Alfred the Great (film)
|Alfred the Great|
|Directed by||Clive Donner|
|Produced by||Bernard Smith|
|Written by||James R. Webb
|Music by||Raymond Leppard|
|Edited by||Fergus McDonell|
|Distributed by||MGM Pictures|
|Running time||122 minutes|
|Box office||$197,788 (US)|
Alfred is preparing to join the priesthood, but, angered by the invasion of his country by the Danes, he puts aside his religious vows to lead the West Saxon English against the invaders. Alfred defeats the Danes and becomes an English hero. However, although Alfred still desires to join the priesthood, he is pulled between serving God and his lust for blood. After he marries the beautiful Aelhswith (Prunella Ransome), the Danes return and Alfred must muster the English forces once again for a final battle, but he also must battle the dark conflicts within his own soul.
- David Hemmings as Alfred the Great
- Michael York as Guthrum
- Prunella Ransome as Ealhswith
- Colin Blakely as Asser
- Ian McKellen as Roger
- Peter Vaughan as Burrud
- Alan Dobie as Ethelred of Wessex
- Julian Glover as Shrdlu
- Vivien Merchant as Freda
Producer Bernie Smith says he became interested in Alfred the Great after reading about him in Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. Smith said he "wanted a director who had never done a historical. That way I knew we could minimise cliches and the possibility of someone simply repeating, imitating what went before." Clive Donner, then best known for What's New Pussycat? was hired.
Donner said he wanted to make the film "because of the inherent youth problem which is so close to our so-called youth revolt; turning the destructiveness of youth into constructiveness. Like so many students today, he [Alfred] advocated peace, but at the same time proclaimed violence in order to redo the world."
A vast amount of money was spent on the exact replication of every aspect of the ninth century it depicted, turning some corners of County Galway into Wessex, including etching a 200-foot-long white horse into the hill at Knockma. Members of the Irish military served as extras during the battle scenes filmed in Counties Galway and Westmeath.
- Pageant of 'Alfred' Unfolds in Ireland Reisfeld, Bert. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 6 Sep 1968: e16.
- "U.S. Films' Share-of-Market Profile", Variety, 12 May 1971 p 179
- Authenticity Goal of 'Alfred' Director: An Authentic 'Alfred' Knapp, Dan. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 June 1969: g20.
- Alfred the Great at Kilchreest The Irish Times (1921-Current File) [Dublin, Ireland] 26 Oct 1968: 10.
- Alfred the Great at the Internet Movie Database
- Alfred the Great at AllMovie
- 'Alfred the Great' on Moviefone
- Trailer at TCMDB