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Courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet
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Directed by Cecil B. DeMille




125 minutes


Following the great success of 1934’s Cleopatra, Cecil B. DeMille lost no time arranging another thundering epic to confirm his supremacy at Paramount Pictures. The Crusades posits a takeover of Jerusalem by Islamic warrior Saladin, and the pan-European response to this supposed offense against Christianity’s holiest site. Urged to war by his fellow kings, Richard the Lionheart sees an opportunity to escape an expedient marriage to the dour princess of France (DeMille’s daughter, Katherine), but finds it necessary to grudgingly take a bride (Loretta Young). The romance that follows becomes the film’s tender heart as Richard storms the cities of Acre and Jerusalem in quest of holy victory. With amazing set pieces and memorable flourishes, this epic is crafted with brio by a master at the height of his powers.