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 Post subject: The War Lord
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:26 am 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Location: Sweden
Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
Production year: 1965
Starring: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth


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Plot:

A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the barbarians at the border and is making progress until he falls in love with one of the local women.

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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:28 am 
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Prince Judah
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The War Lord takes place in roughly the same time period as El Cid, though in a different part of Europe; in some ways, it's like a smaller pared-down version of the big epic, without the huge crowd scenes and a more intimate focus on one patch of land. There's a moody strange atmosphere - the area to which favored knight Chrysagon (Heston) has arrived with his retinue to take charge. Maybe I'm just a sucker for films set in medieval times, but this one seems more realistic than others I've seen depicting that time frame.
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This is also my favorite Heston performance, because he actually loses himself in the role in a few places - he is that knight of the 11th century in a few scenes; this may be strange to hear, as why would I favor a role such as this when this Board is all about being Heston? After all, we watch and favor films here that show off Heston, his unique persona. However, the fact that he made me forget that it was Heston in a few scenes - not an easy thing to do, to put it mildly - really impressed me and continues to. I think he really 'got into' this character when this was filmed.
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The rest of the cast is also first rate: top of the list is Guy Stockwell as Heston's irritable younger brother; he's tremendous. Boone is his usually ornery self - great to watch; Maurice Evans as the local priest - he returned to screen acting here after a long absence; James Farentino in a very early role as a young peasant - quite intense in some scenes; and Rosemary Forsyth as the peasant girl Heston falls for. That's another thing - this film allowed Heston to be more viscerally amorous and vulnerable than in any of his other roles; usually he's sort of above all that; here he is tragically human despite his prowess as a warrior & commander.

There's also some great choreography in the combat scenes; there's an early battle scene when Heston and his men attack some invaders (led by Henry Wilcoxin) and I'm always surprised at the complex & involved moves displayed here in what are usually typical swordfights in other films. The director, Schaffner, would return to direct Heston in Planet of the Apes soon afterward.


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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:25 am 
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I remember reading that Heston was very proud of his work in this one. He ranks this and Khartoum high on his list over good performances/movies.

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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:53 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here's 10 minutes from early in the film, containing the battle sequence I mention above in my previous post, when Heston's Chrysagon and his men tackle some invaders. Again, this combat scene has some very detailed fight choreography. It's unclear to me which shots are actually Heston and which are a stunt double, but his knight comes across as very proficient and lethal. After this, we see the scenes of Heston's group first arriving at his castle...

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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Newspaper ad from The Milwaukee Journal


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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:30 am 
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For any one who has Encore on their cable system The War Lord is airing on Aug. 17. It's like 1am here but I don't know about others local times. This is one his movies that isn't shown a lot, at least not around here, so it will be a treat for anyone that doesn't have the dvd. This is one my favorites and I don't understand why there has not been a properly remastered dvd release.


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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Thanks for this info. I checked and it looks like it's on at 2 AM in my area - I'll check again later; that seems wrong. I'm still gonna try to watch it somehow, maybe even DVR it. I wanna see how it compares to the Laserdisc version I have. As has been said, the film rarely plays on the TV channels.

I thought about getting a DVD a few years ago; I checked on Amazon and other places and found that a DVD does exist -- but it's out of print and you'd have to pay $100, maybe $50 for a used if you're lucky. There's also an import DVD you can get for a bit over $20 but the quality may be poor. I think the good quality DVD was released back in 2001 - I should've bought it then :evil: . Image


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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
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A new DVD version was released on July 2010 in the UK. :thumbsup:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/War-Lord-DVD-Charlton-Heston/dp/B003L0GGSQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1312928324&sr=1-2

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Format: Anamorphic, Widescreen, PAL
Language English
Subtitles: English
Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: PG
Studio: Eureka Entertainment
DVD Release Date: 21 Jun 2010
Run Time: 121 minutes

:sherlock: :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Prince Judah
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It troubles me that this masterpiece of 'Chrysagon' is abandoned for a long time... so let me try to revive the discussion. I think it better to suggest a certain course of discussion. In my opinion, it is an unusual epic-romance, maintaining the aesthetic?cultural demands of these two genres, yet at the same time departing from their conventional terms, through its unbiased treatment of the Middle ages. Would anybody like to comment on this aspect?

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 Post subject: Re: The War Lord
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Finally sat down and watched this after it got lost on my mess of a shelf for so long. My thoughts in a nutshell: Heston is good as the emotionally repressed knight who goes too far when his infatuation with a local woman undermines his reason. The rest of the cast is strong, with Rosemary Forsythe looking most radiant as the lady at the heart of the trouble (she had an... Amy Adams like quality, or maybe Amy Adams has a quality like Rosemary's I don't know).

If I remember "In The Arena" right, Heston told a funny story about a young man who kept sneaking onto location to watch them shoot. A young man who turned out to be Steven Spielberg.


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