Film: 5081

History | 1960 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

The events leading up to, and Battle of Hastings (1066) between the Saxon or English Harold, and William, Duke of Normandy told using scenes from the tapestry commemorating the story.

[The following scenes and images are all taken from the Bayeaux tapestry]

A Saxon or Norman warrior stands holding an axe. he stands before William with a sword. A horse pulls a cart through the Normandy countryside. Saxons on horseback- one possibly Harold. Normans ride from the opposite direction, carrying their familiar kite-shaped shields. Harold, a falcon on his arm. William greets him. The two, greeting each other on horseback. Harold and others at William's palace at Rouen. Close-up of Harold. Of William. William as he offers Harold one of his daughters in marriage. One of the daughters. Norman warriors wearing chain mail and bearing spears. Similar. These warriors capturing the Breton castle at Dinan. After this battle, William knights Harold. Closer. they return to Bayeux. Harold seems to help William ascend to the English throne. Closer, of Harold. Of William. Of attendants. Similar. The whole scene again. Montage as Harold returns to England where he is eagerly received on his arrival by boat. He goes to the palace at Westminster where the ailing and aged King Edward is, and gives an account of William's ambitions. Closer, of Harold. Of the King. The newly built Westminster Abbey where Edward is buried (he died Jan 5 1066). Details of the funeral procession and mourners. Harold is given the crown and acclaimed. (Edward named him as successor on his deathbed). He is crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Montage regarding the comet which appeared that Easter and terrified people. Harold and an attendant. Montage as the news of Harold's coronation reaches William who regards it as a treachery. Montage of woodsmen chopping trees, preparing the invasion of England. Sequence showing ships being built. The invasion force is provisioned men pulling carts and carrying arms and armour. The invasion fleet is pulled out to sea. Normans fill the ships. Montage as William joins the fleet and they set sail in September (the images of these boats and their knightly crews are very appealing). The Normans land at Pevensey, September 28 1066 a sequence of scenes. Montage of William's army seizing cattle and stores to feed themselves. Servants cook meat over a fire. The Norman army has a feast- servants hand out roast meat. Bishop Odo of Bayeux blesses the food, sat at a high table. Details of guests and servants. William holds counsel with his half-brothers. Close-ups of this scene. A fort is built. The Normans ravage the surrounding land, setting fire to property. William is told of Harold's victory over the Vikings at Stamford Bridge (near York), and his approach south. A fort or house and a Norman in chain mail. Norman cavalry, resplendent in helmets and chain mail, ride out to meet Harold for battle. A Norman scout keeps lookout. Closer. More Norman cavalry. SImilar. Montage of Norman cavalry preparing for and entering battle, with their lances, aided by archers. A Saxon ot Norman lying dead beneath horses' hooves. The cavalry ride on and charge the English who are similarly dressed but on foot, and who form a defensive shield wall. English facing another direction, also charged by cavalry. Sequence showing William raising his vizor to show his face and thus reassure his men that he has not been killed. Archers at the bottom of the tapetry. English shields. The English troops' formation breaks up and they are shot with arrows and attacked with swords. Harold is fatally wounded by an arrow in the eye.


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