Royal Deceit (1994) from Tuna

Royal Deceit (also known as Prince of Jutland) is the Hamlet story, but supposedly the original Danish version in its purest form, before it was shamelessly pilfered and diluted by those English hacks like that Shakespeare guy.

Hamlet is called Amled. His uncle murdered his father (the king), then killed Amled's older brother, stole the crown, and married Amled's mother (Helen Mirren). As was the standard procedure in the 6th century, nobody was able to draw any conclusions or make any decisions without consulting ghosts, so Amled understands nothing and does nothing until the ghost of his father conveniently appears, fills him in on what really happened, and gets him to swear revenge.


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Amled then pretends to be mad to protect himself and trap his uncle. You haven't lived till you've heard Christian Bale (as Amled) bark like a dog and crow like a rooster to convince everyone of his insanity. Unfortunately for Amled, he was born just a century too late. Kings were still falling for the ol' playin' crazy and actin' like a rooster trick in the fifth century, but it was already getting old and busted by the sixth. Uncle catches on that Amled is a threat, and sends him to a friend in England, carrying a message that says "kill this kid when you read this". The quick-witted Amled thinks it over for a week or so, then decides not to deliver the message.

This is like the nursery rhyme version of Hamlet. If Shakespeare started with this, then he was even more talented than I thought.

To further insult our intelligence, they have a voice-over explaining even very obvious things, like those old Jacques Costeau specials.

Costeau voice-over: "Zen, I ahsk zee crew eef zay wan' to geev ope. Zey deed note".

Cousteau to crew: "Ey, crew, mes amis. Do you wan' to geev ope?"

Crewman (speaking for all) "We do note, mon capitan."

Although it has a great cast, this movie was the career lowlight of just about everyone in it. Per IMDB, this is Christian Bale's lowest-rated movie, Tom Wilkinson's second-lowest, and Kate Beckinsale's lowest. Helen Mirren has been in three worse movies, but she's had a very prolific career, and has worked with Bob Guccione. Even despite those factors, Price of Jutland is still not far from her career nadir.

  1. (4.91) - Prince of Jutland (1994)
  2. (4.83) - Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)
  3. (4.44) - Caligula (1979)
  4. (4.30) - Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, The (1980)

The good news is the nudity. Mirren shows a flash of bush on her way to the sauna, and then breasts in the sauna. Saskia Wickham shows breasts in the sauna, then again after she seduces Amled, and then we see her buns in a dark hayloft sex scene. Several other women show breasts in the sauna scene. Unfortunately, since the film seemed aimed at a ten year old level of understanding and felt like a grade school pageant, the nudity was incongruous.

The Critics Vote

  • no major English reviews on file

The People Vote ...

  • The Box Office was ... um ... well, Christian Bale's mom was going to buy a ticket and then something came up and ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is barely a C-, despite a great cast (Christian Bale, Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne, Brian Cox, Tom Wilkinson, Kate Beckinsale).

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