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Prince Valiant

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Prince Valiant

Postby pvitari » July 19th, 2010, 9:03 am

Anyone here a fan of Prince Valiant? The Maltin guide calls it "cardboard" but I just watched Eureka's Blu-ray and I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was. Director Henry Hathaway kept things zipping along nicely, and I got a kick out of bad wigs, the ladies' bullet bras, and the many American accents contrasted with a few British ones (James Mason and Brian Aherne, buried under a big wig and beard as King Arthur). Franz Waxman also wrote a most enjoyable score. The script was by the great Dudley Nichols.

Best of all were two terrific action sequences, first the big battle at Prince Valiant's family's castle (the flames of the fire against the dark blue night light was especially beautiful) and then an absolutely fantastic swordfight between Mason and Robert Wagner (Valiant). They wielded very big, heavy swords and that duel must have been exhausting to rehearse and film, but the results make it worth the while. This goes on my list of great movie swordfights.

Apparently there is a more recent version from 1997 starring Stephen Moyer (now vampire Bill on HBO's True Blood) but I haven't seen that.

My dad is not a comic strip fan but he always liked Prince Valiant. :)

I myself have not read the comic so I don't know how the movie diverged from the comic, but from what I've read, the comic's fans were not entirely pleased by the changes.


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