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King Arthur learns one of his knights is plotting to take over and marry his daughter. After the King's death, the Knight wishing to marry the princess is ordered by the great wizard Merlin to remove the sword from the scabbard and prove his right to the throne.Written by
Much of the battle at the end comes from stock footage from The Black Knight (1954) . See more »
At the end of the film, Queen Katherine is talking to Robert and, at one point, she turns around and the top part of her dress is obviously fastened with a zip. See more »
We're going to Merlin. He made your father king; perhaps he can make you queen.
Now I know you're lying. Nobody knows where Merlin is.
Well, that will make things more difficult, won't it?
See more »
Juvenile mix of Robin Hoodery and Arthurian legend forgettable fun!
Director Nathan Juran spent much of the '50s and '60s churning out low budget potboilers like Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, The Brain From Planet Auros and The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad. In 1963 he brought us Siege Of The Saxons, a fairly enjoyable mixture of Arthurian legend, Robin Hoodery and historical epic which doesn't stick in the mind for very long. The film is aimed mainly at adventurous schoolboys it's a bit too silly for adults, though they might find some nostalgic value in it if they're of a certain generation.
King Arthur (Mark Dignam) is gravely ill and so goes to stay with his champion knight Edmund of Cornwall (Ronald Howard). Arthur does not realise that Edmund is actually a traitor who plans to murder him and seize control of the throne in the name of the Saxons. Edmund thinks he will accelerate his route to the throne if he marries Arthur's daughter Katherine (Janette Scott), but this part of his plan falls apart when a roguish outlaw, Robert Marshall (Ronald Lewis), witnesses the king's murder. Robert spirits Katherine away from the usurper and takes her into hiding in outlaw country. Meanwhile, Edmund claims that the king's daughter has died and that as a consequence of this he will assume the crown for himself. While all this is going on, Robert and Katherine are busy seeking out the magician Merlin (John Laurie who would later find fame as Private Frazer in Dad's Army). With Merlin's help they head for Camelot, hoping to prove that Edmund has no genuine claim to the throne, and that Katherine is in fact the true heir. The Saxons plan to discredit her but as everyone knows only someone from the true royal bloodline can wield Arthur's famous sword Excalibur .
The film looks very much of its time, with budgetary limitations which are evident throughout. In the battle sequences, for instance, no amount of editing, photography and costumed extras can hide the utter lack of realism. Having said that, the film has compensations along the way. Lewis and Scott make an attractive leading couple and they give enthusiastic performances, while Laurie hams it up amusingly as the crusty old wizard Merlin. The Technicolor photography is pleasing on the eye, and Laurie Johnson's score lends suitable dramatic impact to all the scenes that need it. Siege Of The Saxons is enthusiastic nonsense . fun while it lasts, but the next morning there's absolutely nothing left to remember!
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