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King Richard and the Crusaders (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, History, Romance | 7 August 1954 (USA)
While leading the Third Crusade, King Richard Lionheart battles treachery in his own camp as well as the Saracens and their charismatic leader Saladin.

Director:

David Butler

Writers:

Walter Scott (novel) (as Sir Walter Scott), John Twist (screen play by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rex Harrison ... Emir Hderim Sultan Saladin
Virginia Mayo ... Lady Edith Plantagenet
George Sanders ... King Richard I
Laurence Harvey ... Sir Kenneth of Huntington
Robert Douglas ... Sir Giles Amaury
Michael Pate ... Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat
Paula Raymond ... Queen Berengaria
Lester Matthews ... Archbishop of Tyre / Narrator
Anthony Eustrel ... Baron De Vaux
Henry Corden ... King Philip of France
Wilton Graff ... Duke Leopold of Austria
Nejla Ates ... Moorish Dancing Girl
Nick Cravat ... Nectobanus
Leslie Bradley ... Castelaine Captain
Bruce Lester ... Castelaine
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Storyline

In 1191, King Richard the Lionhearted, along with several other European monarchs, is in the Holy Land intent on retaking Jerusalem from the Saracens. There is much infighting and outright treachery in the European encampment however. Two nobles in particular, Sir Giles Amaury and Conrad of Montferrat, want to eliminate the English king and attempt to have him assassinated. Severely wounded and on his death bed, Richard is brought back to health by a Saracen doctor recruited by one of his loyal knights, Sir Kenneth of the Leopard. The king recovers from his wounds but when he hears that Sir Lawrence wishes to marry Lady Edith Plantagenet, the knight is banished only to be taken in by the very doctor who treated the king and who has an altogether different identity. Written by rodmch

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Across the East swept the Lion-Hearted's mighty Legions! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Talisman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound System)| Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film invents a military order of "Castelaines" or "Castlers", of which Sir Giles (Robert Douglas) is the Master. In the source novel, these characters are Knights Templar, whom Walter Scott invariably depicted as villains. It is unclear whether the change was made because of the Production Code (Templars were a monastic order, so hostile depictions might fall under the rules against negative depictions of clergy), or to avoid upsetting the Masonic Knights Templar, of which a number of distinguished Hollywood figures were members. See more »

Goofs

Saladin is depicted as ignorant of the existence of ice. In fact, ice was found in the mountains of the Middle East, and was used to cool drinks. Saladin famously offered King Guy of Jerusalem a cup of iced water after the battle of Hattin, in an incident which led to the killing of Reynaud de Châtillon, Lord of Oultrejourdain. See more »

Quotes

[Sir Kenneth tries to steal a kiss]
Lady Edith: No, no, my dearly betrothed. Richard would set the headsman on your neck - he has said as much.
Sir Kenneth: Then kiss me quickly, my bonnie, while these lips are still warm.
Lady Edith: No, no! (they kiss) Ah, this is a pleasant madness.
Sir Kenneth: A lunacy with which I would love to be afflicted... to the end of my life. If Richard would take my life, I must kiss softly.
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Story of Mankind (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
King Richard And The Crusaders (David Butler, 1954) **1/2
7 March 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Based on Sir Walter Scott's "The Talisman" (which I own in a comic-strip version!), this was made in the wake of IVANHOE (1952) – adapted from another classic by the same author; however, given that that film was made by journeyman Richard Thorpe (followed, with leading man Robert Taylor in tow, by two other popular MGM adventures – KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE [1953] and QUENTIN DURWARD [1955]), Warners somewhat incongruously assigned musical comedy expert Butler to this one!

While clearly inferior to those three films, KING RICHARD AND THE CRUSADERS isn't nearly as bad as its reputation would suggest (though it must be said that most spectacles from this era, disregarded by the majority of critics when new, stand up surprisingly well today as entertainment!). Even so, there's some definite campiness to the film – notably when Rex Harrison as Saladin lullabies George Sanders, playing the wounded King Richard (the score by reliable Max Steiner being noteworthy apart from this)…and, in any case, the whole emerges to be even more fanciful than Cecil B. De Mille's THE CRUSADES (1935; which preceded this viewing), what with the Muslim leader insinuating himself into the enemy camp, providing a cure for the King, and even aiding him in routing the traitors (genre staple Robert Douglas and Michael Pate) among his own ranks!!

One similarity to the earlier epic is the fact that Saladin falls for a Christian woman – though, in this case, it's Richard's cousin (Virginia Mayo) as opposed to his wife (who gets very limited screen time here) – but ultimately relinquishes the heroine to her lover (a fiery Scots knight played by a young, blonde yet surprisingly effective Laurence Harvey). Incidentally, Sanders – while older than Henry Wilcoxon's incarnation of Richard in THE CRUSADES – is no less gruff and headstrong and, in fact, spends more time fighting Harvey (including a jousting duel) than Harrison!!


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