In a time now lost in the mists of memory, the great King Arthur rules in the legendary citadel that is Camelot. His Knights of the Round Table commit acts of derring-do and spend their ... See full summary »
Young Prince Valiant, son of the exiled King of Scandia, journeys to Camelot to become a knight at King Arthur's Round Table. He hopes to help his father reclaim his throne from the pagan Viking usurper Sligon and restore the Christian faith to their homeland. On his journey he stumbles upon a mysterious Black Knight plotting with Sligon's representatives to overthrow Arthur. Barely escaping with his life, Valiant encounters Sir Gawain, one of the most illustrious knights of the Round Table, and an old friend of his father's, who tutors the young Viking in the skills needed to be a knight. Valiant and Gawain's pupil-mentor relationship is complicated by their romantic involvement with Princess Aleta and her sister Ilene, daughters of the King of Ord. If Valiant is to restore his father's throne and prevent the coup d'etat against Arthur, he must uncover the true identity of the Black Knight.Written by
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland served as Camelot in all of the panoramic CinemaScope shots, whilst Warwick Castle was used for the main gate and courtyard. Although Alnwick is made of brown sandstone, and Warwick pale gray granite, carefully placed cameras, use of filters and post production color timing masked the difference in hues. See more »
In this story set in the Middle Ages, Aleta and all the other women look as if they are wearing the notorious "torpedo bras'' of the 1950s. See more »
What's wrong with Sir Brack? His blood is as good as Arthur's!
And he never lets us forget it as his own father apparently did.
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I Know: Robert Wagner's hairdo is sort of unbearable; Janet Leigh's white wig is too much; Valiant's sword looks over-sized; Sterling Hayden behaves like a contemporary New Yorker; it's very easy to imagine who the black knight is; vikings didn't have horns in their helmets; and so on.
But somehow I found this medieval story based on Harold Foster's characters entertaining and I even enjoyed it. In fact I think that for 1954 "Prince Valiant" takes the most of Foster's novels about knights and vikings in the times of legendary King Arthur.
Good colorful locations, fine settings, good action scenes and a sort of "sticky" musical score that even sounds appropriate help the picture along with an acceptable script and Henry Hathaway's prolix direction.
Highlights o the movie are James Mason's convincing villain, Brian Aherne's fine portrayal of King Arthur and a violent and smashing final duel between Valiant and the unmasked Black Knight.
If you like medieval costume adventures you'll enjoy this one too.
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