4 June 2008 | ma-cortes
Good family fare with romance and great action scenes
This splendid version of Sir Walter Scott's classic epic tale starts in 12th century, when Saxon Knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe(Robert Taylor), a suitable noble, having fought for Richard the Lionhearted(Norman Wooland) during the Crusades, goes back to England. He aware king Richard has been taken prisoner and gets a letter written, telling the following : 'To the people of England . I am here held captive by Leopold of Austria. My brother, prince John has knowledge of it, yet he has denied my ransom. One hundred and fifty thousand marks of silver. I fear he does conspire with certain Norman knights to seize my throne. People of England, speed my deliverance. Your kingdom is at stake'. In order to regain his freedom, Ivanhoe attended by a likable squire(Emilyn Williams) confronts Prince John(Guy Rolfe) and his lieutenants(in this case George Sanders and Robert Douglas)and he's also drawn to Jewish healer Rebecca(Elizabeth Taylor), Isaac(Felix Aylmer)of York's daughter. Meanwhile, Ivanhoe woo maidens, as his childhood sweetheart, Saxon heiress Rowena(Joan Fontaine).Prince John, now John Lackland will stop at nothing to assume the throne. Ivanhoe join forces with Robin Hood and his Merry man who attack the stronghold.
This enjoyable film displays romance, chivalry, knighthood, daring jousting and lots of action with spectacular castle attack. This one proved notable hit as well as the others two Robert Taylor's forays into English history, 'Quentin Durward and Knights of the Round table', produced and directed by similar crew, Pandro S Berman and Richard Thorpe. The film packs a glamorous and luminous cinematography by Freddie Young and evocative musical score by Miklos Rozsa. The picture is excellently handled by Richard Thorpe.
The film is partially based on true events. Although Ivanhoe didn't exist, John Lackland was king of England from 1199 to 1216. Few monarchs have been subject to such appalling publicity as John, Although by no means lovable, he was an able administrator and spent more time in England than his predecessor and elder brother Richard I but he was jailed by Leopold of Austria, returning from Crusades. Besides appears Robin Hood, also known Robin O'Locksley and the Earl of Huntingdom, is probably and sadly a creation of romantic imaginations. If Robin Hood did exist, it's almost certain that he was not a Saxon , though his enemies may well have been the Norman sheriff of Nottinghan and Prince and later king John Lackland.