6.4/10
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27 user 3 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:

The dissenter king. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Back in 1964, Peter O'Toole was being championed as the lead. See more »

Quotes

Guthrum: I am Guthrum, son of Odin! This is Ivar, my warrior cheif. He's called Ivar the boneless because his mother made him with gristle, instead of bone. Show them.
[Ivar performs impressive acrobatics with a sword]
Guthrum: He fights as well.
Alfred: I am Alfred, king of Wessex. This is my cousin, Athelstan of Lamborn. I fear he only jumps on Danish graves.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A personal fave
7 January 1999 | by Speedy-21See all my reviews

Though I'm quite aware of this film's shortcomings (length and the multitude of exotic names, etc.), I must say that I think Leonard Maltin does this film a disservice. It accurately portrays some of the most important events in English history, and also paints a fine portrait of a monarch torn between earthly passions and the desire for spiritual purity. It is only by truly balancing these two forces that a man can succeed, and Alfred did so.

The conflicting forces in the film also symbolize Alfred's inner struggle -- the church representing his spiritual desires and the Danes standing for the passions and lusts of the physical world. Certainly the Battle of Athelney Marsh, one of the pivotal events in British history, is stirringly portrayed, particularly when the peasants and commoners rise up to save their king. This film, despite its flaws and its abysmal box office performance, remains a personal favorite of mine.


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