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The War Lord [DVD]

Charlton Heston , Richard Boone , Franklin J. Schaffner    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
Price: 7.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth, Maurice Evans
  • Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner
  • Format: Anamorphic, Widescreen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L0GGSQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,436 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

One of the finest historical adventure films ever made, The War Lord dramatises with uncommon intelligence and integrity the brutality, difficulties and injustices of the Middle Ages. Charlton Heston (Ben Hur, Touch of Evil, The Ten Commandments) stars as Chrysagon, an honoured knight who takes over a castle tower in the swampland of Normandy to strengthen his duke's authority. But his struggles to maintain power in the face of Pagan villagers, barbarian attackers and his brother's jealous counsel are shaken by his growing weariness with bloodshed in a cruel world. Never before released for home viewing in the UK, this collaboration between OSCAR-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner and the legendary Charlton Heston, three years before their iconic reunion on Planet of the Apes, is a gripping saga of ferocious battles, heartfelt emotion and powerful storytelling. 'One of [Schaffner's] best films, along with Planet of the Apes and Patton.' - Time Out Film Guide 'A fascinating, literate and rather disturbing excursion into the past. Four Stars.' - Radio Times 'Heston delivers a hard-hitting performance.' - Variety SPECIAL FEATURES: New anamorphic 2.35:1 digital transfer - Uncompressed PCM audio - Optional music & effects track - Original theatrical trailer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norman's Keep 16 July 2005
The film was based on a play - The lovers and in parts of the film it shows, but the story paints a pageant of the 11th century and shows that the Christian relgion was still fighting the old Gods of the North in Europe (up to the 14th Century). After a first encounter between the Norman retinue of Chrysagon De Lacrue and Frisian (Norse) raiders, the film concentrates on the love story, which develops and shows the "Right (Droit)of the Seigneur" - a legalised rape that remained in Europe into the 14th century. Unfortunately, Rosemary Forsyth lacks either the acting experience, or personality to make Chrysagons betrayal of everything he has striven for with his sword for over 20 years, seem plausible. As his brother comments, "Why don't you just sleep with her?" Captured in the battle is a young boy who turns out to be the son of the chieftan who impoverished Chrysagon's father and by doing so made paupers of him and his brother Draco - by charging an extortionate ransom for their captured father. All fairs well at first, until Chrysagon claims the 'right of Droit Seigneur' and beds the village girl he is taken with on her wedding night. In the morning he cannot give her back and the villagers go to the Frisian chief with the news that the boy lives. It is sad that the film does not show that the Friesans and the villages share the same religion and relatives as the play did.
At this point the film suddenly changes pace, with the love making of Chrysagon and his serf "Lady" being literally interrupted by the first Frisian attack on the stone tower housing the Normans. The screen is ablaze with action as arrows fly, swords and axes swing and the Normans exert super-human effort to avoid being over run by hordes of barbarians.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
A flop on its initial release and rarely revived since, The War Lord is one of the most interesting Sixties historical pictures. Dealing with the doomed love affair of a Norman knight and one of his vassals, Charlton Heston spent several years trying to get the picture into production (even approaching such unlikely potential directors as David Lean, Laurence Olivier, Carol Reed and Peter Ustinov) only to see it hacked down to two hours from final choice Franklin J. Schaffner's 171-minute rough cut to make it more of an action picture and highlight the siege finale.

There are obvious holes in the narrative, which may or may not be due to the cutting: it is never made clear why the dwarf turns against Chrysagon, while Rosemary Forsyth disappears for much of the last third of the picture while the battles rage. Budgetary limitations also make themselves felt in the unconvincing back projection. Similarly, while he maintains an imposing physical presence, Richard Boone gives the impression of having walked onto the wrong set by mistake every time he opens his mouth, but the rest of the cast fit their roles well, although the clash of accents makes itself felt on more than one occasion (Niall MacGinnis' Shire tones are wildly at odds with 'son' James Farentino's American, but thankfully no-one attempts a French accent). Yet these can forgiven in light of many of the film's achievements.

Although by no means at his best, Heston gradually impresses as the pauper knight who loses what he has fought his whole life to regain, ending his family line in the process over the only thing he has ever wanted for himself.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Bluray! 18 April 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Contrary to what others have posted, I found this bluray transfer to be superb and worthy of one of my favourite films. Don't intend reviewing the film as everything's already been said. The booklet is also a nice bonus although there are no further extras on the disc as the description lead us to believe might be included...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlton Heston at his best 28 April 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Now this film only has a trailer as extras that's all right you get a little booklet with in a few shoots Charlton Histon fan like me it doesn't matter the picture and sound is top-quality so I suggest you buy
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my most favorite movies ever! I can watch it endlessly and every time its magic works perfectly! It is so good that it would be a sin to give any spoilers so let's just say that this is a very good attempt at a historical drama happening in the Dark Ages of Europe.

The story takes place in early XI century in northern France. In this times Europe finally started to recover from the terrible times of Great Migrations (476-955) and the emergence of new states, like Kingdom of France and Germanic Empire, brought finally some stability to populations.

It is during this time that Chrysagon de la Crue (Charlton Heston), a redoubtable knight in service of "Duke William of Ghent" (a fictitious character) "who held a coastal area in Normandy" (and therefore would have to be a vassal of King of France), arrives in the domain that he received as a reward. He is supposed to rule the place and get income from it, but also defend it against barbarian plunderers from Frisia (a land divided today between Netherlands and Germany). He brings with him another knight, his younger brother Draco, as well as a handful of faithful soldiers, or, as they were called in this time in France "sergents d'armes" - commoners who served as foot soldiers under the command of a knight for a wage. That covers the first two minutes of the movie... and about the rest of the story I will say nothing.

There are many excellent things in this movie. First let's say that "The War Lord" tries really hard to stick to the reality of the XI century in Western Europe. Costumes, weapons, armor and fighting tactics are really well described (well, there are of course little imperfections, but this simply can not be avoided).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Mr. Joseph F
5.0 out of 5 stars The MOVIE that made me a MAN!
I saw this film at an impressionable age, and it still haunts me...from the tinkling glade of the Gods of tree and stone, to the turncoat dwarf, to Guy Stockwell's seething... Read more
Published 8 days ago by ILYA
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
it will not play on my dvd
Published 18 days ago by bubba cornstubble
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
love movies like this
Published 27 days ago by sandra simpkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
Have always liked this film - but it rarely seems to be shown these days? Anyway, took the plunge and acquired this Blu-ray, and have been very pleased with the purchase. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DBWM
4.0 out of 5 stars Heston films - War Lord
best release yet on DVD
Published 2 months ago by jean-maurice tremblay
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray version
The picture quality is very good exept for a few scenes early on which are very grainy. But once film gets going the picture is sharp & colours are rich. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. A. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars historical "pot boiler"
Although not factual, a good film non the less. Heston always made great films and whilst no comparison to Ben Hur it is still worth a saturday afternoon's viewing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by michael cook
5.0 out of 5 stars On of Heston's finest films
In my opinion, this medieval epic is one of Heston's finest films and a personal favourite. It has a strong story, great battles scenes and memorable characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christopher Garfield Allen
1.0 out of 5 stars Worse than Rubbish
This is the biggest load of rubbish ever. How on earth could Charlton Heston put his name to this is anybody's Guess. Read more
Published 3 months ago by F Holiday
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