6.3/10
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27 user 4 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/PG | 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

A 3/4-sized replica of the White Horse in Berkshire was recreated on the slopes of Knockma Hill in County Galway. It was designed and cut eighteen inches deep, two hundred eighty feet long, sixty feet at its widest, and filled with about seventeen tons of plaster. The Berkshire White Horse, which dates from before the English and Viking battles, was the scene of King Alfred's encounter with the Viking invaders. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
quick glance
23 September 1998 | by quietguySee all my reviews

A pretty decent film overall. "Chapters" in the story change with a gimmicky visual effect of Hemmings' face looking at itself in transition (from would-be priest to young king, from ruler to man on the run, etc.), it's sometimes hard to catch the names of the individual characters (and the final credits don't help much), and the battle scenes (though staged well) might be seen as overlong. But the film tells its story effectively, brings the characters and events to life and gives us a nice look at 9th century England, and how its people rallied around a king who learned from his early mistakes. I found the actors believable in their roles, the interpretation of events plausible and came away feeling like I knew something about King Alfred and his thoughts. Wouldn't take it as light entertainment, but would recommend it as dramatised history. --Of course, Hemmings' Alfred relies on cleverness, while York's Viking leader Guthrum leans mainly on bravado; familiar parts for both.


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