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Prince Valiant NR CC

Set in England during the time of King Arthur, a young Viking, Prince Valiant, seeks to become a knight in Camelot.

Starring:
James Mason, Janet Leigh
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Adventure, Action
Director Henry Hathaway
Starring James Mason, Janet Leigh
Supporting actors Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, Sterling Hayden, Victor McLaglen, Donald Crisp, Brian Aherne, Barry Jones, Mary Philips, Howard Wendell, Tom Conway, Robert Adler, Lloyd Ahern II, Chris Alcaide, Hal Baylor, Neville Brand, George Bruggeman, Primo Carnera, Larry Chance
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on September 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is such a sense of childlike wonder and fun in Henry Hathaway's 1954 Camelot tale, PRINCE VALIANT, that it's easy to forgive the obvious incongruities in accents (Robert Wagner's broad American tones...hard to believe he plays Donald Crisp's son...Sterling Hayden, looking and sounding more like Wild Bill Hickok than Sir Gawain...Victor McLaglen as the most Irish Viking you'll ever see!), and concentrate, instead, on the energy, pageantry, and sweep of Hathaway's adaptation of Hal Foster's classic comic strip.

Certainly, one would be hard-pressed to assemble a finer cast; in addition to Wagner, Hayden, McLaglen, and Crisp, you have James Mason as the villain, Sir Brack, dazzling, and far more believable than he had been as Rupert of Hentzau in MGM's remake of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA; Janet Leigh and Debra Paget, both ethereally beautiful as the sisters, Aleta and Ilene; and Brian Aherne, as King Arthur, so perfect in the role that you wish his part had been larger.

In the early 1950s, there was a resurgence of swashbuckling films in Hollywood, and a new sub-category appeared, 'Knights in Training', with Fox's PRINCE VALIANT, and Universal's THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH (starring Tony Curtis) both devoting ample screen time to the education of squires in the knightly skills of jousting and sword fighting. These scenes are great fun to watch, particularly for children (knights had to go to school, too!), and paint a far more accurate picture of the difficult work involved in mastering the required talents than did the recent film, A KNIGHT's TALE.

As we follow the adventures of the Viking Prince as he restores his kingdom, finds love, and wins a place at the Round Table, special credit must be given to Franz Waxman's spectacular music.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Released in 1954, "Prince Valiant" is as much fun for the whole family now as it was fifty years ago. This colourful, Cinemascope movie is a feast for the eye, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. You have a brave young hero to cheer for--a nasty villain to "hiss"--action--romance--beautiful sets, locations, costumes--and Henry Hathaway's expert direction.

A very young Robert Wagner stars as "Prince Valiant", a Viking who wishes to become a knight in the court of King Arthur--he certainly cuts a dashing figure, once you get used to a rather outlandish, but compulsory, Prince Valiant wig ! Valiant soon finds himself involved in a treacherous plan to oust his own father, King Aguar ( laid-back, avuncular Donald Crisp ), and--zounds !--King Arthur himself ( laid-back, avuncular Brian Aherne ). Of course, our hero still finds time to fall in love with Princess Aleta ( gorgeous Janet Leigh )--not enough romance ?--well, Aleta's handmaiden, Ilene ( sultry Debra Paget ) is "smitten" with Valiant's mentor, Sir Gawain ( a bluff and hearty Sterling Hayden ). Stirring up the whole pot is the ambitious, unscrupulous Sir Brack ( James Mason, stealing scenes with ease ). We have a very lively jousting scene, plenty of battles, narrow escapes and other feats of "derring do". There is, in fact, never a dull moment ! There are more than a few "camp" aspects to this movie, not the least of which are those strong American accents of Mr.Wagner and, especially, Mr.Hayden. Remember "The Black Shield of Falworth" when Tony Curtis, in heavy Bronx accent, says " take me to da castle of my fadda " ? There are a few smiles like that here.

The DVD is beautiful--you will be hard pressed to find many films more colourful than this lovely Cinemascope gem from Fox.
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Format: DVD
Before the youthful Luke Skywalker learned to be a Jedi Knight, the youthful Prince Valiant learned to be a knight in King Arthur's court. Hal Foster's Sunday comic strip was a logical story to bring to the screen, in the wake of MGM's "Ivanhoe" and "Knights of the Round Table", when "sword epics" were getting their second wind.

As a film, "Prince Valiant" works rather well on several fronts, although there are a couple of minor drawbacks. One is the casting of Sterling Hayden as Sir Gawain, a role that should have brought more of a combination of heroic ego and a bit of comic relief. Another bit of questionable casting is that of Victor McLaglen as the leader of the Christian Vikings. He's barely recognizable behind that beard, but the moment when he first opens his mouth - and that Irish brogue spills forth - will lift a few eyebrows. The Vikings are all stereotypes, of course, complete with horned helmets and burly beards. In fact, when shown as a group, they look like a cattle call for mascot auditions at a Minnesota football game.

But the positive aspects of this movie rule the day. James Mason makes a fine villain, just the kind everyone would "love to hate". My guess is that 1954 must have been Mason's year. Besides "Prince Valiant", he starred opposite Judy Garland in "A Star is Born", and created perhaps his greatest role, that of Captain Nemo in Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Robert Wagner as Valiant is on shaky ground at the film's start, but he proves himself at the end. The late Janet Leigh makes a most beautiful "damsel in distress", and the almost overlooked Debra Paget matches Leigh's beauty in the role of her sister.
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