Hestson's best and a must for fans of Medieval History!!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 01/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Heston did a lot of films in his career, but some were overlooked because they were not the bigger than life Epics like Ben Hur and 10 Commandments.But I have found Heston's works, The Naked Jungle, Diamond Head, Secret of the Incas (where Indiana Jones came from right down to the hat and leather jacket!!), The Big Country and The Warlord to be much more statisfying.The War Lord especially is a rarely noticed and unappreciated film.Set in Norman-Saxon England, he has been 'awarded' a small fief to hold against Frisans invaders (the same invaders that captured his father and bankrupted his family to ransom him). Tired of war, tired of the struggle, he is more than content with his lot - though not his younger brother, well played by Guy Stockwell. Heston only wants one thing more....the woman, a peasant promised to another. He can take her by right of being the lord, but he wants her heart and a woman's love.Realisit portrayal of the fuedal person of post Saxon era of the Norman invasion of England, the performances are solid making this one special film, most notable the late Richard Boone (Have Gun Will Travel), one of the most natural actors ever to fill the screen. Solid action and battle scenes.A must for Heston fans that want more than just the flash, a must for fans of medieval history, and an absolute must if you are a romantic at heart and love knights of auld and damsels in distress."
A most enjoyable film
Titus | Boston MA | 01/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love "The War Lord". It's no Oscar winner to be sure but it doesn't make any pretense to be. Charlton Heston give a convincing performance as Chrysagon de la Crux, an 11th century Norman noble sent to govern a small backwater fief. Guy Stockwell, who in my opinion steals the movie, is excellent as Heston's younger brother. He exudes that latent violence and ambition that inspired so many landless knights of that time to go on Crusade to the east. Richard Boone also does a stand up job as the older, more experienced soldier whose job it is to squire Heston's character thru life. A little known James Farentino plays the local Celt in love with the woman whom Heston's character takes as his own.This is just a wonderful period film with all the things that make medieval epics so much fun. Knights, longships, druids, castle towers, boiling oil, the whole nine yards. It's a wonderful way to spend a saturday afternoon."
Heston is great in this Medieval Romance/Adventure
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 04/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great looking film from 1965 that, as another reviewer mentioned, will draw some comparisons with "Braveheart," though it lacks the epic scale of that film. It's a much smaller and, in some ways, a more personal film. Charlton Heston gives yet another strong performance in the kind of role he was born to play, and is ably supported by the likes of Richard Boone, Guy Stockwell and Maurice Evans, among others. Look for a young James Farentino as the groom whose bride is taken from him during their wedding ceremony.The film was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner who would re-team with Heston and Evans three years after this film to make "Planet of the Apes." Schaffner later went on to make "Patton." The film was adapted from a play entitled "The Lovers" and is, at heart, a bittersweet love story and not quite the action/adventure film that some viewers might expect, though the attack on the castle during the second half of the film is exciting and well staged.Thanks to Goodtimes, an independent video/DVD company for releasing this film and other, older titles that they have licensed from Universal Studios. Thsy've done a fine job with this release; it's presented in widescreen format, but in mono sound (not surprising for a 1965 film). The picture quality is mostly great except for a few smoky, grainy scenes early in the film's opening battle, which suggests that this DVD release may have been constructed from composite sources. The DVD also offers a 3 minute preview trailer, complete with Heston extolling the virtues of the film, as well as English, French and Spanish subtitles and 18 chapter breaks."
A Thinking Person's Epic
Ann Bronwen | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Warlord is a medieval epic about a Norman knight's love for a peasant girl he may not have but whom he keeps anyway, and the consequences that ensue. It realistically depicts peasant life in 11th century Normandy before Christianity has become firmly established and the attention to detail is impressive. The costumes are accurate, right down to the bowl haircuts and horses' trappings, and were clearly designed with the Bayeux tapestry in mind.
Charlton Heston does very well as Chrysagon de la Croix, the Norman knight in question. He manages to be both stern and tormented at the same time, and Guy Stockwell is marvelous as Chrysagon's spiteful, witty, and very jealous younger brother. Notable performances are also made by Richard Boone, Chrysagon's retainer and friend, Maurice Evans, the village priest, and Henry Wilcoxon, the Frisian prince. (Wilcoxon had his own day as a heroic heart throb; he was Richard the Lion Heart in Cecil D. DeMille's 1935 epic, The Crusades). Rosemary Forsythe, the peasant girl, is initally very good. She is both attracted to and afraid of Chrysagon and conflicted about her betrothed, Marc (James Farentino). She plays all this out very well, but seems to lose interest half way through the movie, and her acting becomes wooden and unconvincing.
The fight sequences are a bit long and do not advance the story much but there is a good lesson here about medieval seige warfare - the battering ram, a wonderfully constructed siege tower, catapults and flaming arrows. And in a time when there were no computer enhancements, the battles are well staged and effective.
In summary, the Warlord is an intriguing movie that has a bit of everything. Although it is almost 40 years old, it doesn't seem dated. There is action, adventure and romance, with a little education thrown in. The ending is ambiguous enough to have allowed a sequel - Son of the Warlord? The Warlord Returns? Duke William's Revenge? It is too bad that Charlton Heston has retired for health reasons. He would have been terrific."