6.8/10
2,740
48 user 25 critic

The War Lord (1965)

Approved | | Drama, History | 17 November 1965 (USA)
In 11th century Normandy, a Norman duke sends one of his knights to build a defensive fortress in order to guard the borders against Frisian raiders.

Director:

Franklin J. Schaffner (as Franklin Schaffner)

Writers:

John Collier (screenplay), Millard Kaufman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
El Cid (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
The Buccaneer (1958)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the war of 1812, Louisiana buccaneer Jean Lafitte assists the Americans in defending New Orleans against the attacking British war fleet.

Director: Anthony Quinn
Stars: Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer
Counterpoint (1968)
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, and is forced to perform at private concerts for the Nazi generals.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Maximilian Schell, Kathryn Hays
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Susan Hayward, Charlton Heston, John McIntire
Will Penny (1967)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Aging cowboy Will Penny gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds his isolated cabin is already occupied by a husbandless woman and her young son.

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett, Donald Pleasence
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento
Major Dundee (1965)
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton
Welcome Home (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Jake died in Vietnam; his family mourned him, then moved on. When he reappears, quite alive, the question is, what must he do and how will his family respond to him?

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Kris Kristofferson, JoBeth Williams, Sam Waterston
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An isolated sculptor is visited by his three sons just before the start of WWII.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: George C. Scott, David Hemmings, Gilbert Roland
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Chrysagon
Richard Boone ... Bors
Rosemary Forsyth ... Bronwyn
Maurice Evans ... Priest
Guy Stockwell ... Draco
Niall MacGinnis ... Odins
James Farentino ... Marc
Henry Wilcoxon ... Frisian Prince
Sammy Ross Sammy Ross ... Volc
Woodrow Parfrey ... Piet
John Alderson John Alderson ... Holbracht
Allen Jaffe ... Tybald
Michael Conrad ... Rainault
Dal Jenkins Dal Jenkins ... Dirck
Johnny Jensen ... Boy Prince
Edit

Storyline

A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the barbarians at the border and is making progress until he falls in love with one of the local women. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Until this moment, the shield was his only bed...the sword his only bride! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The War Lord See more »

Filming Locations:

Universal City, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Several reviewers at the time commented that Richard Boone and James Farentino were miscast--Boone seemed more like a cowboy in a western and, even though he was supposed to be a French peasant, Farentino coudn't shake his Brooklyn accent. See more »

Goofs

Although the action supposedly takes place at the height of Norman power in the 11th century, in the area where the movie is set, indeed throughout western Europe, paganism had been largely eradicated by the end of the 8th century. It is conceivable that tiny, secret cells of druids might have existed in hiding until the 11th century, but certainly not an entire village openly practicing druidism. Druidism itself was wiped out by pre-Christian imperial Rome. See more »

Quotes

Chrysagon: [of Bronwyn] She has a calm face.
Draco: So has a cow.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charlton Heston goes for poetry instead of bombast, romance instead of heroism
22 September 2002 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

If you want a movie about long ago and far away, this one is highly recommendable, unless of course you need light sabers or all-powerful rings to hold your attention.

Costume pictures often reek of Classics Illustrated comic books. This is among the few whose script as filmed is not an insult.

Director Franklin Schaffner obviously loves the material. He later returned to the period with "Lionheart: the Children's Crusade," after "Planet of the Apes," "Patton," and his other famous epics.

The film's atmosphere is incredibly strong - I was absolutely sure that this was shot on location in Europe until I recognized the Universal hillside towards the end. Rarely does a Hollywood movie hide its back lot origins so thoroughly.

Minor drawbacks must be acknowledged. The girl suffers well silently but can't deliver her few lines. Maurice Evans is an awful ham, showing once again why he was Orson Welles' least favorite actor. There's a handful of clumsy process shots, and Paul Frees not only delivers the opening narration but voices both Sammy Ross and Michael Conrad, later familiar from "Hill Street Blues." Someone in the Universal sound department thought that Frees' voice was undetectable; and it isn't. (It gets worse: you can hear Frees as four separate characters in "Spartacus.")

None of these quibbles matter. The "War Lord" is romantic, poetic, mildly gritty (by today's standards), and the production design, cinematography and music are all gorgeous. The tumultuous siege of the tower is solid in the way things were before computers, and features what seems to be every stuntman in Hollywood, including Joe Canutt, Hal Needham, Richard Farnsworth and Buddy Van Horn.

I wish Universal could figure out a way to keep the DVD in print. Remastering might help. If you have a multi-system, multi-region player, at this writing a far superior widescreen Danish transfer is available from both UK and German Amazon.

IMDb lists at least 250,000 worse ways to spend two hours than "The War Lord." Make yourself comfortable and enjoy.


58 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 48 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed