Ivanhoe

Director: Richard Thorpe

Cast: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Emlyn Williams, Robert Douglas, Finlay Currie, Felix Aylmer, Guy Rolfe, Francis de Wolff, Norman Wooland, Basil Sydney, Harold Warrender, Patrick Holt, Roderick Lovell, Sebastian Cabot, Carl Jaffe, John Ruddock

In 1192, Richard the Lionheart concluded the Third Crusade with a treaty with the Muslim ruler Saladin giving Christian pilgrims access to Jerusalem. During his return trip to England, Richard (Wooland) was captured by Duke Leopold of Austria. Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor) is a Saxon knight, loyal to Richard, who learns that Prince John (Rolfe), ruling England in Richardís absence, has denied the ransom demanded by Leopold for Richardís release. Returning to England, Ivanhoe learns that under Johnís rule, certain Norman nobles have taken over Saxon lands and have made serfs of many Saxon landowners. These practices have enraged Saxon nobleman Cedric of Rotherwood (Currie), who disinherited his son Ivanhoe for following King Richard to war. Under disguise, Ivanhoe joins a Norman party led by Brian de Bois-Gilbert (Sanders) and travels to Cedricís manor. There Ivanhoe meets his sweetheart, Lady Rowena (Fontaine), Cedricís ward. Failing to get help from Cedric to secure Richardís release, Ivanhoe seeks out Jewish moneylender Isaac of York (Aylmer) and offers better treatment for Jews if he can help to raise Richardís ransom. Isaac agrees to canvass others about contributing to the 150,000 mark ransom. Rebecca (Elizabeth Taylor), Isaacís daughter, gives Ivanhoe her personal jewels so that he can finance his entry into the tournament at Ashby. Ivanhoe, incognito in black armor, does well at the tournament but is wounded. Rebecca, a skilled healer, falls in love with Ivanhoe while tending to his wounds. She attracts the attention of Bois-Gilbert, who is smitten by her vibrant beauty. John learns that Ivanhoe is trying to free Richard and sends his knights after him. Robin of Locksley (Warrender) warns Ivanhoe that Johnís knights are coming for him and Ivanhoe joins him in Sherwood Forest. But Bois-Guilbert captures Cedric, Isaac, Rebecca, and Rowena. Ivanhoe offers himself in exchange for his fatherís release, but is tricked and is captured by Bois-Guilbert. In a spectacular battle, Locksley and his men manage to free Ivanhoe and his friends. When Rebecca is tried for witchcraft, Ivanhoe challenges the verdict of the court. Prince John chooses Bois-Gilbert as the courtís champion in the ensuing joust, placing the knight in a distressing position. Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Fontaine are at their prime in this tale of medieval chivalry. Based on the Sir Walter Scott novel of the same name.


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