While leading the Third Crusade, King Richard the Lionheart (George Sanders) battles treachery in his own camp as well as the Saracens and their charismatic leader Emir Hderim Sultan Saladin... Read allWhile leading the Third Crusade, King Richard the Lionheart (George Sanders) battles treachery in his own camp as well as the Saracens and their charismatic leader Emir Hderim Sultan Saladin (Sir Rex Harrison).While leading the Third Crusade, King Richard the Lionheart (George Sanders) battles treachery in his own camp as well as the Saracens and their charismatic leader Emir Hderim Sultan Saladin (Sir Rex Harrison).
Notice the title says Crusaders and not Crusades.
I picked up a video of King Richard and the Crusaders this weekend at the local flea market, never having seen it before. In watching it, I kept wondering when the Crusaders were going to crusade against the Muslims. The Crusaders in this movie did enough fighting amongst themselves. Leopold of Austria and King Phillip of France were both ineptly trying to take leadership of the Crusade while Sir Giles (Robert Douglas) and Conrad (Michael Pate) were scheming behind King Richard's back. Sir Kenneth of Scotland was the only one he could trust. In fact, by the time it came to the part where King Richard (played by George Sanders) and his loyal Scot Knight (played by Laurence Harvey) were at the training joust, it seemed more like they were in old England than in far off lands. This was supposed to be the third Crusade, but if you are looking for a movie about the Crusades, this isn't really it. The film is based on The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott. I've not read the book, and it could be that the book had more actual Crusade history, with the movie being made to just entertain. It's an entertaining movie with all the familiar parts - good guys, bad guys, treachery and a damsel in distress. Plenty of sword fighting, arrow shooting and other weapons and that was OK with me as I like the action of the 1950's movies. So - if you are looking for a good old fashioned type action movie with sword play and a castle, you will probably like this one. As for acting, I wasn't too taken with Laurence Harvey as the love interest of fair maiden. His acting was adequate, but rather stiff. I guess I like the lead to have that easy going, devil-may-care attitude that can win the lady yet be poison to his enemies like Errol Flynn and Richard Greene. Perhaps it was the way the part was written, but he was angry and stiff-necked the whole movie. George Sanders did a decent job but could have had better writing for his part. Did you know he was married to both Zsa Zsa Gabor and then her sister Magna? That his brother was Tom Conway whom he handed off the part of The Falcon which he had tired of doing. In 1937 he told David Niven that he would commit suicide when he got older and did just that in 1972, leaving a note that he was bored. Rex Harrison was the supposed bad guy in this but really wasn't. He played the Muslim leader Saladin. Rex Harrison so very famous for many great parts. My favorite with him is My Fair Lady but others will remember Agony and the Ecstacy and Doctor Doolittle. Rumor had it that Carole Landis committed suicide over his ending the affair with her. However, she was besieged with extreme ill health (malaria, amoebic dysentery and pneumonia) caught while entertaining WWII troops and financial difficulties so who knows. Rex was his usual charming self in this movie and played his part well. The lovely lady in this one was none other than Virginia Mayo (always beautiful favorite) who did a nice job. Nothing academy award but a decent performance. I read where she was slightly cross eyed and had to be filmed carefully. She took her last name Mayo (real name Jones) from other actors in a vaudeville act years before. Unfortunately, we lost her in 2005. I did discover where those New Year's Eve ratchet noise makers came from. When the Crusaders were rousing the camp, one of the soldiers shook one above his head. An interesting sidelight is Henry Corden who played King Phillip, as he was the voice of Fred Flintstone for 30 years, taking over from the original man who passed away. The best idea for this movie is to strap on your sword and grab that spiked ball on the end of the chain (whatever it is called), take your critic hat off, and just enjoy some 1950's action!
- Apr 16, 2006
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By what name was King Richard and the Crusaders (1954) officially released in India in English?Answer