After the Second World War, Disney had money trapped in Europe. He couldn’t remove the funds for use in America so he decided to use it to make live-action films in England. Although you likely haven’t heard of this particular one, it is a worthy addition to this period of Disney history!
The actual story wasn’t original to Disney, but was based on the 1898 novel When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major. It was originally made into a motion picture in 1908 and again in 1922. So Walt must have thought that anything worth doing twice was worth doing again! Disney’s version of the film was shot at Denham Film Studios in England.
FUN FACTS: The Sword and the Rose (1953) was the third of Disney’s British productions after Treasure Island (1950) and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952).
Story Synopsis: At the royal court of Henry VIII, the King has decreed that his sister, coquettish Princess Mary Tudor, should wed the elderly Louis XII of France. But Mary falls madly in love with handsome, dashing Charles Brandon, an ambitious young man bound for America. The headstrong Mary defies her brother and leaves with Charles’ party disguised as a boy. Pursued and captured by the King’s men, Charles is imprisoned in the Tower and Mary is sent to France. Against all odds, Charles must mount a daring escape and rescue Mary, leading to the spectacular climax pitting him against the villainous Duke of Buckingham in a chivalrous duel to the death. – Disney.com
And that rather long introduction brings us to the advertising page that I found at a local flea market:
I enjoy collecting ephemera, which are items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.
Advertising materials and movie posters fall under this category. But I think you’ll agree that they can have lasting value as collectibles!
Let’s have a closer look at the details of this page. The artwork is amazing:
Above we see Henry VIII and his royal court. Note how the characters get less detailed as they are positioned further into the background. Great technique!
The reference material is presented here in bold red letters. When I first saw the title ‘When Knighthood Was In Flower’ I thought it was a strange way to describe the time of battles, chivalry, and sacrifice for King and Country, but what do I know!
Maybe ‘When Knighthood Was In Fashion‘? ‘Was Awesome!’? Anything but ‘In Flower‘!
Richard Todd was a big star for Disney’s overseas productions. He played the lead in the aforementioned Robin Hood film, and later the lead again in Disney’s Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1953).
Glynis Johns also starred in Rob Roy with Todd but may be better known to Disney fans for her role of Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins (1964).
I hope you liked this little look at a piece of Disney history that was meant to be thrown away with the magazine it appeared in. For more Disney advertising pages, just click the link. It contains three unique examples. For another, check out The Great Locomotive Chase advertising page as well!