Prince Eisenherz (1954)

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German title Prince Eisenherz
Original title Prince Valiant
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1954
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Henry Hathaway
script Dudley Nichols
production Robert L. Jacks
music Franz Waxman
camera Lucien Ballard
cut Robert L. Simpson

Prinz Eisenherz (Original title: Prince Valiant ) is an American knight film by Henry Hathaway from 1954 with Robert Wagner in the title role. The comic series of the same name by Hal Foster served as a template .


After the Christian king Aguar is overthrown, the devious Viking Sligon takes power in Scandia. The disempowered king is forced to flee to Britain with his family . Once there, he hides with his wife and son, Prince Eisenherz, in a remote abbey. When they hear that Sligon is looking for them, Aguar sends his son to Camelot to the court of King Arthur . There Prince Eisenherz should ask for assistance and try to become a Knight of the Round Table.

On his way to Camelot, Prince Ironheart witnesses a group of Vikings propose a deal to a knight in black armor. Sligon will send the black knight an army of warriors if he finds out where Aguar is hiding in return for him. Prince Ironheart rides away on the horse of the black knight and meets Sir Gawain, who takes him to Camelot. There he immediately reports to King Arthur about the black knight, who was previously only considered a fantasy figure. Prince Eisenherz then becomes a squire of Gawain, who teaches him how to use ax and sword. Knight Sir Brack meanwhile wants to track down the black knight. Prince Eisenherz shows him the place where he had seen the black knight. When Brack leaves him alone, Prince Eisenherz is suddenly shot with arrows. He is found seriously injured by Princess Aleta and her sister Ilene. The two young women take him to the castle of their father, the King of Ord, where Aleta devoted himself to his recovery. To the displeasure of her father, who would rather give her Brack as his wife, Aleta and Prince Eisenherz fall in love. They finally travel to Camelot together to attend the annual knight tournaments.

Gawain was also attacked and injured by archers. Prince Eisenherz introduces him to Ilene, who has been secretly in love with Gawain for a long time. However, since Gawain believes that Ilene has already been taken to his young squire, he prefers to keep an eye on Aleta. At a subsequent horse show, at the request of the King of Ord, the winner is to receive Aleta's hand. Brack also takes part and triumphs with his lance, playing over one knight after the other - until Gawain faces him. However, Brack manages to lift his rival from the saddle, where it turns out that it is actually Prince Ironheart in Gawain's armor. The real Gawain is up against Brack next. After Gawain has conquered this, he collapses exhausted.

Although Prince Eisenherz is supposed to serve a sentence for daring to pretend to be a knight, he is forced to secretly leave Camelot to come to his father's aid. On the way he is attacked by the black knight, who finally reveals himself to be Brack. He has already had Aguar captured and is planning to wrest power from Arthur. Aleta, who had followed Prince Eisenherz, is taken to Scandia with him. Once there, Prince Eisenherz refuses to reveal the names of his father's loyal allies to Sligon. Some of these allies attack Sligon's castle with their men. Though outnumbered, they still manage to defeat Sligon's warriors while Prince Ironheart takes Sligon down.

Back in Camelot, Brack is exposed as a black knight by Prince Eisenherz and charged with conspiracy. This is followed by a bitter sword fight for life and death, in which Prince Ironheart emerges victorious. For his bravery, he is then knighted by King Arthur. Since Gawain has now fallen in love with Ilene, nothing stands in the way of Prince Eisenherz and Aleta's happiness.


Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, where the film was set

Henry Hathaway's film adaptation of the Hal Foster comic series, first published in 1937, was one of the first films in CinemaScope . The 20th Century Fox film was originally supposed to be made in 3D . Victor Mature was supposed to play the role of Gawain . However, he turned down the role and was subsequently suspended from 20th Century Fox. The film was shot from July 16 to mid-September 1953 in Fox Studios in Los Angeles , in the San Fernando Valley and in Great Britain , where the Scottish village of Dornie and Alnwick Castle , Warwick Castle , Caernarfon Castle , Braemar Castle , Duart Castle and others Eilean Donan Castle served as the locations for the film. Mark-Lee Kirk and Lyle R. Wheeler were responsible for building the film . Stuart A. Reiss and Walter M. Scott appeared as outfitters . The production design and costumes, for which Charles Le Maire was responsible, were modeled on Hal Foster's comic book drawings.

The world premiere of Prince Eisenherz took place on April 2, 1954 at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. The film was released in Germany on August 12, 1954. It was shown for the first time on German television on December 25, 1975.


The lexicon of international film found that the film was "chaotic entertainment". Cinema described it as a "lavishly equipped knight spectacle" and drew the conclusion: "Galant costumes, crisp duels." Prisma spoke of a "magnificently equipped and well-cast mix of knight action and adventure film". Robert Wagner was "to be admired" in one of his first roles and James Mason was convincing as Sir Brack.

According to Bosley Crowther of the New York Times , director Henry Hathaway and his production team created a costume film that "does justice to the spirit and look of the comic book". Variety concluded that the film was "a little too long". Thanks to the direction, the script and the “stunning scenery”, however, this is “acceptable”.

German version

The German dubbed version was created in Berlin in 1954 .

role actor Voice actor
Sir Brack James Mason Ernst Wilhelm Borchert
Princess Aleta Janet Leigh Marion Degler
Prince Eisenherz Robert Wagner Michael Chevalier
Sir Gawain Sterling Hayden Siegfried Schürenberg
Boltar Victor McLaglen Walther Suessenguth
King Aguar Donald Crisp Alfred Haase
King Arthur Brian Aherne Paul Wagner
King of Ord Barry Jones Alfred Balthoff
Sir Kay Tom Conway Konrad Wagner
Leader of the Viking warriors Neville Brand Martin hero
teller Michael Rennie Heinz Petruo
doctor Percival Vivian Eduard Wandrey

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b cf. Notes on
  2. Prince Eisenherz. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 27, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. cf.
  4. cf.
  5. "For Director Henry Hathaway and his associates have whipped up this clanging costume film in precisely the spirit and the aspect of the comic-book original." Bosley Crowther : 'Prince Valiant' Comes to the Roxy Theater . In: The New York Times , April 7, 1954.
  6. "Although the picture comes in a bit overlength, the direction and Dudley Nichols' scripting combine to bring it off acceptably against some rather dazzling settings." See Prince Valiant . In: Variety , 1954.
  7. cf.