Prince Valiant (1997 film)
|Directed by||Anthony Hickox|
|Produced by||Tom Rosenberg
|Screenplay by||Michael Frost Beckner
Carsten H.W. Lorenz
|Story by||Michael Frost Beckner|
|Based on||Prince Valiant
by Hal Foster
|Music by||David Bergeaud|
|Edited by||Alexander Berner|
|Distributed by||Fox Video|
Prince Valiant is a 1997 Irish-British independent sword and sorcery film directed by Anthony Hickox, written by Michael Frost Beckner, and starring Stephen Moyer, Katherine Heigl, Thomas Kretschmann, Joanna Lumley, Ron Perlman, and Edward Fox. It is a loose adaptation of the long-running Prince Valiant comic strip of Hal Foster, some panels of which were used in the movie. In it, Valiant must battle the Vikings and a scheming sorceress to save the kingdom.
The story is based on the myth of King Arthur. A young, inexperienced squire Valiant, masquerading as Sir Gawain, is sent to accompany the Welsh princess Lady Ilene, a guest at Camelot, on her way back home. Little he knows that, meanwhile, Arthur's wicked sister Morgan has retrieved a spellbook from Merlin's tomb and convinced the Viking warlord Sligon, ruler of the kingdom of Thule, to steal the magical sword Excalibur during a joust tournament. Valiant and the princess become part of the struggle of "he who holds the sword rules the world" which leads them both to love and Valiant to his princely destiny, as it turns out he is the rightful heir to the throne of Thule. The usurper is killed by his also evil brother Thagnar. During final confrontation, with the help of Thule's rightful ruler Boltar, Morgan is destroyed, Thagnar is slain, and Valiant rescues the princess and recovers Excalibur.
|Stephen Moyer||Prince Valiant|
|Katherine Heigl||Princess Ilene|
|Edward Fox||King Arthur|
|Joanna Lumley||Morgan le Fay|
|Gavan O'Herlihy||King Thane|
|Anthony Hickox||Sir Gawain|
|Ben Pullen||Prince Arn|
The editor took his name off after the German producers recut the picture taking out two main story lines, all religious aspects, and most of the humor.
In his autobiography Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life & Career of Warwick Davis, Warwick Davis, an actor in the film, called it an "absolute disaster" which was "premiered, panned and bombed," and "even the wonderful Joanna Lumley - who still managed to put in an amazing performance as Morgan le Fay - couldn't save it." He blames this on the director, who he says "seemed intent on partying all night long and giving roles to his friends."
The film was generally poorly received. Empire gave Prince Valiant two stars out of five and stated, "a promising, swashbuckly romp is entirely scuppered by some indiscriminate broadsword editing, thereby removing any fun the name cast might have had, and leaving a poorly dubbed, effects-lacking film disappointingly limp." Some other reviews, however, were more positive. According to Sunday Mail, movie critics have been arguing for years over Prince Valiant, which was even called "one of the worst films ever." On the other hand, The Telegraph included it among top ten Arthurian films in 2014.
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