Film: The War Lord

1965 movie directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. It stars Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth, Guy Stockwell, Maurice Evans, Niall MacGinnis and Henry Wilcoxon.

Chrysagon de la Cruex (Charlton Heston) is a knight in the service of the Duke of Normandy. He is sent with his brother Draco (Guy Stockwell) and Bors (Richard Boone), an old warrior who remained loyal to him no matter what they've been through, to a coastal village where the previous lord was killed in his tower by Frisian raiders. He battles them, captures the Frisian Prince's son and begins to rebuild the Duke's authority over the pagan villagers. He falls in love with Bronwyn, one of the local women, and decides to keep her for himself. He then finds himself betrayed by her fiancÚ and the angry villagers, who call the Frisian raiders to help besiege the tower.

Up until this film, most Hollywood representations of feudal life were glamorized. The War Lord attempts to portray the late 11th century in a more accurate fashion as dirty, violent, and ruled by brute force. The social stratification imposed by feudalism governed every human relationship, with power devolving from the duke, to the knight, to his men at arms, the church and the peasantry at the very bottom.

This movie provides examples of: