Just prior to the American War of Independence, aristocratic Virginian Jane Peyton marries unsophisticated rustic farmer and surveyor Matt Howard who takes her to his Shenandoah Valley plantation and later goes to war.
Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.
As a blacksmith John can't hope to win the hand of Linet, daughter of the Earl of Yeonil. Off he goes to prove himself a noble knight. He makes himself a suit of armor with a winged chicken helmet and runs around fighting for King Arthur as the Black Knight. Evil doings include plots by visiting kings and a Druid sacrificial ceremony at Stonehenge.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Top-billed Alan Ladd only worked on the film for 11 days. A double was used for all the long shots. See more »
In the battle at the church, when the stair and balcony railings are on fire, a combatant is knocked through a balcony railing and it breaks cleanly, revealing a straight sawed cut nearly all the way through it. See more »
Opening credits prologue: The Earl of Yeonil's Castle. See more »
I liked it only because I fancy swords and medieval armor. However, you're not going to learn anything factual nor fascinating about medieval combat here unlike in Robert Taylor's Ivanhoe or Knights of the Round Table.
The character portrayed by Alan Ladd wears an abbreviated armor eschewing the greaves and other gear to protect the legs and arms. Save for the breastplate and chain mail (short sleeved at that!), there is little to suggest that he wears authentic knightly armor. Even his helmet covers only the top of his face (no doubt to display his handsome features.) Robocop is the same way. The reason for the light armor becomes apparent when Ladd performs acrobatics in combat unlikely to have been part of a knight's dueling or battle paces. Robert Wagner in Prince Valiant does similar things.
The heroic Black Knight is actually a commoner and thus barred from bearing knightly arms and so has to keep his identity secret.
The villains are a Saracen knight (Peter Cushing) allied with Cornishmen. Why the people of Cornwall who are as British as the English? Beats me.
Cushing gives a luscious performance as a baddie. His quip after humiliating the blacksmith Alan Ladd before his lady love (Patricia Medina) is memorable. After failing to egg the meek Alan Ladd into fighting him, he turns to Patricia saying: "Please pardon this shameful exhibition."
The photography and location shots are excellent.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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