A very convincing genre film that takes us deep into the medieval England of Ivanhoe, with just one thing on its mind: pure entertainment
A very solid and enjoyable genre film, skilfully produced and directed with a perfect balance of adventure, romance and light-hearted comedy. In getting Roberto Mauri to direct, the film was entrusted to safe hands, as he had previously navigated his way safely through a sea of sword and sandals, horrors and westerns. Ivanhoe is played by Mark Damon, who found a second life for himself in Italian genre cinema. In theory, 12th century England ought to have been reconstructed and Walter Scott’s famous novel faithfully adapted. However, in practice, even if the film doesn’t do a disservice to either, historical accuracy and literary considerations play second fiddle when a game of pure adventure and entertainment is at stake.
The 12th century. Following the death of King Henry I, the English throne falls into the hands of a usurper who claims to possess the “Sword of Normandy”. Back from the crusades, it is up to Ivanhoe, at the head of a band of colourful highwaymen and street actors, to remedy the situation.