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The Black Shield of Falworth NR CC

(133) IMDb 6.5/10
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In the reign of King Henry IV, Miles (Tony Curtis) is a peasant determined to save the throne and the Lady Anne (Janet Leigh) in an epic tale filled with jousts, jests and medieval heroics.

Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
1 hour, 40 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Adventure
Director Rudolph Maté
Starring Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
Supporting actors David Farrar, Barbara Rush, Herbert Marshall, Torin Thatcher, Dan O'Herlihy, Patrick O'Neal, Craig Hill, Ian Keith, Doris Lloyd, Rhys Williams, Leonard Mudie, Maurice Marsac, Leo Britt, Charles B. Fitzsimons, Gary Montgomery, Claud Allister, Hamilton Camp, Harry Cording
Studio NBCU
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Zorikh Lequidre on February 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is the kind of colorful adventure that kids must have eaten up during Saturday matinees with a cartoon, newsreel, and second feature. A good-looking hero fights for justice, having to go through a period of training and learning before he is ready to take on his adversary. There is a friendship, a rivalry, a vow upheld, a promise kept, justice served, growth, a romance without sloppy kissing, and some spiffy combat, both man-to-man and large battles.
The story is based on Howard Pyle's "Men of Iron," a late 19th century boy's book that cleans up and romanticizes the Middle Ages. This movie keeps much of the flavor of that interpretation of medieval life. The story touches on such topics as the role of women, the rarity of books, the feudal system, and table manners. As such it is a fun and interesting place to start looking at medieval culture, but being based on a 19th century boy's novel, should not be taken as the last word.
For medieval purists, this movie can be maddening. While some of the costumes are based on well-known paintings and illustrations, they are from various periods and modified to fit modern esthetics. Other costumes are Hollywood generic. The armor has some good things about it, but the breastplates are too wide, restricting motion, and what looks like a shirt collar of chain mail ought to be a coif or aventail.
The actor's performances range from fun to boring, mostly in inverse proportion to the youth of the actor. The direction is pretty stiff, only the occasional fun actor and fight scenes livening it up. The music is typically glorious, bringing a richness and thrill to the experience that the visuals sometimes don't have. And the script is flat out corny.
That having been said, it's very fun if you get into this sort of thing, as I do.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Randall Parr on June 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
As a professional Knight by trade, I love collecting every well-made film on the subject of Knighthood (fact and fiction) I can possibly find. Ever since I was a child, this film has been one of the most inspiring for me, and I'm glad to see it out on video.
Set during the reign of Henry IV of England, "The Black Shield" traces the adventures of Miles Falworth (Tony Curtis) and his sister, the banished children of a great Knight who was framed and killed by the evil Earl of Alban. Now, the Falworth name is outlawed, as are any living relatives bearing the same name. Sent to the castle of one of their dad's long-time friends for protection and service, the Falworth duo find favor with the castle Lord. This good fortune, together with Miles' scrappy personality and martial skill, places the young fellow in training for Knighthood under the tutelage of the salty Sir James. A great story follows, knitting Tony with Janet Leigh (yes, Jamie Lee's real-life parents), together dodging treachery and bad guys. Interestingly, this movie depicts more of the challenging training elements of Knighthood than any I've ever seen, such as the ability to steer a horse in full armor without the use of the reigns. Ultimately, the film comes to an exciting climax with a white-knuckled "joust to the death" between Miles and the evil Earl who framed his dad.
Overlook the dialogue. Brit accents are not obligatory in this movie, as demonstrated by Tony's New York accent (i.e., "yonda in da castle of my fadda". Nevertheless, the interaction is charming, and the props, costumes, action sequences, and support acting are excellent. This video is a must for your medieval collection.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on January 27, 2010
Format: DVD
THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH (1954) holds the distinction of being the very first CinemaScope production released by Universal. Real-life couple Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh pair up for one of their most enjoyable outings in this medieval swashbuckler.

Farm-hand Myles (Curtis) and his sister Meg (Barbara Rush) enter the employment of Mackworth Castle; he as a knight-in-training, and she as an attendant to Lady Anne (Janet Leigh). Before you can say "opposites attract", Myles and Anne have struck up an inevitible romance, although the Earl of Mackworth (Herbert Marshall) hides potentially dangerous information regarding Myles' parentage, and his rightful place in the kingdom...

Tony Curtis has copped a lot of flack for his performance in THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH. True, he hardly fits the bill as a British knight of the realm, but he delivers a fun-spirited, committed performance in the best tradition of Errol Flynn, helped largely by the support of Janet Leigh; their scenes together are a joy. Universal contract starlet Barbara Rush is a charming presence as well.

If you have a region-free setup, it might be wise to import this title from the UK. Eureka Entertainment has released BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH on factory-pressed DVD as well as a spectacular Blu-ray disc (which I own and looks simply fabulous). DVD-R discs don't have the same level of durability or life-expectancy as regular, factory-pressed DVDs, so importing is definitely the way to go with this title if you can help it.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Debra Michaud on December 2, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Why hasn't this movie been released on DVD? Curtis' other great movie the Vikings was available years ago, why not this movie? There are too many bogus movies being made available, now is the time to start seriously considering offering classics such as these on disc. Another fine movie that was released fairly recently was the original Robin Hood, this is exactly what I'm talking about.
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