Reviews written by registered user
|66 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To anyone who has read the original story,the departures are almost overwhelmingly evident.Where do we start? 1.)Richard has already been freed from captivity;there is no need to raise a ransom for him. 2.)Ivanhoe didn't visit him in Austria,and isn't trying to raise the dough. 3.)There are no encounters/attempted reconciliations between Ivanhoe and Cedric prior to the castle being stormed. 4.)Ivanhoe and Rebecca don't meet quite so early in the original. 5.)Wamba spends almost all of his time in Cedric's entourage;besides,he isn't killed during the battle. 6.)Gurth,Athelstane,and Ulrica,all important characters,don't appear. 7.)The Saxons are captured,not as part of an attempt to abduct Ivanhoe,but,rather,so that De Bracy can attempt to seduce Rowena. 8.)The castle is attacked by Locksley and the Black Knight;Ivanhoe is comatose during the battle. 9.)Ivanhoe and Cedric are reconciled on the request of King Richard. 10.)Rebecca's intended execution is planned by the Grand Master,who fears a loss of his own power and prestige;in the film,it's a blackmail attempt on the part of Prince John to extort the loot from Isaac. This points being considered,this is still a pretty good film.Perhaps the changes were made in an attempt to:1.)portray Ivanhoe as a much more active and proactive character;and 2.)introduce a 1950s subtext into the film(Cold War perceptions of political conspiracies,injustice,and Jews who are patriotic and loyal to their ruler.) The production values-costumes,make-up,props,sets,etc.,are what we would expect from an MGM epic of the 50s.And the players,for the most part,were the best ones that the company could provide.I do feel that Robert Taylor was too old and hard-looking to play a youthful knight,but he was the best that they had.I never really saw Sanders as a physically robust villain,but he does show the character's depth and torment.Cedric,Isaac,Rowena,Rebecca,De Bracy,and Front-De-Bouef are all well-portrayed.And Guy Rolfe,as Prince John,is so despicable,detestable,and dripping with evil and slimy menace,as to be a joy(?)to behold.Take this film on it's own merits,and enjoy.
I just saw this film for the first time last week,and,yes,I saw the entire plot as having been lifted from "Casablanca",too.I guess,in a way,it's a sort of a compliment.They say that,if you're going to steal,steal something good. I just think that they way they costumed Pam,she appears to be one of the most grotesque caricatures of femininity since Jim McQuade's cartoon series"The Adventures of Honey Hooker",seen in "Hustler"magazine in the 1970s.Let's face it,real women don't look like this.She personifies every adolescent's auto-erotic fantasies of the most depraved sort.And that's offensive to women.
What struck me,after several viewings,is that not only does the viewer enjoy this movie,but the people doing are having a good time as well.It stays with the standard sword and sorcery/Arthurian motif of a dispossessed hero going on the quest,seeking to either establish his identity,or come into his inheritance.What adds to this particular movie are the following: 1.)Singer not only has the rugged good looks,and impressive physique,but he displays a vastly wider emotional range than did The Austrian Oak.His portrayal of Dar encompasses humor and craftiness as well as courage and determination.And it looks like he did quite a few of his own stunts. 2.)I'm not sure is Roberts is trying to do a caricature of a simpering,clinging heroine,or not.In any event,she does go WAY over the top,but seems to be enjoying doing it. 3.)Torn's villain not only chews the scenery,but spits it out,as well.Is there some kind of inside joke by making him up to look like Richard Nixon? 4.)Amos,as Seth,is every bit as much a loyal comrade as Sallah in the Indiana Jones flics.All he needs is to wear a neon sign flashing"FRIEND". 5.)Let's face it,they based the script on a classic piece of writing,but a famous authoress.If you start out with something good,it gives an extra advantage. 6.)And,the animals do a splendid job,and the ferrets are cute.
There isn't a whole lot to add that hasn't already been said previously.The film does drag,the plot is labored,and,for all of the spectacle,most of the cast look as though they would rather be doing something else.I have to disagree,very slightly,with one observation made by the most recent reviewer.Purdom's Micah,is,of course,a fool,a dupe,an ingrate,and a chump of the first order.My thought is,why did they have someone of his age playing the character?He appears to be playing a character of his own chronological age.And,any 30-year old man who is taken to the cleaners the way Micah is,has left himself wide open for this kind of exploitation.It might have made more sense(and a more believable film)if Micah had been played by a late-adolescent,who had never been away from home before,rather than a mature traveler and merchant.Take this for whatever it happens to be worth.
This adaptation of Price's novel takes such liberties as to make this an almost totally different story.Where do we begin? 1.)The DeCocos,in the story,are a much more grotesque and brutal outfit.Sorvino is much too attractive to play Chubby-it should have been Victor Buono.LoBianco is much too short,and nowhere near ominous enough to do Tommy-it should have been Richard Kiel.And Goldoni is a 100 pounds too light to be playing Marie. 2.)Gere is much too young to be doing Stony.The boy is only 17 years old,and just graduated from high school 2 weeks before the story opens. 3.)The whole business about Sooky involves Chubby-showing that he,in particular,is very unhappy with his marriage. 4.)While Marie is the one who seduces Jack Cutler(as in the book),it is Chubby who,by accident,receives the call from Mrs. Cutler,and,enraged, mistakenly assaults assaults HIS wife.This shows us that even the jovial, genial,good-natured Chubby,who loves his family,has his dark and brutal impulses lying close to the surface. 5.)In the book,after Phyllis is hospitalized,Tommy gives Stony permission,NOT to become an electrician,and Stony CHOOSES NOT to leave his family,staying in the pathological but familiar system to which he is accustomed.In the film,Tommy orders Stony to enter the construction trades,and Stony flees,taking Albert with him.A happy ending,of sorts,which is totally out of synch with the novel. So,it seems that the screenwriters decided to homogenize,clarify,and tack a happy ending onto a novel which was intended to demonstrate a bleak and tragic slice of American life.Perhaps it wouldn't have arrived in screen,otherwise.
First rate production all the way around.Everybody does a great job.And Anne should have known was she was getting into,what the possible consequences could be,and how to get out of it.This was no innocent,corrupted by an evil king and then treacherously discarded.She played high stakes power politics,lost,and paid the piper.Henry gave her an opportunity to save her life,which she refused,and then perished.and the way she carried on in the last half of the film.What a vicious shrew.I would have had her executed too,just to shut her up.
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