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A love story with epic trimmings
on 14 March 2014
In 11th century Medieval Europe, a Duke sends his trusted knight (Charlton Heston) to a small Druid village to protect it from Frisian invaders led by their Prince (Henry Wilcoxon). But it is at this village where the knight meets his downfall, not by Frisian soldiers but a young village girl (Rosemary Forsyth) who captures his fancy then his heart. Based on an unsuccessful play THE LOVERS by Leslie Stevens, Franklin J. Schaffner's (PATTON) film is essentially an intimate love story trimmed with movie epic pretensions. Unfortunately these elements seem to be fighting each other rather than meshing together. It doesn't help that the supposed 11th century European topography is clearly Southern California. It doesn't have the look or feel of an Epic and it's not just the obviousness of the Universal backlot. Its scale just seems small and that wizard of the camera Russell Metty (SPARTACUS) can't do much to punch it up especially when required to use rear projections. Heston provides the necessary gravitas material like this requires but he's playing with a second string cast of mostly Universal contract players like Forsyth, Guy Stockwell and James Farentino who don't measure up. With Richard Boone, Maurice Evans and Niall MacGinnis.
The Eureka DVD sports a handsome anamorphic wide screen (2.35) transfer.