King Arthur in Hollywood
Dudley Nichols' script attempts to bring Hal
Foster's famed comic-strip hero to the big screen. Henry Hathaway directs this
1954 film starring Robert Wagner in the title role The Scandinavian prince
arrives at the court of King Arthur (Brian Aherne) determined to restore his family
honor and throne. Under the tutelage of Sir Gawain (Sterling Hayden), he becomes
of the Round Table. Valiant fights the Black Knight (James Mason), saves
Arthur's kingdom, and falls in love with Princess Aleta
(Janet Leigh). A lot of action and spirit but as always, the purists screamed
that it was not Foster's Valiant. But quite enjoyable. Some claim that even
though the film was more worldly and failed to follow Foster's strip, it did
seem to affect Foster's later work. The music of Franz Waxman captures all the
varied moods from humor
to tragedy to triumph.
An updated version with Valiant (Stephen Moyer) as a young knight in charge of protecting a lovely princess (Katherine Heigl). Throw in a complication. Excalibur has been stolen by Vikings and Morgan Le Fey needs someone of royal birth to dislodge it from the stone it has become trapped in, our hero Valiant. Add in a dwarf that gets catapulted, Chinese fireworks, a Viking harem, accents that come and go, and some really B Class effects and you have Prince Valiant.