The Adventures of Quentin Durward

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The Adventures of Quentin Durward
The Adventures of Quentin Durward poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Sir Walter Scott (novel)
Robert Ardrey
George Froeschel
Starring Robert Taylor
Kay Kendall
Robert Morley
George Cole
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Christopher Challis
Edited by Ernest Walter
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) November 23, 1955 (1955-11-23)
Running time 101 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $2,470,000[1]
Box office $2,175,000[1]

The Adventures of Quentin Durward, known also as Quentin Durward, is a 1955 historical film released by MGM. It was directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Pandro S. Berman. The screenplay was by Robert Ardrey, adapted by George Froeschel from the novel Quentin Durward by Sir Walter Scott.

The film was the third in an unofficial trilogy made by the same director and producer and starring Robert Taylor. The first two were Ivanhoe (1952) and Knights of the Round Table (1953). All three were made at MGM's British Studios at Elstree, near London. The film had the distinction of a soundtrack composed by studio music mainstay Bronislau Kaper rather than Miklos Rozsa, who was busy on other projects at the time the film was ready for scoring.

The film was the first big-budget film for the English comedienne Kay Kendall, and it featured a large contingent of distinguished British players, including Robert Morley.

Plot[edit]

In 1465, honorable but penniless Scottish knight Quentin Durward (Robert Taylor) agrees to go to France to find out if the beautiful young heiress, Isabelle, Countess of Marcroy (Kay Kendall), would be a suitable wife for his aged uncle (that is, if she is as rich as is claimed). The marriage has been arranged by Charles, Duke of Burgundy (Alec Clunes) for his ward to cement an alliance with Scotland, but she wants nothing to do with it, so she runs away and seeks the protection of Charles' great rival, Louis XI (Robert Morley), the King of France. Quentin pursues and manages to foil an attempted robbery by brigands under the command of Count William de La Marck (Duncan Lamont), though Isabelle continues on her way unaware of her protector's identity.

Nearing the court of King Louis, Quentin tries, but fails, to save the life of a gypsy. However, the dead man's brother, Hayraddin (George Cole), is grateful for his efforts. Louis, who had ordered the man's hanging as a Burgundian spy, and distrusts such honest men as Quentin, orders him to leave France. However, the Scotsman is not easily deterred. He sneaks into the heavily guarded castle and awakens the king in his bed with a dagger at his throat. Louis is impressed and enlists Quentin in his service.

Upon the unexpected arrival of Count Phillip de Creville (Marius Goring), a Burgundian ambassador seeking Isabelle, Louis orders Quentin to guard her and to keep her presence secret. During the time they spend together, she and Quentin begin to fall in love.

Having lied about Isabelle being there, Louis commands her to depart. She tells him that she will seek sanctuary with an old friend, the Bishop of Liege (Harcourt Williams). Louis concocts a plan to have De la Marck kidnap and forcibly marry Isabelle to keep her strategically important lands out of Burgundian hands. He has Hayraddin, who is a spy in his employ, take the information and a large bribe to De la Marck. Louis provides Isabelle with a detailed itinerary (the better for De la Marck to find her). He also lends her a few guards, including Quentin, so that when they are killed, it will divert any suspicion away from him. Hayraddin is also sent as a guide. However, when he discovers that Quentin is to be one of the victims, he switches sides and warns the Scotsman. The three manage to escape the trap and reach Liège, though Quentin is wounded.

When he has recovered, he finally tells Isabelle of his obligation to his uncle, which prevents him from courting her himself, and leaves. De la Marck attacks the castle, captures Isabelle, and kills the bishop when he refuses to marry them. Hearing the sounds of battle, Quentin rescues his love. He slays De la Marck in an unusual duel involving swinging from ropes normally used to ring the church bells.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Burgundy arrests Louis when he comes to continue peace negotiations, accusing him of orchestrating the murder of the bishop. However, Quentin arrives and exonerates the king, providing as proof De la Marck's severed head. Out of gratitude (and in France's best interests), Louis tricks Charles into letting Isabelle decide who she will marry. Quentin has received news that his uncle has died, so he is free to follow his heart.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

In contrast with Ivanhoe and Knights of the Round Table the film did not perform well at the box office - according to MGM records it made $658,000 in the US and Canada and $1,517,000 elsewhere resulting in a $1,226,000 loss.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .

External links[edit]