Quentin Durward, 1955, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m. est. Closed Captioned.
Director: Richard Thorpe. Robert Taylor, Kay Kendall, Robert Morley, George Cole, Alec Clunes, Duncan Lamont, Marius Goring. Taylor plays Sir Walter Scott’s dashing Scots hero in this handsome but static costumer about Louis XI’s reign in 15th- century France. CinemaScope. TCM capsule review.
This is a film to be watched with a wide and affectionate grin. Outstanding are Robert Morley as Louis XI, the infamous and wily ‘Spider’ of France, and Robert Taylor as the eponymous Durward, a would-be chivalrous hero born out of his time who is none too sure of himself. The necessary, and highly satisfactory, heroics are spiced with a rich leavening of humor and some genuine moral questions – how much should a man sacrifice for his country’s sake? His love? His life? His honor?
But above all it is a joyous and thrilling romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Durward wants to be a knight in shining armor, but circumstances tend to conspire against him, and his lady is definitely the stronger-willed of the two; though like the audience, she cannot resist his puppy dog charm. And ambiguous, cynical, cowardly Louis is often in danger of stealing the show outright, as he sits at the center of his web and pulls the strings that manipulate all the other characters – a far-from-two-dimensional villain after my own heart!
Definitely a superior swashbuckler, with a saving vein of humor. Review by lgenWordsmith on IMDB
These are a few behind the scenes photos:
Left to right: with Stewart Granger, unknown fan or gypsy dancer, Kay Kendall
Maybe us Robert Taylor fans owe Fred a big thank you for his comment that led you to watching those 2 films which led to your most appreciated posts. So, thank you Fred and thank you so much judith for much informative reading about our favourite actor, Robert Taylor.
Hi June. I don’t think Fred knew what he was getting into. I now have a dozen binders full of Robert Taylor material, a cardboard blow-up of him in Quo Vadis, some very nice things you sent me and have bored poor Fred silly with Taylor stories. Still, it’s a lot of fun and I’ve met really nice people all over the globe, including you. All the best, Judith
Some time ago, I read on the internet some memories of the art director Scattini, related to the movie shot with Robert Taylor and Anita Ekberg, in 1967. Being one the last movie of Taylor, Scattini remembered him with much affection and told how Taylor loved cooking artichokes trouhout the troupe. Taylor was already ill and that movie that many judged bad is very beautiful. I have seen it many times and I must say that Robert Taylor, despite the disease, is always very beautiful. The film is called “The glass Sphinx” , but it seems that on your site there has been little talked..What do you think of this movie? I don’t know if you know this, but Robert Taylor loved much Italia.
I send you my best wishes Happy Easter!
Ciao, Fulvia. Yes, Robert Taylor did love Italy. He loved to travel and enjoyed the countries he visited. I have only seen “The Glass Sphinx” in a very bad computer file. I liked the scene where he and Anita Ekberg are taking showers. I don’t think many people in America have seen it. Happy Easter to you. Judith
Hi Judith: I think Quentin Durward, could have been a much more successful movie if two things were changed. The first the title, it’s fine that was his name in the movie but just not appealing as a title to hook the audience. the second and most important for me was the leading lady Kay Kendall. She was I thought just awful, unattractive and no sex appeal and their was no chemistry between them. If the studio would have given him a better leading lady, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly etc I think the movie would have been a hit. Regards, Linda Doty