The War Lord
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Set against the bloody backdrop of the barbaric Dark Ages, The War Lord is an exciting historical epic staring Charlton Heston. Chrysagon (Heston), an 11th-century Norman knight and war lord, is given command over a Druid peasant village. Battling enemies from both the North and from his own ranks, the lonely warrior becomes consumed with passion for the beautiful Bronwyn (Rosemary Forsyth) who is engaged to the son of the tribe’s chieftain. Convinced by his plotting brother (Guy Stockwell) to impose an ancient law stating that nobleman may have the “right to first night” with any bride, Chrysagon falls in love with the newlywed, refusing to set her free. This sets the stage for betrayal, bloody battles, murder and forbidden love as Chrysagon and Bronwyn vow never to part.
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The very first time I saw it I was babysitting a neighbor's baby and I was about 12-years old (1966?), and The Warlord was the Late-Late Movie. .
I have a memory of there being other scenes that this DVD did not have, ... never-the-less, it is a superb movie.
The cast is excellent:
Guy Stockwell: The intensity he is able to give his character is exceptional and totally riveting. TOTALLY believable.
Charlton Heston: Character portrayal very honest and deeply heroic. Extraordinarily romantic; *sigh*. Believable
Rosemary Forsyth; Magical, romantic, ethereal. Beautiful-of course.
Richard Boone: LOVE Richard Boone's focused devoted, wise heroic character. Father figure to Sir Chrysagon. Excellent actor. Believable.
The movie does portray a hard life... barren, cold, .... makes me grateful for what I have.. honest to god !!!!
Charlton Heston's Sir Chrysagon has been awarded a fiefdom in the backwoods of beyond, where his small troop of soldiers must maintain the peace with the Druid natives. A peasant girl attracts Sir Chrysagon, and complications necessarily ensue, while the knight continues to ward off besieging Frisian raiders.
Heston's War lord is like a 1950's businessman in chain mail, obliged to carry out impossible assignments on behalf of his overlord/boss. He is grim and humourless in a demanding setting, with only the parish priest, Maurice Evans, as a source of rueful wit.
The treatment of the druidical practices is particularly interesting, as there are visual references to the Green Man and to the spirits of the wood and stone. Sir Chrysagon and his knights are wary of the villagers' pagan faith, and fears of witchcraft lurk in the background.
I highly recommend this film, both for its lush photography, strong narrative, excellent acting and melodic score. Heston's strongest performance was as the wily Cardinal Richelieu in Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" -- but this performance is a near match. It is proof that Heston was more than a 'star.' When given a strong script, the man could *act.*
Richard Boone deserves a word of praise, as the right hand man to Sir Chrysagon. Although I normally associate Boone with Westerns, his tough persona translates well to the 11th century. If you stop to think about it, conquerors of Europe in the 11th century were similar to gunslingers in America in the 1800's. They were beyond the pale of civilisation, with only their weapons and wits to preserve them.
So get this film if you enjoy a more thoughtful and informed approach to history in cinema. You won't regret it.
Most recent customer reviews
So we bought a NO code Blu Ray so we could play this one disk.
After reading the fine print, I see that it works on "play only" devices.