The War Lord


Action / Drama / History / Romance / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Charlton Heston Photo
Charlton Heston as Chrysagon
Kent McCord Photo
Kent McCord as Extra
Maurice Evans Photo
Maurice Evans as Priest
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
868.37 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S ...
1.84 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes7 / 10

Medieval drama with a sincere love story and bloody battles

XI century, the powerful Duke William of Ganthe sends his main knight Chrysagon (Charlton Heston) and some warriors to defend coastal villages in Normandy against continuous Frisios attacks that sack, ravage, rampage and pillage. Meanwhile , war-hardened Chrysagonn falls in love with a peasant girl named Bronwyn (Rosemary Forsyth) , adopted daughter of the old Odin (Nial MacGuinnis),though she is unfortunately engaged to someone else (James Farentino). The nobleman uses an old law which allows knights his feudal right of first night called ¨Ius Primae Noctis¨ after the wedding celebration. Nevertheless Chrysagon and Bronwyn become enamored and vow to never apart .

This mood piece is an interesting story set in the 11th century with impressive production values full of scenes like ancient prints, pulsating action in the keep attack and excellent performances. Splendid evocation of medieval time based on the play ¨The lovers¨ by Leslie Stevens (Outer limits) and well-adapted by John Collier (Silvia Scarlett) and Millard Kaufman (Bad day at Black Rock). Top-notch Charlton Heston as Norman noble who invokes his right and steals a bride, Guy Stockwell as embittered, deranged and ambitious brother. And gorgeous, sensitive Rosemary Forsyth who never bettered her role as frail and enamored peasant , in addition Richard Boone does a sincere portrayal as a veteran warrior . The aces in the hole of this stunning movie are the evocative musical score by Jerome Moross and colorful cinematography by Russell Metty with wonderful images of all kind of skies and turquoise interiors. Furhermore appropriate costumes fitting to Middle Age by Vitti Nino Novarese. The motion picture picture is finely directed by Franklin J. Schaffner in the first collaboration to Heston who later directed him in ¨Planet of apes¨ and as co-protagonist Maurice Evans who in ¨War lord¨ plays a likable priest. Schaffner filmed several hits as ¨Papillon¨, ¨Boys from Brazil¨ and of course ¨Patton¨ and some flops as ¨Nicholas and Alexandra¨, ¨Day of dolphin¨ and ¨Lionheart¨. Although had studio interference ¨War lord¨ is one of the most impressive pieces of Middle Age that Hollywood ever realized. Rating : Better than average, well worth watching.

Reviewed by MartinHafer5 / 10

A mixed bag...

It is very difficult to make a film set during the feudal era. After all, studios do want to make money and the lack of flash involving a story of common folk is a hard sell. Now it IS possible to make an exciting film about Medieval life--"The Vikings" (1958) is a great example as are pageantry films like "Ivanhoe" and "Robin Hood". But in general, the life of most during this period in history was pretty ordinary. There are no explosions, colors are muted and haircuts pretty bad (just look at Charlton Heston in this film)--and it takes real creativity to make an exciting film about this era--especially when "The War Lord" lacks the wild story elements of these other films. So, I had relatively low expectations for "The War Lord"--as making an engaging story would be an uphill battle.

The film begins with Heston playing a favored knight working for a Duke in Norman Europe (modern day northwestern France). Heston's job as the new lord is to go into a godforsaken part of the kingdom and set to rebuilding its castle and restoring the Duke's authority. It seems that the old knight in charge of the region was remiss in his duties and the land fell into ruin. By saying 'remiss', I mean the guy was more interested in despoiling the local maidens and not much else and let the locals practice their old pagan ways! As for Heston's men, they, too, seem mostly interested in raping the local lasses. As for Heston, he's an enigma. Although he condemns such activities, when he meets up with a local lady about to be ravished, he's not exactly chaste--as he stands there staring at her nudity. And, through the course of the film, he seems almost 'bewitched' by this woman--though she doesn't seem to encourage him.

The main theme of the film seems to be the clash between traditional values--paganism versus Christianity. Although the folks say they are good Christians, they retain many old ways. And, Heston is not exactly a bastion of Christian goodness, as through the course of the film he loses his moral compass. Eventually, he seems bent on exercising the feudal right of a lord to sleep with a virgin on her wedding night ("droit du seigneur"). I did some research on this right and apparently there really isn't any historical proof that such a privilege ever existed--especially since it would be hard to reconcile this with the teachings of the Church (of course, MANY behaviors by the nobles violated Biblical teaching during this time period--the whole 'thou shalt not kill' thing was pretty much ignored).

The film might irritate some, as when Heston does exercise this probably fictional right, the fair lass was quite willing. This might tend to promote the old rape myth--the one that says women protest but they WANT to be ravished by a man who won't take no for an answer. It irritated me more for it promoting bad history (in regard to the supposed right) but in some other ways it was excellent history. Knights did pretty much bully the serfs and Heston's men wanting to do as they pleased to the poor folk was very possible. And, although the film was a bit slow, it did show life for the lower ranks of the nobility--a group pretty much ignored in other films. But I couldn't look past that the film was not particularly enjoyable or interesting--thank goodness at least it had a battle near the end to add some excitement. And, I am sure, at the time the film wasn't much of a success because of this.

Some low-lights of the film would include Maurice Evans' character. This priest was VERY confusing--very pagan AND very Christian at the same time! He just didn't make much sense. Nor, now that I think about it, did the actions of Heston, the hot lady (Rosemary Forsyth) or many of the other characters.

The highlights, at least for me, included a nearly naked Heston fighting against the evil Frisians--and shoving fire in the guy's face! It was cool...and a bit funny. And, seeing the boiling oil tossed on the Frisians near the end was pretty a low-brow sort of way.

As for me, I still prefer "The Vikings" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". In fact, repeatedly through the latter portion of the film I kept expecting to see the Trojan Rabbit or hear Heston tell his men "fetchez the vache".

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Medieval Pageant

Playing the title role of The War Lord is Charlton Heston in a tale set in medieval Normandy in the 11th century. It's a fine epic story even though Heston's character while noble for his time is also a bit thick.

Heston is an honored and respected knight who has been given charge of a coastal area to defend it from the invading Frisians. He's got a company of men at arms including brother Guy Stockwell and family retainer Richard Boone. After one Frisian raid, the little Frisian prince played by Johnny Jenson is left behind and caught and naturally his dad Henry Wilcoxon wants him back.

The natives themselves are a problem. The local priest Maurice Evans has been trying to win them away from their Druid religion. But it's a tough battle. Evans plays an interesting part and in keeping with missionary tradition. Though the function of a missionary is to win native people away from whatever beliefs they hold at the same time missionaries have saved native populations from the more depraved aspects of Christian civilization. Evans in his century is a whole lot like a David Livingstone.

Guy Stockwell is the Mordred of the story. He's insanely jealous of the favor his brother is looked upon. He also is guilty of some of the clearest thinking in the film.

That clear thinking is concerned with Rosemary Forsyth, a beautiful peasant girl that gets Heston's hormones charged. He reaches back to the Druid religion of the lord having first crack at a bride on her wedding night. But then refuses to give her up. They both fall in love, but the peasant kid she's married to James Farentino is also son of the village headman Niall McGinniss.

It all involves the Druids teaming up with the Frisians the people who had been their sworn enemies with Heston having both Farentino's bride and the Frisian prince held at his tower. A good 40% of the film deals with the siege of that tower.

The War Lord is a grand medieval pageant with Charlton Heston at his most heroic even though the man is absolutely dense to the consequences of what he's done. He's also a bit ahead of his times, but sadly alone there and it's never good to be too far ahead.

Jerome Moross wrote a beautiful score for The War Lord that really captures the mood of those medieval times. Franklin Schaffner got a good ensemble performance from his cast. Pay particular attention to Guy Stockwell and to Richard Boone as well.

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