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Prince Valiant

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Original title
Prince Valiant
Running time
100 min.
United States United States
Dudley Nichols (Comic: Hal Foster)
Franz Waxman
Lucien Ballard
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20th Century Fox
Adventure | Middle Ages. Based on a Comic. Sword and Sorcery
Synopsis / Plot
Cartoonist Hal Foster's medieval hero, the Scandinavian Prince Valiant, comes to the screen in all his Dutch-bob-haircut glory in this 1954 film directed by Henry Hathaway (Kiss of Death). Robert Wagner plays the title role and does a bang-up job of it, convincingly portraying the heroic prince as he enters the court of King Arthur (Brian Aherne) in England and becomes (with some tutelage from Sir Gawain, played by Sterling Hayden) a Knight of the Round Table. Determined to restore his dethroned family to their proper seat back home, Valiant takes on the Black Knight (James Mason), who plans to do away with Arthur and then finish his misdeeds back in Scandia. Under such pressure, the prince, quite understandably, falls in love with Princess Aleta (Janet Leigh). Hathaway proves to be the perfect director for this material, as his fluid skill, moderate forcefulness, and adaptability to genre necessities keep the film from teetering too far in the direction of pulp--or self-seriousness.
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