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Released Jul 31, 1952 1h 46m Adventure List
79% Tomatometer 19 Reviews 64% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Loyal British knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor) sets out on a mission to free the kidnapped King of England, Richard the Lionheart (Norman Wooland), in this rousing adventure tale. The brave Ivanhoe must eventually confront the devious Prince John (Guy Rolfe) and the fierce Norman warrior Brian de Bois-Guilbert (George Sanders), while also juggling the affections of the beautiful maidens Rowena (Joan Fontaine) and Rebecca (Elizabeth Taylor). Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

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Variety Staff Variety Ivanhoe is a great romantic adventure, mounted extravagantly, crammed with action, and emerges as a spectacular feast. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Time Out The dialogue and script are fatuously Americanised from Scott's original, but these chivalric Hollywood sagas still have a strange poetic quality about them. Jun 24, 2006 Full Review Bosley Crowther New York Times As Ivanhoe, Robert Taylor does a good, sturdy, manly job and George Sanders is intriguingly fluid as the emotionally torn De Bois-Guilbert. Rated: 4/5 Mar 25, 2006 Full Review Mr. Harper Harper's Magazine Unconditionally recommended. Apr 14, 2022 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row Staid, humorless, and utterly lacking in dramatic weight - existing mostly to showcase its elaborate costume and set design and little else. Rated: 1.5/4 Mar 23, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Occasionally playing like an inferior version of 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood but faring quite well on its own terms thankyouverymuch. Rated: 3/4 Dec 18, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (156) audience reviews
Connor S Large-scale film with elaborate sets that piques your interest throughout. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/06/24 Full Review C For its time this was an ambitious film. The storyline, acting, and action were very good. Dame Elizabeth Taylor stands out. They knew how to make films back then. Cheers. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/06/24 Full Review tom s Great old school medieval epic. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review andrew m Absurd historical romance which boasts a number of features of interest most notably the beautiful, complex and well-researched score by Rosza and the combination of Fontaine and Elizabeth Taylor (as Rebecca). Sanitized from the book with more appropriate anti-racist sub-texts introduced. The story in fact is of enduring interest politically and racially. Some of the male acting is dated and wooden. Good sets and staging and predictably some good painted backdrops by Junge which I still prefer to CGI (also some good shots of real castles). Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/21/22 Full Review Audience Member Like most historical epics of the 1950s the film has aged badly, though it is not without its merits. There are two jousting scenes which still carry a great deal of tension. In fact the climactic duel between Robert Taylor and George Sanders feels similar to that in Ridley Scott's 'The Last Duel'. The two main characters are fighting over the fate of Rowena, a Jewish woman accused of witchcraft. Because the stakes are so high for her, the extended fight scene carries real menace and threat. When the Knights choose their weapons, a mace and an axe, there is a real sense of how brutal the ensuing conflict will be. The theme of anti-semitism and the conflicted nature of George Sander's villain add unexpected texture and nuance to the film. Unfortunately, Joan Fontaine and Elizabeth Taylor are given little opportunity to display their considerable acting talents, and Robert Taylor is even more wooden than usual. Richard Thorpe was a dependable though uninspired director and it seems he put little effort into drawing out the best performances of his actors. Taylor looks a little old for the role despite only being in his early 40s, though he displays considerable athleticism in the main battle scene. Despite this, the film is worth watching for the engrossing jousting scenes and Elizabeth Taylors shining presence. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Richard the Lionheart, Norman King of England, vanishes while returning from the Crusades. One of his knights, the Saxon Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor), searches for him, finally finding him being held by Leopold of Austria for an enormous ransom. Richard's treacherous brother, Prince John (Guy Rolfe), knows about it but does nothing, enjoying ruling in his absence. Back in England, Ivanhoe, pretending to be a minstrel, meets Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert and Sir Hugh de Bracy, two of Prince John's Norman supporters. When the Norman party seeks shelter for the night, Ivanhoe leads them to Rotherwood, the home of his father, Cedric the Saxon. Cedric welcomes the knights coldly while Ivanhoe sneaks into the chamber of the Lady Rowena (Joan Fontaine), Cedric's ward, and they kiss. Later, in private, Ivanhoe pleads with Cedric to aid in raising the ransom of 150,000 marks of silver to free Richard, but Cedric wants no part of helping any Norman. When Ivanhoe leaves, Wamba, Cedric's jester, asks to go with him and is made his squire. Later, the two men rescue the Jew Isaac of York, another guest of Cedric's, from two Norman soldiers. Shaken, Isaac decides to return home to Sheffield. Ivanhoe escorts him there. Isaac's daughter Rebecca (Elizabeth Taylor) gives Ivanhoe jewels, without her father's knowledge, to buy a horse and armour for an important jousting tournament at Ashby. Many nobles are at the tournament, including Prince John. The Norman knights Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Hugh de Bracy, Front de Boeuf, Philip de Malvoisin and Ralph de Vipont defeat all Saxon comers. Then a mysterious Saxon knight appears, arrayed all in black, his face hidden behind his helm. He declines to reveal his name, but challenges all five Normans. He easily defeats Malvoisin, Vipont and Front de Boeuf, one after the other. When Ivanhoe salutes Rebecca, Bois-Guilbert is immediately smitten by her beauty. While Ivanhoe bests Bracy, he is seriously wounded in the shoulder. By this point, his identity has been guessed by his father and Robin Hood. In the last bout against Bois-Guilbert, Ivanhoe falls from his horse. He is carried off, to be tended to by Rebecca... Pandro S. Berman, Freddie Young, and Miklós Rózsa were nominated for Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Color, and Best Music, Scoring, respectively. In addition, Richard Thorpe was nominated by the Directors Guild of America, USA, for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. There were also two Golden Globe Award nominations: Best Film Promoting International Understanding and Best Motion Picture Score, for Miklós Rózsa. Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, wrote that "Producer Pandro S. Berman and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have fetched a motion picture that does them, Scott and English history proud" and delivered "almost as fine a panorama of medievalism as Laurence Olivier gave us in Henry V." This 1952 version of "Ivanhoe" is truly epic and fantastic in only the way movies where made back then in Technicolor cinematography. This classic story contains everything you need in an adventure film. Robert Taylor is great as Ivanhoe and how can you not fall in love with the stunning and wonderful Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca. Big epic sets, powerful acting, romance, chivalry and great battle scenes. A treat to see even to this day. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Loyal British knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor) sets out on a mission to free the kidnapped King of England, Richard the Lionheart (Norman Wooland), in this rousing adventure tale. The brave Ivanhoe must eventually confront the devious Prince John (Guy Rolfe) and the fierce Norman warrior Brian de Bois-Guilbert (George Sanders), while also juggling the affections of the beautiful maidens Rowena (Joan Fontaine) and Rebecca (Elizabeth Taylor).
Richard Thorpe
Pandro S. Berman
Noel Langley, Æneas MacKenzie, Marguerite Roberts
Production Co
Original Language
Release Date (Theaters)
Jul 31, 1952, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 1, 2009
1h 46m
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