HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Ivanhoe Return Of The King
Year: 1952
Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Emlyn Williams, Robert Douglas, Finlay Currie, Felix Aylmer, Francis De Wolff, Norman Woolland, Basil Sydney, Harold Warrender, Patrick Holt, Sebastian Cabot, Valentine Dyall, Guy Rolfe
Genre: Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is the twelfth century and King Richard has been absent from England for too long, having gone to the Crusades in the Middle East and not returned. For now, his brother Prince John (Guy Rolfe) has taken charge of the country, which is already divided between the Saxons and the Normans, but while this rivalry rages, one Saxon, Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor), has taken it upon himself to track down Richard as he poses as a travelling minstrel. Currently he is making his way through Austria, visiting the castles should there be the chance his King is imprisoned in one - and as luck would have it...

Ivanhoe was one of the big moneymakers of its year for its studio MGM, and many were captivated by its sweeping tales of chivalry, even if at this remove it looks decidedly stagey and artificial. But that was the style of historical epics in those days, and in loosely adapting Sir Walter Scott's classic novel they obviously had in mind another prestigious production along the lines of The Adventures of Robin Hood. However, Robert Taylor was no Errol Flynn and proved a somewhat stiff hero, lacking in charisma and therefore at his best when he was dressed head to foot in his armour.

For that reason it's awkward that so much should be resting on Taylor's shoulders as not only the man of action at the heart of the story, but also the embodiment of hope and liberty for the people of the land. Ivanhoe must summon up the ransom on King Richard's head, so starts scouting around for someone who will cough up, knowing he will then be in their debt. The way out of that situation is to get the cash from someone who is in your debt, although it takes him practically the whole film to get into that position and involves much derring-do.

Which naturally takes the form of a jousting match, being de rigueur for this kind of film. Well, OK, not only a jousting match, but these are days of old when knights were bold, and our Ivanhoe finds himself fighting for not one but two lovely ladies. First, there's Lady Rowena (Joan Fontaine), companion to his estranged father Sir Cedric (Finlay Currie) who feels she can bring back together with his son, this being one of the major themes of the story. Second, there is Rebecca, the versed-in-medicine daughter of an elderly Jew Ivanhoe has rescued, Isaac of York (Felix Aylmer); she is in love with the hero too.

Now, Elizabeth Taylor felt she was miscast as Rebecca, and do you know? She was absolutely right. She may look as pretty as a picture in her medieval gowns, but as for personality we needed someone feisty and Taylor here has as much fire in her as a small glass of water. Still, she doesn't do too much damage to the tale's overriding point here, which is bringing the Christianity and Judaism together to the benefit of them both. Tradition and prejudice has separated the two sides, but we're shown how needless such bigotry is, and oddly enough in the character of one of the Norman villains more than anyone else. George Sanders plays that man, Guilbert, who falls for Rebecca and sticks up for her when she is being tried as a witch; in other circumstances they would have made a lovely, progressive couple - if she had loved him back. Ivanhoe largely has the look of the dressing up box about it, but does have a few thoughts in its head to its credit, perhaps due to its blacklisted writer Marguerite Roberts' inspiration. Music by Miklos Rosza.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5102 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: