Monday, August 19, 2013

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Movie Review: Prince Valiant

I am all medieval these days. So I think I better do a medieval movie review today!

It's one of my absolute favorites. Introducing Prince Valiant!


Prince Valiant:
I called you a traitor when you delivered me into Sligon's hands and now I say it again - traitor!

Starring Robert Wagner as the legendary Prince Valiant, this family-friendly movie is full of medieval intrigue, castles, maidens, sword-fighting, dangerous enemies, tournaments, and a siege!

Watch the trailer:


Ok, so the trailer is not so good. Few old-time classic movies have good teasers. Moving on....

Plot:

Prince Valiant has long lived a life of solitude in exile with his father and mother. His father is a king and is in hiding from his enemy, Slaigon of the Vikings. King Arthus of Camelot has protected them by keeping them safe in a forgotten castle.

Prince Valiant is sent by his father to begin his education for knighthood at Camelot. Along the way, he is accosted by the infamous "Black Knight". Nobody knows exactly who he is. And, along the way, he meets Sir Gawain through a very amusing set of circumstances.

Sir Gawain eventually takes Prince Valiant for his squire and begins training him. Exciting events such as a tournament, meeting the beautiful Princess Aleta (which evokes some more humorous events!), and suspicious dealings with the Black Knight take place. 

Eventually, fun gives place to duty. Grim battles and heart-stopping action whirl the story along, bringing to light hidden facts and eventually reclaiming honor and justice.


I love this scene. Prince Valiant takes a stand against his father's enemy before King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. 


A medieval tale would not be complete without a joust!

Cons:
  • One kissing scene. It is not long and ends rather humorously. 
  • The battle scenes may frighten young children. You never see blood and nothing gory is depicted. You rarely see anyone die, but, the two or three times you do, it's never super graphic. However, several people do catch fire in the siege. Those scenes last only a few seconds. Reading a Henty book is far more graphic.
  • A sword "sings". It's really not a huge part of the movie and they don't really talk about supernatural/mystical powers. 
  • Some historical inaccuracies, particularly with the female characters. Their outfits are rather more brazen than would have been accepted. 
Pros:
  • Honor, justice, chivalry, and real masculinity/femininity are portrayed. 
  • Prince Valiant always tries to do the right thing, even though he doesn't always succeed. On the one or two occasions he fails in his duty, he always sees his errors and makes good on his wrongdoing. Personally, I like him because he is very real. He's brave, honorable, faithful, and altogether human.
  • Right prevails over wrong. Justice is always rendered.
  • Prince Valiant is a staunch Christian. He stands for his faith against the evil Sligon and is not afraid to speak the truth.


The evil Sir Brack:
Traitor is a word that winners give to losers, and you've lost.


The noble Sir Gawain:
You were a young fool. But I was an old fool, which is worse.

I highly recommend Prince Valiant. It's not a perfect movie, as no movie is, but it is definitely worth watching. If you like the works of G. A. Henty or other classical authors, this movie is for you!

Have you seen it?

*Images and quotes not my own.*
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5 comments:

  1. Sounds really good! I am going to have to kind this movie.

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  2. I loved the duel between Valiant and Sir Brack. That and the castle siege were, hands down, the best parts!

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  3. Seen it once or twice. Another hideous inaccuracy could be those horned helmets on the Vikings, and that haircut....ugh!

    You know I think swords can make a certain noise when slashed through the air (or perhaps its the air particles) which may be where the notion of the 'sword song' comes from.

    Its a sort of fun and probably quite wholesome film, not a favourite, but worth a watch.

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    1. I considered that. And it is possible they made swords that could "Sing" as they whistled through the air, but I think this one was supposed to have some power. Not like it's a huge deal; it's really not a big part of the film!

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    2. Yeah, I think it was. Just making the point though.

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