Siege of the Saxons

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Siege of the Saxons
Siege of the Saxons cinema poster.jpg
Original cinema poster
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by Jud Kinberg
Charles H. Schneer
Written by John Kohn
Jud Kinberg
Starring Janette Scott
Ronald Lewis
Ronald Howard
Mark Dignam
John Laurie
Music by Laurie Johnson
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Edited by Maurice Rootes
Ameran Films
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 1963 (1963-07) (UK)
  • August 1963 (1963-08) (US)
Running time
85 mins
Country United Kingdom

Siege of the Saxons is a 1963 British film directed by Nathan H. Juran and released by Columbia Pictures. Starring Janette Scott and Ronald Lewis, the film is set in the time of King Arthur but the sets and style are from medieval England.


King Arthur learns one of his knights is plotting to take over and marry his daughter. Soon the soldiers of double-dealing Edmund of Cornwall slay the king. However his daughter Katherine escapes with the help of outlaw Robert Marshall. Claiming she is dead Edmund makes ready to usurp the throne in league with Saxon invaders.

After coming close to death more than once at the hands of the sinister limping man, Katherine and Robert and other loyal countrymen rescue the great wizard Merlin from the hands of Edmund's men to help them save Camelot and England. They arrive at Camelot just as Edmund is about to be crowned. On Merlin's advice, Robert challenges Edmund to kill him as a traitor using Arthur's sword Excalibur. Edmund is unable to draw the sword from the scabbard, whereupon Robert presents the sword to Katherine, the rightful heir, who draws it out easily. Katherine is recognised by the court as the new Queen, and following a battle against Edmund's remaining men and the invading force of Saxons, Katherine's armies prevail and she offers the lands of Edmund and other renegades to Robert so that he can rule alongside her as King.



Shooting was conducted around the Home Counties in England and at Bray Studios in Berkshire. Oakley Court near Windsor, Berkshire was used for the castle interiors, Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire was the forest, and the final battle scenes were shot at Callow Hill, Virginia Water, in Surrey.

The film reused a lot of costumes, props, and footage from the earlier and bigger-budgeted 1954 Columbia film, The Black Knight, starring Alan Ladd and costumes and props from the 1963 film Lancelot and Guinevere directed by and starring Cornel Wilde. The hero dons Alan Ladd's armor from The Black Knight. King Arthur wears the same costume as Brian Aherne did as Arthur in Lancelot and Guinevere and even looks much the same as Aherne. The film also uses sequences from some of Columbia's Robin Hood films.

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