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Quentin Durward (1955) took actor Robert Taylor to MGM's British studios for the fifth time. For over 30 years he remained one of MGM's leading principal players, starring opposite some of the screen's most glamorous leading ladies. Quentin Durward brought Taylor's London score to four hits out of five and gave him an exceptionally striking heroine in Kay Kendall.
Filmed on location in English and French countryside castles, the story is set in 15th-century France. Quentin Durward (Robert Taylor) is a poor but noble Scot in the service of his uncle who plans to wed Isabelle, Countess of Marcroy (Kay Kendall). When Durward is sent to France to inspect his uncle's prospective bride, the Countess slips away from her protector, the Duke of Burgundy (Alec Clunes), who has arranged the match. Finding brief refuge with King Louis XI (Robert Morley), Isabelle is forced to flee again when she learns the crafty Louis is plotting against her with a renegade count. Naturally, the dashing Durward foils the plot and falls in love as a consequence. But can a romance fit into the politics of imperialism?
The supporting cast is wonderful with Robert Morley a standout in his role. The film also highlights the beauty of Kay Kendall, who was to die much too young (three years after the film was made). Robert Taylor made eight films with director Richard Thorpe, four prior to Quentin Durward including; The Crowd Roars (1938), Ivanhoe (1952), All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953) and Knights of the Round Table (1953). Thorpe, by now an old hand at costume films, directs for maximum action and throws in a dash of humor.
Director: Richard Thorpe
Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Screenplay: Robert Ardrey, George Froeschel (based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott)
Cinematography: Christopher Challis
Editor: Ernest Walter
Music: Bronislau Kaper
Art Design: Alfred Junge
Costume Design: Elizabeth Haffenden
Cast: Robert Taylor (Quentin Durward), Kay Kendall (Isabelle, Countess of Marcroy), Robert Morley (King Louis XI), George Cole (Hayraddin), Alec Clunes (Charles, Duke of Burgundy), Duncan Lamont (Count William de la Marck)
C-101m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Celia Reilly