King Richard and the Crusaders

Theirs was the mightiest challenge of them all!

Adventure Drama History
114 min     6.2     1954     USA


Based on Sir Walter Scott's The Talisman, this is the story of the romantic adventures of Christians and Muslims during the battle for the Holy Land in the time of King Richard the Lionheart.


John Chard wrote:
By Saint George – Or Andrew… King Richard and the Crusaders is directed by David Butler and adapted to screenplay by John Twist from the novel “The Talisman” written by Sir Walter Scott. It stars Rex Harrison, Viginia Mayo, George Sanders, Laurence Harvey, Robert Douglas, Michael Pate and Paula Raymond. A WarnerColor/CinemaScope production, music is by Max Steiner and cinematography by J. Peverell Marley. Unfairly maligned as one of the 50 worst movies of all time, David Butler’s picture has enough spectacle about it to ensure it can be enjoyed by fans of such fluffy fare. The script is often awful, the historical accuracy equally so, while Rex Harrison – who is otherwise excellent – singing like a love sick minstrel, is a touch bizarre! But on the other side of the fence is the lush colour, the costuming, Harrison and Sanders’ playful jostling, Steiner’s rumbling score and the lively action scenes (mucho jousting high in calibre). It for sure isn’t approaching the top end of the swords and shields list of movies, but is it really worse than the likes of Androcles and the Lion, Helen of Troy, Sword of Lancelot etc? No say I! There’s fun to be had, both intentional and otherwise. 6/10
CinemaSerf wrote:
Laurence Harvey portrays a fictional Scottish knight on crusade with Richard the Lionheart in this brightly coloured but laboured adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's "The Talisman". The history is all over the place and the casting - particularly Rex Harrison as Saladin, but George Sanders as King Richard is pretty lame too. Robert Douglas reprises his oft-seen role as the baddie to some effect, and Virginia Mayo adds a touch of glamour but the dialogue is very dry, the acting overly theatrical and though well enough put together, this comes across as a lot-made film made to fulfil outstanding contractual obligations by the actors rather than to engage an adult audience.