**/**** Image B- Sound B Extras C+
starring Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
screenplay by Noel Langley, based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott
directed by Richard Thorpe
by Alex Jackson Think of Ivanhoe as the 1952 version of Wolfgang Petersen's Troy: a big-budget historical epic designed to garner prestigious Oscar buzz as well as blockbuster box-office results. Like Troy, the film's fatal flaw is in favouring superficial fidelities over a meaningful interpretation of the subject matter. This is a masochistic and defensively middlebrow idea of art, not to mention naïve. Consider, for example, that there are no gods in Troy. Yes, this is perfectly reasonable when you consider what today's filmgoers are likely to take seriously and what they are likely to laugh at; Laurence Olivier in Clash of the Titans is most definitely a camp object. Then, of course, there are the wiseasses who populate Sam Raimi's dedicatedly silly TV series "Hercules" and "Xena".