danes and becomes a hero. But now, although Alfred still longs for the priesthood, he is torn between his passion for God and his lust for blood. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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At 22 he gained a throne and saved a kingdom See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 October 1969 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A King Is Born  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Film debut of Ian McKellen. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A personal fave
7 January 1999 | by (Portland, OR) – See all my reviews

Though I'm quite aware of this film's shortcomings (length and the multitude of exotic names, etc.), I must say that I think Leonard Maltin does this film a disservice. It accurately portrays some of the most important events in English history, and also paints a fine portrait of a monarch torn between earthly passions and the desire for spiritual purity. It is only by truly balancing these two forces that a man can succeed, and Alfred did so.

The conflicting forces in the film also symbolize Alfred's inner struggle -- the church representing his spiritual desires and the Danes standing for the passions and lusts of the physical world. Certainly the Battle of Athelney Marsh, one of the pivotal events in British history, is stirringly portrayed, particularly when the peasants and commoners rise up to save their king. This film, despite its flaws and its abysmal box office performance, remains a personal favorite of mine.


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