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

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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Biopic about the king who defeated the Danes and united English Kingdoms
3 April 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

During depths of Dark Ages various kingdoms find in England , the greatest results to be Wessex ruled by King Alfred (David Hemmins) . When in ninth century the Scandinavian Vikings or Danes (led by Michael York) invade England with bloodthirsty raids , the young leader Alfred (849-899) at 22 years old dreams with an united nation . Alfred the Great managed himself to unify the small Anglo-Xaxons states in order to battle and beat the invaders barbarians Vikings . Alfred vanquished the invading Danes and freed the London city , besides he promoted the Anglo-Xaxon culture and the civilized values such us learning read Latin.

David Hemmins makes an excellent interpretation along with Michael York as the brutal Danish chief and attractive Prunella Ransome as a princess wished on both sides , besides appears Sir Ian McKellen's debut as a brave outlaw . The great climaxes of the film are , of course , the spectacularly staged battles scenes which convey us a realist scenario . The sets are properly adjusted although no palaces , silks , satins at a court with no pomp and circumstance but simple cloaks and rags and living in wood-forts . This biography is a historic chronicle developing an enjoyable screenplay by James R. Webb . Sensational and glimmer cinematography stunningly reflected on the outdoors by cameraman Alex Thomson . The motion picture is well directed by Clive Donner . The flick will appeal to historic cinema buffs . Rating : Above average. Well worth watching.


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