In the center of this Walter Scott classic fiction inspired movie the chivalrousness and the daring stand. Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor), the disowned knight join to the bravehearted and high-minded Robin of Locksley (Harold Warrender), the valiant of Sherwood Forest. They want King Richard (Norman Wooland) to rule the kingdom instead of evil Prince John (Guy Rolfe).Written by
Kornel Osvart <email@example.com>
Characters are shown eating turkey during the feast in Ivanhoe's father's hall. Turkeys are indigenous to North America, and were not known in England in the 12th century. See more »
In the 12th century, at the close of the third crusade to free the Holy Land, the Saxon knight called Wilfred of Ivanhoe undertook a private crusade of his own. England's warrior king Richard the Lionhearted had disappeared during his homeward march, vanishing without trace. His disappearance dealt a cruel blow to his unhappy country, already in turmoil from the bitter conflict between Saxons and Normans. And in time, most of his subjects came to mourn him as dead. But Ivanhoe's ...
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Beautiful chivalric story and well made medieval epic!
Although the story of Ivanhoe has been brought to screen several times, this is the version that I have always considered outstanding. Yes, I admit that it is a free adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's novel, much is changed. I also admit that it is a clearly Hollywood production of the early 1950s with cast elites of the time. Yet, IVANHOE is extremely entertaining as an epic movie.
MIDDLE AGES ON SCREEN: The picture of the medieval England of the 12th century is very appealing. Viewers get a right impression of the lifestyles, believes, and values of the time. And it is not only because of the costumes and sets... the film is supplied with such moments that allow us to travel in our imagination to the distant Middle Ages. I loved the tournament, for instance, when the "knight with the hidden face" (Ivanhoe) is supposed to prove his courage. Here, a mention must also be made of the castle siege and the very natural action. Another important medieval aspect that is developed in the film is man's chivalric love to a woman. Ivanhoe comes back to his homeland and refers to the vows of chastity he has made with his beloved Lady Rowena (Joan Fontaine). This delicacy combined with straightforward love and courage with sacrifice are very beautiful...and very medieval (consider this aspect in Gibson's BRAVEHEART as well). Finally, funny moments are accurately embedded in the context. The scenes with humble Squire Wamba (Emlyn Williams) constitute the heart of the movie's humor.
PLAYERS: The cast give very fine performances. Although these are mostly great stars of the early 1950s and may be not that famous to the general audience at present, Robert Taylor is absolutely amazing as Ivanhoe. He perfectly expresses chivalric courage, purity of intentions and honor. I also liked young Liz Taylor who is noticeably not that professional on screen as she later was. Yet, her girlish beauty in the role of a Jewish girl, Rebecca, is magnificent. Except for Taylors, Joan Fontaine in the role of the virtuous Lady Rowena is terrific - real Lady, yet a bit boring. There are also such mainstays of epics like George Sanders, Felix Aylmer and Finlay Currie. Who can forget their roles in QUO VADIS? or SOLOMON AND SHEBA? Thanks to the famous cast, the film can be placed in the accurate cinema period. Yes, it cannot be forgotten that IVANHOE was made in the early 1950s and thanks to this awareness you partly know what to expect from such a film. However, the movie's old age talks even more for its value. IVANHOE is just standing a test of time.
EPIC PROPORTION FILM: IVANHOE is also filled with spectacular scenes. The first one worth consideration is the opening scene when Ivanhoe is traveling through Austrian valleys and hills looking for the captured Richard the Lionheart. Mind the excellent colors' selection and the sunset by the castle at Durnstein where the king was kept for ransom. The cinematography is outstanding. Another beautiful scene is the feast that Cedric (Finlay Currie) gives to his guests. This luxury of medieval cold castles, the hospitality of the Saxons and the manners of the wealthy are in focus. But these moments are not there for nothing...they serve the purpose to supply the viewer with a unique atmosphere.
What more to say? IVANHOE by Richard Thorpe, in spite of its 54th birthday, is a great medieval epic that I would recommend to everyone. For me, it is one of those films that I have seen several times and still dream to see once again. I am always in a very nice mood whenever I see this movie 7/10
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