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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 20 May 2017
A generally underrated Charlton Heston historical piece. This film was directed by Franklin (J.) Schaffner, who went on to direct the first Planet of the Apes entry, also starring Heston. Incidentally, Maurice Evans likewise, appeared in them both. The film is marketed as being, 'One of the finest historical adventure films ever made' My take on this would be as follows: This is a medieval action adventure film made in 1965 Hollywood. It's well made and leads to a climatic set piece involving the defence of Heston's Castle Tower. Unusual for the day, and possibly the only medieval story from that era that took a more realistic approach to its subject matter. Heston sports an authentic haircut from that time, that apparently caused studio executives to caution him on the possibility that his sex appeal might be jeopardized by this action, but he went ahead, (no pun intended) with the style anyway! If you're a Heston fan, and have not seen this film, I recommend it to you! If you enjoy 1960's historical adventure films, this is for you! Those accustomed to modern fare may find it dated, but overall, in my view, a good entry to Charlton Heston's filmography. Blu ray transfer is good, although I should advise that the rather misty-looking opening of the film is not to be worried about. This was most likely a problem from the source material, as it soon clears, and beautiful cinematography by Russell Metty prevails. These observations being based upon My previous version of this film, A German transfer, 'Die Normannen Kommen' Which demonstrated the exact same transfer problem.
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on 9 January 2016
Quite an amazing print. One of Heston's best roles with gorgeous Rosemary Forsyth and rugged Richard Boone. Guy Stockwell is impressive and Maurice Evans shines. Listen carefully and you will hear several of the actors dubbed in certain scenes and Paul Frees recognizable voice is heard throughout. Highly recommended.
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Crysagon' (Charlton Heston) has battled for his 'Duke' for the last
twenty years, as a reward for his sevice has awarded his Knight
lands and a part-built 'Norman'-Keep' a Tower.
'Crysagon' along with brother 'Draco' and loyal companion 'Bors'
along with a small force are immediately thrown into action as they
enter the domain, the raiders from the north are led by an old adversary
the 'Frisians'
The new defenders drive the attackers back to their boats, however
the young son of the Frisian King has been left behind.
The lands awarded to 'Lord Crysagon' is in essence swamp-land, the
peasants seemingly have pagan customs and beliefs, though a priest
lives among them.
On a hunting expedition 'Lord Crysagon' comes across the village-elder
'Odin's' daughter 'Bronwyn'
Her beauty has captivated 'Crysagon' so much so that when 'Bronwyn'
marries the man she'd been promised too, 'Crysagon' claims the ancient
rights, taking the virgin-bride on the wedding night.
The Lord has promised to return 'Bronwyn' at first light, however when the
hour comes ne cannot let her go.
He has broken his Vow, 'Bronwyn's' husband travels north to tell the 'Frisian'
King that his son lives and is held in the Tower, hoping of course to reclaim
his bride.
The defenders of the Tower hugely outnumbered by the 'Frisian' hoards and
the peasants, need help, 'Draco' leaves the sieged Tower to seek the help
of the Dukes forces.
The siege scenes are well staged, a film of love and valour and betrayal,
'Charlton Heston' star of many great epics, does not quite live up to the giant
shadow his role in the magnificent 'El-Cid'
An acceptable HD upgrade for this 1965 'Historical-style drama.
The package comes with a 28-page booklet which contains a new essay by
critic 'Michael Brooke' a vintage review.- the words of 'Charlton Heston'
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on 5 June 2017
Excellent product, rapidly delivered.
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on 18 April 2014
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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on 27 April 2017
Charlton Heston was famous for his historical epics like El Cid, The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur etc. The War Lord may not be an epic but as a period piece it is probably more accurate. Set somewhere in Northern Europe, most likely Normandy, in the 11th century, Heston plays a knight who after years of fighting has been rewarded with grant of a castle , in fact little more than a fortified tower, and village by his overlord. There are three problems, the area is subject to raids by Frisians, the locals are only nominally Christian and Heston falls in love with one of the village girls.

What separates this film from other films set during the middle ages is this is a world without soap, shampoo and freshly ironed clothes. Everyone including the nobles look like they come from the 11th century. What this film also shows is how deadly an armoured knight was on the battlefield .As one of the villagers points out they have been trained since childhood to fight and to kill.

Well worth a couple of hours of your time.
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on 7 March 2017
gooddelivery
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on 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. In short order we have a night attack to disable the draw bridge, a battering ram, the burning of the gate and a massive siege tower. The film carries on to a totally unexpected tragedy. Well worth watching if you like action films. Surprisingly, the whole thing was filmed in Hollywood, but it looks and feels like Belgium and the Normans look real and so does their tower. If you like period films that strive to be historically correct and exciting then this is a must.
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on 1 May 2017
Good not one of hestons best
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