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).
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Dr. Anansa Linderby (Beverly Johnson) is kidnapped in a medical mission in Africa by a slave trader. From this moment, her husband will do anything to recover her and to punish the bad guys, but that will be not an easy task.
Barbarossa, a pirate, frees a group of Spanish prisoners and makes them his crew. On a raid, he takes as a prize a Spanish countess, Alida. He has fallen in love with her by the time he ... See full summary »
In 1191, King Richard the Lionheart, 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 (Robert Douglas) and Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat (Michael Pate), 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 (Laurence Harvey). The King recovers from his wounds but when he hears that Sir Lawrence wishes to marry Lady Edith Plantagenet (Virginia Mayo), 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
Near the beginning of the film, Lawrence Harvey's character is shot with an arrow full in the chest by Rex Harrison's character, knocking him off his horse. Yet Harvey gets up and spends the rest of the movie with no sign of a wound, nor any mention of one. See more »
May the Seven Doves rest on your shoulders.
Doves or vultures, you slippery infidel?
Come, I invite you to share the waters of the oasis with me.
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King Richard And The Crusaders (David Butler, 1954) **1/2
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  and QUENTIN DURWARD ), 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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