Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The painstakingly accurate historical drama The War Lord is predicated on the old practice of le droit du seigneur. Norman knight Charlton Heston, in charge of an 11th century Druid community, exercises his right to claim bride Rosemary Forsyth on the night of her wedding to James Farentino. Forsyth becomes enamored of her abductor, refusing to leave his side. Seeking vengeance, Farentino, the son of Druidic leader Niall McGinniss, foments an all-out war between Heston and Heston's covetous brother Guy Stockwell. Despite the impressive scope of the battle scenes, The War Lord, based on a stage play by Leslie Stevens, is essentially an intimate human drama (in contrast, look what "droit du seigneur" sparked in the 1995 epic Braveheart). The surehanded direction of Franklyn Schaffner and the credible performances of Heston et. al. are brilliantly complemented by Jerome Morross' Stravinsky-like musical score.
Druid, love-triangle, revenge, battle [war], brother, feudalism, warlord