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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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