Ivanhoe

  • U
  • Richard Thorpe (1952)
  • UK
  • 102 min
Ivanhoe
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

A justifiable box-office smash in what was, with hindsight, one of MGM's greatest years, this rollicking Technicolor swashbuckler remains the definitive screen version of Sir Walter Scott's memorable medieval classic. The cast and the action sequences are almost perfect; though suitably handsome, American Robert Taylor is a little dull as Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, but Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca is at her loveliest, Emlyn Williams is wonderfully theatrical as Wamba, and villains George Sanders, Robert Douglas and, especially, lean and mean Guy Rolfe as Prince John are superb. Interestingly, Scott's sub-theme about anti-Semitism in 1190 England is not glossed over, making this one of the few 1950s movies to deal openly with such a tricky subject. Serious issues aside, this is a real treat for children of all ages, and makes all TV versions seem tame and pointless by comparison.

Plot Summary

Epic adventure starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. King Richard the Lionheart is being held captive in Austria, but his scheming brother, Prince John, refuses to pay the ransom. Heroic Ivanhoe, loyal to Richard and seeking ways to raise the money, finds a friend in Isaac of York and his beautiful daughter Rebecca. But John will go to any lengths to ensure that they do not succeed.

Cast and crew

Cast

Ivanhoe
Robert Taylor (1)
Rebecca
Elizabeth Taylor
Rowena
Joan Fontaine
De Bois-Guilbert
George Sanders
Wamba
Emlyn Williams
Sir Hugh De Bracy
Robert Douglas
Cedric
Finlay Currie
Isaac of York
Felix Aylmer
Font De Boeuf
Francis De Wolff
Prince John
Guy Rolfe
King Richard
Norman Wooland
Waldemar Fitzurse
Basil Sydney
Locksley
Harold Warrender
Philip De Malvoisin
Patrick Holt
Ralph de Vipont
Roderick Lovell
Clerk of Copmanhurst
Sebastian Cabot

Crew

Director
Richard Thorpe

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U
Categories
Drama