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Alfred the Great | 1969 | David Hemmings, Michael York

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Alfred the Great | 1969 | David Hemmings, Michael York

A tiresome historical trawl, the biopic of the young leader of 9th-century England, played with some camp appeal by Hemmings. The battle scenes are terrific, and it might have worked to greater effect if director Donner had concentrated on the more swashbuckling elements of the story. However, arty pretensions get the better of him, and he presents us with a rather boring and predictable character study of a king torn between his earthly desires and a belief in his spiritual purity. Very uneven, with the patronizing tone of a school history lesson.
cast
David Hemmings as Alfred
Michael York as Guthrum
Prunella Ransome as Aelhswith
Colin Blakely as Asher
Ian McKellen as Roger
Peter Vaughan as Burrud
Alan Dobie as Ethelred
Julian Glover as Shrdlu
Vivien Merchant as Freda
crew
Director: Clive Donner
Producer: Bernard Smith
Writer: Kenneth Taylor, James R Webb
Photographer: Alex Thomson
UK | 122 minutes | 1969

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