6.4/10
906
27 user 5 critic

Alfred the Great (1969)

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the ninth century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows, to... See full summary »

Director:

Clive Donner

Writers:

James R. Webb (story), Ken Taylor (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Hemmings ... Alfred
Michael York ... Guthrum
Prunella Ransome ... Aelhswith
Colin Blakely ... Asher
Ian McKellen ... Roger
Peter Vaughan ... Burrud
Alan Dobie Alan Dobie ... Ethelred
Julian Glover ... Æthelstan
Vivien Merchant ... Freda
Julian Chagrin ... Ivar
Jim Norton ... Thanet
John Rees John Rees ... Cuthbert
Christopher Timothy ... Cerdic
Peter Blythe ... Eafa
Sinéad Cusack ... Edith
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Storyline

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the ninth century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows, to take up arms against the invaders, leading the English Christians to fight for their country. Alfred soundly defeats the Danes and becomes a hero. But now, although Alfred still longs for the priesthood, he is torn between his passion for God and his lust for blood. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At 22 he gained a throne and saved a kingdom See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vivien Merchant (Freda) has a prominent role in this movie, but utters not one single word throughout. Critic Pauline Kael, panning this movie savagely, suggested sarcastically that she had probably refused to say her lines, as the dialogue in the movie was so unspeakable. It turned out that this was, in fact, the truth. See more »

Quotes

Guthrum: Your Christ cannot be like out love god Frey. When maids see him they blush.
Alfred: My god is life, eternal! Your gods are dead.
Guthrum: Not dead. They speak in thunder, and in battle! In the birth cry, and in the loins from lovers! Here are my gods, they where your gods of old. Men say all saxon kings are sons of Odin.
Alfred: They lie.
Guthrum: He's a cruel god, lusting for power and knowledge. He was hanged by a tree to prove himself and to find wisdom.
Alfred: He found nothing. Your gods teach nothing. They have no wisdom.
Guthrum: They ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in MGM 40th Anniversary (1964) See more »

User Reviews

 
good stuff
6 March 2005 | by MantearSee all my reviews

I liked this. Set in England in the 870s it tells the story of one of the great Kings in history. Hemmings does a great job as the complicated cynical Alfred who wants to be a priest but is forced into becoming King because his leadership qualities are badly needed against the marauding Danes. Hemmings Alfred is a formidable character but he's refreshingly no Hollywood hero. The battle scenes are excellent when you consider this was made on a low budget way back in 1969. There's a great aerial shot of a battle focusing on Alfred who's just come from the monastery to answer his country's call, giving off the impression that while he might prefer to be a holy man of letters, he can still effortlessly slide into the battlefield in an I can take or leave this manner. Hence his greatness.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1969 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

A King Is Born See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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