Skip to main content

The Crusades (1935)

The Crusades. Feature film. (1935, 125 mins) IMDB

...a Hollywood romance with swords thrown in...

T

he title is extremely misleading. The film is not about the crusades but a love story set in the midst of a crusade led by King Richard.

Richard never spoke English and barely even lived on the British isles. He was a Norman who spoke French, but you wouldn't know that from this film.

The filmmakers also want you to believe the King would have been caught up in something as trivial as love. Not a chance. Marriage wasn't about love. It was about matters of state, about power, and with that power, wealth.

A true-to-history film about King Richard and the Crusades would lack romance and therefore wouldn't appeal to a broad audience.

What we have in this film is nothing more than a love story. Richard is betrothed to Alice, the sister of King Philip of France. He doesn't want to marry her. He decides to go on the crusade because there's a chance he'll die and therefore not have to marry Alice.

In Marseille, he negotiates with a local King for food. Richard will marry the king's daughter in exchange for cattle and grain. Richard doesn't attend the wedding--he sends his sword instead. The oddest wedding ceremony I've ever seen. His wife to be is the gorgeous Loretta Young. She despises his boorish behaviour. He can't even bother to meet her, but when he does meet her, it's love at first sight.

Once in the Holy Lands, the battles against the Arabs begin, but oddly we don't see very much of it. The camera is held in close, never back to give a wide shot. I can guess at the reason--money. To film it otherwise would have cost a great deal more. As a result, the film doesn't have the feel we're used to when battles are shown. DeMille would make up for it in his later films.

THE CRUSADES is not a great film. It's mildly interesting with a completely absurd Hollywood romance narrative. I expected a great deal more from this film.

Posted 2009/03/29 at 18h14ET in Movie Commentary.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cast of Characters from The Protectors

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Cast of Characters from The Protectors... M ost novels do not include a list of characters, although I have read some with them. Tolstoy readers would likely appreciate it. Plays do. Scripts don’t. Not sure what the thinking is, but I didn’t include it with my novel. I had a feeling I’d be shot if I had suggested it, but with the internet, I can provide such a list and here is the list of the major players in my first novel The Protectors (A Thriller).
Black Carr Security Consultants Limited Baird Carr, Former CIA Officer, Co-founder, OwnerEmerson Black, Former Secret Service Agent, Co-founder, OwnerSarah Bishop, Former FBI Agent, Senior ConsultantDebra Paeytonne, Office AdministratorBeth, ReceptionistStephen Tedeschi, Former Secret Service Agent, ConsultantNigel, Independent Consultant
U.S. Secret Service Ken Milton, DirectorRichard Heyward, Retired AgentJulian Constance, Agent, Killed in Assassination AttemptTrisha Evrington, AgentTerry Flannon, Agen…

Writing a Novel–The Deep Blue Cage–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many an…

Words—Fairy—Ferry

Thursday, September 6, 2012
A homonym.
FAIRY—A fairy tale. A fairy godmother. Fairy—not a long, long way to run.
FERRY—A boat or ship to transport drunken Swedes back home from Copenhagen. It’s the Danish beer.
FairyFerrySamantha the Swimming Fairy by Daisy MeadowsEvening Ferry by Katherine Towler
Posted 2012/09/06 at 5h02ET in Words, Writing.