Prince Valiant (1997 film)

Prince Valiant

VHS cover
Directed by Anthony Hickox
Produced by Tom Rosenberg
James Gorman
Bernd Eichinger
Screenplay by Michael Frost Beckner
Anthony Hickox
Carsten H.W. Lorenz
Story by Michael Frost Beckner
Based on Prince Valiant
by Hal Foster
Starring Stephen Moyer
Katherine Heigl
Thomas Kretschmann
Joanna Lumley
Ron Perlman
Edward Fox
Music by David Bergeaud
Cinematography Roger Lanser
Edited by Alexander Berner
Distributed by Fox Video
Release dates
  • 1997 (1997)
Running time
119 minutes
Country Ireland
United Kingdom
Language English

Prince Valiant is a 1997 Irish-British independent sword and sorcery film directed by Anthony Hickox, written by Michael Frost Beckner, and starring Stephen Moyer, Katherine Heigl, Thomas Kretschmann, Joanna Lumley, Ron Perlman, and Edward Fox. It is a loose adaptation of the long-running Prince Valiant comic strip of Hal Foster, some panels of which were used in the movie. In it, Valiant must battle the Vikings and a scheming sorceress to save the kingdom.


The story is based on the myth of King Arthur. A young, inexperienced squire Valiant, masquerading as Sir Gawain, is sent to accompany the Welsh princess Lady Ilene, a guest at Camelot, on her way back home. Little he knows that, meanwhile, Arthur's wicked sister Morgan has retrieved a spellbook from Merlin's tomb and convinced the Viking warlord Sligon, ruler of the kingdom of Thule, to steal the magical sword Excalibur during a joust tournament. Valiant and the princess become part of the struggle of "he who holds the sword rules the world" which leads them both to love and Valiant to his princely destiny, as it turns out he is the rightful heir to the throne of Thule. The usurper is killed by his also evil brother Thagnar. During final confrontation, with the help of Thule's rightful ruler Boltar, Morgan is destroyed, Thagnar is slain, and Valiant rescues the princess and recovers Excalibur.[1][2]


Actor Role
Stephen Moyer Prince Valiant
Katherine Heigl Princess Ilene
Thomas Kretschmann Thagnar
Edward Fox King Arthur
Udo Kier Sligon
Joanna Lumley Morgan le Fay
Ron Perlman Boltar
Warwick Davis Pechet
Gavan O'Herlihy King Thane
Anthony Hickox Sir Gawain
Ben Pullen Prince Arn
Marcus SchenkenbergTiny


The editor took his name off after the German producers recut the picture taking out two main story lines, all religious aspects, and most of the humor.

In his autobiography Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life & Career of Warwick Davis, Warwick Davis, an actor in the film, called it an "absolute disaster" which was "premiered, panned and bombed," and "even the wonderful Joanna Lumley - who still managed to put in an amazing performance as Morgan le Fay - couldn't save it." He blames this on the director, who he says "seemed intent on partying all night long and giving roles to his friends."[3]


The film was generally poorly received.[1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Empire gave Prince Valiant two stars out of five and stated, "a promising, swashbuckly romp is entirely scuppered by some indiscriminate broadsword editing, thereby removing any fun the name cast might have had, and leaving a poorly dubbed, effects-lacking film disappointingly limp."[12] Some other reviews, however, were more positive.[13][14][15][16] According to Sunday Mail, movie critics have been arguing for years over Prince Valiant, which was even called "one of the worst films ever."[17] On the other hand, The Telegraph included it among top ten Arthurian films in 2014.[18]

See also


  1. 1 2 Prince Valiant. "Prince Valiant - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  2. 1 2 " Prince Valiant (1997) by Liz Braun". 2012-03-07. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  3. Warwick Davis (2013) Size matters not, Aurum Press, p 211.
  4. "Prince Valiant". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  5. Programming EPICO "Apollo Movie Guide's Review of Prince Valiant". Archived from the original on 13 November 2005. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  6. "Prince Valiant (1997). Director - Anthony Hickox. Comic-Strip Adaptation. Stars: Stephen Moyer, Katherine Heigl, Joanna Lumley. Moria - The Science-Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  7. "Prince Valiant review | GamesRadar". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  8. Matthew Sweet (1997-12-21). "The Critics: Cinema: Valiant, prince of the Europuddings | Lifestyle". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  9. Taylor, Deborah. ""Just the Ticket: Spicing Up Your Cinema; Cinema" by Taylor, Deborah - The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), December 26, 1997 | Online Research Library". Questia. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  10. ""Who Are They Kidding" - The Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 21, 1997 | Online Research Library". Questia. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  11. "Arthurian Film | Robbins Library Digital Projects". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  12. Darren Bignell (2015-10-14). "Prince Valiant Review | Movie - Empire". gb. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  13. "Prince Valiant, directed by Anthony Hickox | Film review". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  14. Liese Spencer (1997-12-19). "New Films: Prince Valiant Directed by Anthony Hickox (PG) | Lifestyle". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  15. Paul Howlett; Richard Vine. "Watch this | From". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  16. "6 Movies like Robin Hood (1973): Medieval Magic • itcher mag". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  17. ""A Valiant Effort" - Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), July 25, 1999 | Online Research Library". Questia. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  18. Billson, Anne. "The 10 best films about King Arthur". Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-05-19.

External links

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