The Third Crusade as it didn't happen. King Richard Coeur de Lion goes on the crusade to avoid marrying Princess Alice of France; en route, he marries Berengaria to get food for his men. Berengaria.is captured by Saladin, spurring Richard to attack and capture Acre. But Saladin, attracted to her, takes her on to Jerusalem, and Richard is in danger of assassination.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
In its re-release in the summer of 1948, when it played in New York City's Rivoli Theater on Broadway, some viewers noted that it was shown under lights giving the screen image a light blue tint, but it's doubtful the purpose of this effect was to hide a yellowing of the print in those pre-restoration days, as some once thought. In any event, the effect worked. See more »
The English are portrayed using crossbows and longbows in the siege of Acre (1189-1191), although they did not adopt these weapons until the period of the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). See more »
Richard Ruled in England
Music traditional, "Son of a Gambolier"
Lyrics by Harold Lamb
Performed by Alan Hale and chorus See more »
Loretta Young ensnares Christians and Saracens alike....
It's probably best to start off by saying that this is most certainly not an history lesson. Cecil B. De Mille has used the third crusade as little more than a template for his grand-scale story of Richard the Lion-heart (an efficient Henry Wilcoxon) as he capitalises on this holy quest as an excuse to avoid marrying the ambitious Princess Alice (Katherine de Mille), sister to co-crusader Philip II of France (C. Henry Gordon). En route to Jerusalem, they must provision in Navarre where the shrewd King Sancho (a rather fun George Barbier) sees an opportunity to offload his beautiful daughter Berengaria (Loretta Young) in return for victualling the army... We know that Richard and Berengaria were really in love, and for the rest of the film De Mille sticks to the script - but that's what rather drags it down. There are plenty of exciting siege and battle scenes around the city of Acre as the Christians attempt to reverse the Saracen battle spoils of the great Saladin (an effectively cast Ian Keith), but each time we return to the smouldering Young and her Rapunzel-like locks - whom, by now, is the object of both men's obsession The director is in his element with the big, set-piece action scenes and the photography from Victor Milner (who also did "Cleopatra" (1934) with de Mille) adds much to the epic-style look of the film, but Wilcoxon and Young don't really present us with an engaging pairing; and any sense of duplicity - particularly involving the conspiring French, is left too peripheral to the smouldering romance to make this as good as it could have been... There is a sterling performance from C. Aubrey Smith as the holy man, released at the beginning by Saladin and who goes on to mobilise the Christian armies to challenge the Islamic horde; and Alan Hale is quite effective in the role of the minstrel. Overall, I really enjoy these derring-do, heroic, adventure films and I did enjoy this - it's just that it could have been more rousing and less of a love story.
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