Sir Walter Scott's epic novel of timeless romance and knightly daring comes to life! The year is 1194. At long last, the noble knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Anthony Andrews) has returned from the Crusades to regain his title ... more »and win the hand of his beloved Lady Rowena (Lysette Anthony). But first, he must defeat a villainous alliance that seeks to steal the throne from its rightful king. Steeds thunder and blades clash as the battle rages! With an all-star cast, featuring Academy AwardŽ nominee James Mason (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, The Verdict, 1982), Olivia Hussey and Sam Neill, this is Ivanhoe as you've never seen it.« less
"This is really a great version -- I think it's hands down the best Ivanhoe! -- and tremendous fun, plus it's wonderful to watch Olivia Hussey. (The newer A&E production is pretty good, but the lead actor is so bland and, at 5 hours, it's just too long!) Unfortunately the VHS tape of this 1982 version is as rare as hen's teeth and it needs to be released on DVD *now*!! Since "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is (finally) out on DVD next month, I hope it won't be too long before it's joined by this fine miniseries. I'll be first in line to buy it."
The DEFINITIVE film version of Ivanhoe!
CodeMaster Talon | 12/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen both film versions of Ivanhoe as listed in the Leonard Maltin video guide, and this definitely vanquishes all comers. Believe this or not, but when I first acquired the video I watched it on a daily basis for the next few weeks (and I still do that sometimes)- my long-suffering family would confirm my statement - and I think that anyone who has watched this film would agree with me that all too rarely has a great book like Ivanhoe been able to have a film this good to do justice to it. Besides the colour, sounds and minor episodes which all blend in this film to make the best recreation of the atmosphere of the age of chivalry I ever saw, what I admire most about this film is the way the people who made the film paid attention to all the little things that a purist would be grateful for - not only getting the devices and colours, and even the mottoes of the knights' escutcheons right, but retaining artistic integrity by refusing to join everyone else in making Brian de B.-G. and Maurice de Bracy out-and-out-bad guys; indeed, portraying them with a good deal of sympathy. As an admirer of Maurice de Bracy for quite some time, I was delighted to find that my favourite character retained all the qualities given to him by Scott even when appearing on screen, and that his friendship with Brian and Reginald F.-d.-B. was portrayed in all its sincerity. Sam Neill and the person who acted R. F.-d.-B. never acted better (or rather, I should say, they acted as well as they always do) and were quite perfect in their roles. In fact, the way the three 'bad guys' (they're not really bad but we'll call tham that for short, since Wilfred is the 'hero' and they're on the other side) work together is exceedingly fun to watch and they all appear to be enjoying themselves and being enthusiastic about the whole thing which makes it even more fun for the viewer, and brings out their characterisation marvellously. (Just to show how suited they are to their characters: in the first glimpse of a few seconds each that you get of them in the first sequence, with no shields to identify them, I was able, the first time I watched the show, to guess who they were just from their expressions and appearance - correctly, as I later found; at that point I really had no idea who they were!) Anthony Andrews carried off the -oh-I-am-sick-ouch-thanks-Rebecca-but-I'm-already-in-love-with-Rowena act splendidly, but to see him at maximum charm look at 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'. For the rest, I was very impressed with the way all the rest of the cast acted, from Cedric and Wamba through Locksley and the heroines right down to Conrade Mont-Fichet and William de Wyvil (though he's not called that in the show). And even for those who haven't read the book, this film would be a great thing to watch. Even if you don't know the characters, you get to know them through here and the story itself is fast-paced and dripping with chivalry and all the trimmings - what more could you want?"
"If I could only get my strength back!"
CodeMaster Talon | Orlando, FL United States | 09/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Ivanhoe" is a curiosity of literature; a long adventure novel whose hero spends most of the plot unconscious, a medieval romance with a not-so-subtle rail against prejudice, and a tale that proves when all else fails, have Robin Hood show up. This made-for-TV adaptation follows the book fairly closely, and it stars the always welcome, decidedly delicious Anthony Andrews to boot.
Andrews is Ivanhoe himself, a knight back from the crusades and temporarily in disguise as he checks up on his family. His father has disowned him, you see, because the family are Saxon and Ivanhoe ran off to help Norman King Richard in the Middle East. Ivanhoe also checks up on Rowena, a childhood love now sort-of-engaged to another Saxon Lord. Things don't get very far before Ivanhoe gets injured jousting, setting off a long chain of events that will change his family's destiny.
Thus begins the main problem with "Ivanhoe", because from this point on Ivanhoe himself is delirious until the last third of the film. The injured knight is cared for by the very beautiful Rebecca (Olivia Hussey from "Romeo and Juliet"), a Jewish girl who is herself desired by a Norman Knight (a young Sam Neill). But she has eyes only for Ivanhoe, and actually he sort of for her, although Sir Walter Scott couldn't really get away with that plot line in his day and age (but you can tell he wanted to). Rebecca and Ivanhoe are captured by the jealous Norman and his friends, and Rowena and Ivanhoe's father too, and pretty much everybody else as well. They all end up in a castle until Robin Hood breaks them out (really).
Yeah it's silly, but surprisingly entertaining as well, and I'd say if you liked Anthony Andrews in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" you're going to want to see "Ivanhoe". You may also enjoy the film if you like knights in armor, Olivia Hussey, or if you're a fan of the book itself. Definitely a cut above your average made-for-TV fare.
An entertaining yet thoughtful version of this classic tale
CodeMaster Talon | 01/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This made-for-tv movie shines with beautiful scenery and splendid acting. Anthony Andrews stars as the chivalrous Ivanhoe, but he is not even the center of the film much of the time. Two other characters, Sam Neill's Brian Gilbert and Oliva Hussey's Rebecca, keep the story going as much as the titled hero. Some fascinating historical issues are explored here: the Saxon/Norman rivalry, the monarchy vs. the Church, medieval Christian prejudice against Jews, chivalry (there are several wonderfully detailed tournament scenes), and courtly love.There are also several timeless issues explored, from prejudice (which emerges as a complex cultural issue here) to love. One might think that a television movie might simplify love stories, but there is a lot going on here. Even at the end of the movie, one wonders whether Brian died for love, whether Ivanhoe loves Rebecca or Rowena, and whether Rebecca loves Ivanhoes. There are no simple answers offered, as in real life.All of this, and it still maintains an exciting and adventurous pace! This is a rich movie, worth watching over and over for the subtle details. Though not always historically accurate (King Richard emerges as a far too heroic monarch) it provides a glimpse of the rich tapestry that was medieval life."
Please give us the dvd!
Mrs. K. E. Watkins | england | 05/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favourite version of Ivanhoe, please bring this out on dvd!!"