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Prince Valiant (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 5 April 1954 (USA)
2:55 | Trailer
A young Viking prince strives to become a knight in King Arthur's Court and restore his exiled father to his rightful throne.


Henry Hathaway


Dudley Nichols (screenplay), Hal Foster (based on King Features Syndicate's "Prince Valiant" by) (as Harold Foster)



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In a time now lost in the mists of memory, the great King Arthur rules in the legendary citadel that is Camelot. His Knights of the Round Table commit acts of derring-do and spend their ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Hickox
Stars: Stephen Moyer, Katherine Heigl, Thomas Kretschmann


Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Sir Brack
Janet Leigh ... Princess Aleta
Robert Wagner ... Prince Valiant
Debra Paget ... Ilene
Sterling Hayden ... Sir Gawain
Victor McLaglen ... Boltar
Donald Crisp ... King Aguar
Brian Aherne ... King Arthur
Barry Jones ... King Luke
Mary Philips ... Queen of Thule
Howard Wendell Howard Wendell ... Morgan Todd
Tom Conway ... Sir Kay


Young Prince Valiant, son of the exiled King of Scandia, journeys to Camelot to become a knight at King Arthur's Round Table. He hopes to help his father reclaim his throne from the pagan Viking usurper Sligon and restore the Christian faith to their homeland. On his journey he stumbles upon a mysterious Black Knight plotting with Sligon's representatives to overthrow Arthur. Barely escaping with his life, Valiant encounters Sir Gawain, one of the most illustrious knights of the Round Table, and an old friend of his father's, who tutors the young Viking in the skills needed to be a knight. Valiant and Gawain's pupil-mentor relationship is complicated by their romantic involvement with Princess Aleta and her sister Ilene, daughters of the King of Ord. If Valiant is to restore his father's throne and prevent the coup d'etat against Arthur, he must uncover the true identity of the Black Knight. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the land of the Vikings ... into the hearts of millions ...


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

5 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prins Valiant See more »


Box Office


$2,970,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Richard Webb also played Sir Galahad in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1948). See more »


As Prince Valiant leaves the Abbey and his parents to go to Camelot, he departs standing upright in a simple "serving tray" shaped boat. As he shakily pushes off from the shore, you can clearly see a pontoon like arrangement hidden under the craft, obviously designed to try to steady it. In later shots, pulled up on shore, it is flat bottomed. See more »


Sir Gawain: Stop interrupting and I'll tell you what happened. After you left I went out after you. That's when I came upon the Black Knight.
Prince Valiant: You found him?
Sir Gawain: Aye. He was searchin' the wood when I challenged him. We fought and he was good. His lance broke and I outhorsed him. I came in to finish him, when a dozen armed men came charging out at me.
Prince Valiant: They were on foot? Armed with bows?
Sir Gawain: Aye. It was only with luck I escaped through a hail of arrows.
Prince Valiant: So did I!
Sir Gawain: You what?
Prince Valiant: I was set upon by a band of archers, escaped...
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Jack Frost (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Epic and sweeping adventure based on the classic comic strip created by Harold R. Foster
9 February 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

First and the best adaptation upon ¨Hal Foster's Prince Valiant¨ famous comic strip ; this decent movie (1954) by Henry Hathaway boasts itself a great cast , such as Robert Wagner , Janet Leigh , Victor McLagen , Donald Crisp , Sterling Hayden and Debra Paget . Spectacular adventure with a lot of colorful pageantry and old-fashioned action , concerning about Prince Valiant , Black Knight , and King Arthur , though the movie falls short . It packs a non-sense blending of romance and Dark Ages action , as the screenwriters don't get the appropriate touch . Prince Valiant (Robert Wagner), son of the exiled King of Scandia , journeys to England . There Arthur (Brian Aherne) governs in the legendary citadel that is Camelot . Valiant attempts to become himself a knight at King Arthur's Round Table . His Knights of the Round Table commit acts of derring-do and spend their spare time jousting and enjoying feasts . There young Valiant who wields his sword with vigour is given the task to be the squire to Sir Gawain (Sterling Hayden who easily steals the acting honors) , one of King Arthur's knights along with Sir Tristram (John Dierkes) , Sir Lancelot (Don Megowan) , Sir Kay , Perceval , among others . Later on , Prince Valiant sets out to chase the Black Knight . But our real hero is wounded and he is then cared by the gorgeous princess Aleta (Janet Leigh) , as the young twosome fall in love . Meantime , an evil tyrant , and villainous leader Viking overthrows his father King Aguar (Donald Crisp) , the Christian King of Scandia .

This is a Medieval tale with adventures , full-bloodied action , unspeakable dialog , villainy , terrific jousting , love stories and heroism in the grandeur of Scope although in television set loses splendor . The movie displays breathtaking battles , being ambitious in scope with heroic confrontation and a striking final climax for a mortal duel . Handsome story , being decently written by Dudley Nichols , John Ford's regular , though contains some awkward narrative elements . Excellent settings , monumental castles , outdoors and tournaments or jousts are well staged . However this spectacular film never takes off as it should despite pomp and circumstance showed , being excessively sentimental , so you'll be excited and embarrassed alternately . In any case , filmmaker does some breathtaking set pieces and the attack of a Viking castle turns out to be colorful and vividly thrilling . This is the classic story of romantic adventure come to life enriched by glamorous color and overwhelming fights . Excellent performance by James Mason , displaying efficiently his interpreting skills , proving what a good player he really is . And Janet Leigh and Debra Paget look chastely desirable , as always . Supporting cast is frankly good though wasted , employing such notorious players and not building them roles with which to make a considerable impact , as the screenplay never give them a chance , there appear fine secondary stars as Donald Crisp , Brian Aherne , Barry Jones , Tom Conway and Neville Brand . Brilliant cinematography in CinemaScope by Lucien Ballard who photographs splendidly the jousting scenes and the burning of an impressive stronghold . Rousing and moving musical score by Frank Skinner . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Henry Hathaway .

Other rendition was ¨Prince Valiant¨ (1997) by Anthony Hickock , it is another attempt to literally transfer a comic-strip about the Arthurian saga to the screen , including a modern dialog and the whole cast is far too distinguished to be appearing in this sort of caricature of Medieval legends and non-sense , it stars Katherine Heigl who is inappropriate here , holding an excessive ironic tone prankster , Stephen Moyer , Thomas Kretschmann , Ron Perlman , Joanna Lumley , Edward Fox and Udo Kier . And an animation retelling titled ¨Legend of Prince Valiant¨(1991) with voice by Robby Benson as Valiant and Efren Zimbalist Jr as Arthur . Other movies on the matter of legends of Arthur resulted to be : (1953) the classic ¨Knights of the Round Table¨ (by Richard Thorpe) , the musical ¨Camelot¨ (Joshua Logan), the fantastic ¨Excalibur¨ (John Boorman) , ¨First Knight¨ (Jerry Zucker) and recently ¨King Arthur¨ (Antoine Fuqua) . The picture will appeal to aficionados with chivalric ideals and epic movies fans , it is a passable production that will lose much on small television screen . Rating : 6.5/10 , acceptable , well worth seeing

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