The Magic Sword (1962)

81 mins | Fantasy | March 1962

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HISTORY

The 15 Dec 1960 DV announced producer Bert I. Gordon’s upcoming project, provisionally titled St. George and the 7 Curses, to be distributed by United Artists Corporation (UA). The screenplay was adapted from a story by Gordon, “based partially on English legend.” Filming was expected to conclude in twenty-five days. Principal photography began 11 Jan 1961 at Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood, CA, according to 13 Jan 1961 DV production charts. The 18 Jan 1961 DV noted that lead actress Anne Helm wore a “flesh-colored suit” for her supposed nude swimming scene.
       On 24 Mar 1961, DV reported that composer Richard Markowitz was in the process of scoring the film. Two months later, the 22 May 1961 DV announced the official title as The Magic Sword. As stated in the 18 Jul 1961 DV, Gordon finished “several months” of special effects photography the previous day, at an estimated cost of $220,000.
       The 8 Dec 1961 DV reported that UA delivered press kits to exhibitors five months prior to the film’s scheduled Easter 1962 release. Fred Goldberg, executive director of publicity for the company, briefed journalists on the advertising campaign, which labeled the picture as a fairy tale for younger children, and as an adventure story for older children.
       The Magic Sword opened 11 Apr 1962 in Los Angeles, CA. Reviews were generally positive, particularly regarding special effects. The 9 Aug 1962 DV noted that it received a certificate of merit from the Southern ... More Less

The 15 Dec 1960 DV announced producer Bert I. Gordon’s upcoming project, provisionally titled St. George and the 7 Curses, to be distributed by United Artists Corporation (UA). The screenplay was adapted from a story by Gordon, “based partially on English legend.” Filming was expected to conclude in twenty-five days. Principal photography began 11 Jan 1961 at Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood, CA, according to 13 Jan 1961 DV production charts. The 18 Jan 1961 DV noted that lead actress Anne Helm wore a “flesh-colored suit” for her supposed nude swimming scene.
       On 24 Mar 1961, DV reported that composer Richard Markowitz was in the process of scoring the film. Two months later, the 22 May 1961 DV announced the official title as The Magic Sword. As stated in the 18 Jul 1961 DV, Gordon finished “several months” of special effects photography the previous day, at an estimated cost of $220,000.
       The 8 Dec 1961 DV reported that UA delivered press kits to exhibitors five months prior to the film’s scheduled Easter 1962 release. Fred Goldberg, executive director of publicity for the company, briefed journalists on the advertising campaign, which labeled the picture as a fairy tale for younger children, and as an adventure story for older children.
       The Magic Sword opened 11 Apr 1962 in Los Angeles, CA. Reviews were generally positive, particularly regarding special effects. The 9 Aug 1962 DV noted that it received a certificate of merit from the Southern California Motion Picture Council. The film was double-billed in several locations with the Italian production, Mighty Ursus (1962).
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1960
p. 1.
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1960
p. 10.
Daily Variety
13 Jan 1961
p. 8.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Mar 1961
p. 23.
Daily Variety
3 May 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
22 May 1961
p. 9.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Apr 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Jun 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1962
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jan 1961
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1962
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
11 Apr 1962
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
13 Apr 1962
Section C, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
15 Apr 1962
Section GB, p. 2.
Variety
4 Apr 1962
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Supv spec eff
Assistant supv spec eff
Spec mechanical eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
St. George and the 7 Curses
Release Date:
March 1962
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 April 1962
Production Date:
began 11 January 1961
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
81
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Princess Helene is abducted by the wicked magician Lodac in medieval England, George vows to rescue her. To this end the knight appeals to the witch Sybil, his stepmother, who provides him with magical sword, invincible armor, and enchanted horse. Accompanied by seven resurrected knights, George accepts the sorcerer's seven challenges. The witch, however, accidentally deprives her son of his supernatural powers, and he is captured by Lodac. After the champion's rescue by doll-sized victims of Lodac's black magic, Sybil assumes the form of a panther and kills the sorcerer. With his magic sword George slays the two-headed dragon and frees the imprisoned ... +


When Princess Helene is abducted by the wicked magician Lodac in medieval England, George vows to rescue her. To this end the knight appeals to the witch Sybil, his stepmother, who provides him with magical sword, invincible armor, and enchanted horse. Accompanied by seven resurrected knights, George accepts the sorcerer's seven challenges. The witch, however, accidentally deprives her son of his supernatural powers, and he is captured by Lodac. After the champion's rescue by doll-sized victims of Lodac's black magic, Sybil assumes the form of a panther and kills the sorcerer. With his magic sword George slays the two-headed dragon and frees the imprisoned princess. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.