Ivanhoe is a 1982 British-American made-for-television historical romance film.
An adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel of the same name, it stars Anthony Andrews in the title role. The film was directed by Douglas Camfield, with a screenplay written by John Gay.
It depicts the noble knight Ivanhoe returning home from the Third Crusade and becoming involved in a power struggle for the throne of England.
Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a worthy and noble knight, the champion of justice returns to England after the holy wars. He finds England under the reign of Prince John and his henchmen and finds himself being involved in the power-struggle for the throne of England. Will justice prevail and will all fair ladies in distress be rescued?
Brian de Bois-Guilbert is treated more ambiguously than in most versions of the story. He develops some genuine affection for Rebecca of York towards the end, and although he could easily have won the fight against the wounded and weakened Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Brian de Bois-Guilbert lowers his sword and allows himself to be killed, thus saving Rebecca’s life.
- Anthony Andrews – Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Cedric’s son.
- Sam Neill – Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert.
- Michael Hordern – Lord Cedric of Rotherwood.
- James Mason – Isaac of York, Jewish money-lender.
- Olivia Hussey – Rebecca of York, Isaac’s daughter.
- Lysette Anthony – Lady Rowena, Cedric’s ward.
- Julian Glover – King Richard I Plantagenet, the Black Knight.
- Ronald Pickup – Prince John Plantagenet, Richard’s brother and usurper.
- John Rhys-Davies – Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf.
- Stuart Wilson – Sir Maurice de Bracy.
- George Innes – Wamba (son of Witless), Cedric’s jester.
- David Robb – Robert of Locksley, Robin Hood.
- Tony Haygarth – Friar Tuck.
- Michael Gothard – Sir Athelstane of Coningsburgh.
- Philip Locke – Lucas de Beaumanoir, Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
- Timothy Morand – Prince John’s Attendant.
- Kevin Stoney – Fitzurse, Prince John’s advisor.
- Dean Harris – Phillippe.
- John Hallam – Herald.
- Kenneth Gilbert – Marshall.
- Debbie Farrington – Alicia.
- Stewart Bevan – Edward, member of the Order of the Knights Templar.
- Geoffrey Beevers – Beaslin (as Geoffrey Veevers).
- John Forgeham – Front-de-Boeuf’s Lieutenant.
- Chloe Franks – Attendant.
- Robert Russell – Leader.
- Derek Lyons – Squire.
The film was part of a slate of films from Columbia Pictures Television then under Herman Rush. Anthony Andrews’ casting was announced in September 1981. “It’s impossible to make Ivanhoe without being a bit tongue in cheek,” said Andrews.
Michael Hordern said, “You could change our costumes from 12th Century to 20th Century and have us running about in automobiles instead of on horseback, and you could do the same story in terms of prejudice is still very strong. Human nature doesn’t seem to have changed very much since Cedric’s time.”
It was filmed at Pinewood Studios and the historic Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
The film premiered on CBS in the USA on 23 February 1982 and was first broadcast in the UK on 26 September 1982 on ITV.
In Sweden, where it first aired over TV 1 on 31 December 1982 the film’s airing annually around Christmas-New Year has become a tradition.
The score by Allyn Ferguson was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1982.
- Julian Glover had played the role of Richard I previously in the Doctor Who serial The Crusade (1965), which was also directed by Camfield.
- This was the first “Ivanhoe” television production in which Ronald Pickup (Prince John) appeared.
- The second was Ivanhoe (1997), in which he played Waldmar Fitzurse.
- Since the premiere in 1982, this movie has been broadcast on Swedish television on January first almost every year.
- It is now considered a tradition.
Production & Filming Details
- Douglas Camfield.
- William Hill … associate producer.
- Norman Rosemont … producer.
- John Gay … (written by).
- Walter Scott … (novel) (as Sir Walter Scott).
- Ally Ferguson.
- John Coquillon … director of photography.
- Bill Blunden.
- Rosemont Productions.
- Columbia Pictures Television.
- CBS (1982) (USA) (TV).
- Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting (TROS) (1982) (Netherlands) (TV).
- Sveriges Television (SVT) (1982) (Sweden) (TV).
- Columbia TriStar Home Video (1996) (USA) (VHS).
- Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001) (USA) (TV).
- Sony Pictures Television (2002) (USA) (TV).
- Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) (2009) (Sweden) (DVD).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD).
- Release Date: 23 February 1982 (US) and 26 September 1982 (UK).
- Rating: 12.
- Running Time: 142 minutes.
- Country: UK and US.
- Language: English.