The Crusades (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crusades1935

The Crusades (1935)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Crusades Photos

Movie Info

The Holy Wars are given the usual overblown Cecil B. DeMille treatment in The Crusades. It all begins in the 12th-century AD, when Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Saracens, and the Christians are slaughtered or sold into slavery. A holy man known as The Hermit (C. Aubrey Smith) rallies the rulers of England and Europe to launch a Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem in the name of Christianity. Among those embarking upon this massive undertaking is England's King Richard the Lion-Hearted (played as a swaggering roughneck by Henry Wilcoxon), who finances his knights by marrying wealthy French princess Berengaria (Loretta Young) sight unseen. Saladin (Ian Keith), the elegant and well-spoken ruler of the Saracens, attempts to stave off the crusaders by kidnapping Berengaria and holding her hostage. Sensing that he can never win against so formidable a collection of foes, Saladin eventually opens the gates of Jerusalem to all but Richard the Lion-Hearted, with whom he has a personal score to settle. In the film's most memorable scene, the fundamental difference between the boorish Richard and the cultured Saladin is demonstrated when the Saracen ruler delicately cleaves Berengaria's silk scarf in twain with his gleaming sword. It took a great deal of nerve to depict the film's hero as a thuggish brute and the nominal villain as the most sympathetic character in the story, but DeMille gets away with it in The Crusades, and still has time left over to deliver his usual quota of thrills, pageantry, convoluted history and campy dialogue. And yes, that is Ann Sheridan as a Christian captive in the opening scenes.


Henry Wilcoxon
as Richard, King of England
Loretta Young
as Berengaria, Princess of Navarre
Ian Keith
as Saladin, Sultan of Islam
C. Aubrey Smith
as The Hermit
Joseph Schildkraut
as Conrad of Montferrat
Alan Hale
as Blondel
C. Henry Gordon
as Philip of France
Montagu Love
as Blacksmith
Hobart Bosworth
as Frederick of Germany
William Farnum
as Hugo of Burgundy
Lumsden Hare
as Earl Robert of Leicester
Ramsey Hill
as John Lackland
Paul Sotoff
as Michael, Prince of Russia
Maurice Murphy
as Alan, Richard's Squire
J. Carroll Naish
as Arab Slave Seller
Oscar Rudolph
as Philip's Squire
Albert Conti
as Leopold, Duke of Austria
Sven Hugo Borg
as Sverre, the Norse King
Fred Malatesta
as William, King of Sicily
Perry Askam
as Soldier
Edwin Maxwell
as Ship's Master
Winter Hall
as Archbishop
Emma Dunn
as Mother of Alan
Robert A'Dair
as English Chamberlain
Pat Moore
as Leicester's Squire
Ann Sheridan
as Christian Girl
Ramsay Hill
as John, Prince of England
Jean Fenwick
as Christian Girl
Edgar Dearing
as Cart Man
Colin Tapley
as Stranger/Messenger
Guy Usher
as Grey Beard/Templar
Boyd Irwin
as Templar
Kenneth Gibson
as Capt. of English Men-at-Arms
Paul Satoff
as Michael, Prince of Russia
Vallejo Gantner
as Chanting Monk
George MacQuarrie
as Capt. of Templars
Sam Flint
as Capt. of Hospitalers
Harold Goodwin
as Wounded Man
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
as Nicholas, Count of Hungary
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Critic Reviews for The Crusades

All Critics (6)

One of DeMille's most effective spectacles, done much in the manner of a pageant.

April 21, 2020 | Full Review…

The frequent battles and the surge of great armies give this picture an irresistible appeal.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…

It is everything you could look for; history handsomely simonized by Cecil de Mille and moving with action, pace and glitter.

October 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Blowzy inaccurate medieval era epic on the Holy Crusades is pure Hollywood balderdash, nevertheless it's an immensely fun spectacle.

June 17, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Crusades


One of the interesting phenomena surrounding DeMille is how he gets damnation for essentially being himself --- and his productions too. Over-the-top? Bombastic? Melodramatic? And yet these very traits also "sold" his work. You can't please all the people all the time. Fast and loose with the minutia of truth? Okay. But epic entertainment? OKAY. Loretta Young is saintly and alluring. Henry Wilcoxin is dynamic (why he wasn't a bigger star I don't know). And the battle scenes do the trick. Alan Hale - one of the great character actors!

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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