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Swedes want Ivanhoe to pick the brunette

The Local · 1 Jan 2013, 14:05

Published: 01 Jan 2013 14:05 GMT+01:00

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Despite many an aching head and probably a few sore tummies after the revelry of New Year's Eve, many Swedes settle in for the annual January 1st treat - the 1982 filmatisation of Ivanhoe, the tale of a knight who returns to England from the crusades.

Yet neither the fierce jousting nor the Norman political intrigue has the attention of the Swedes. Instead they focus on the love battle between the doe-eyed Lady Rowena and the fiercely independent Jewish healer Rebecca.

Even the cultural pages of the daily Dagens Nyheter dedicated several column inches to the unsatisfying ending originally penned by Sir Walter Scott:

Every year the Swedes have to see Ivanhoe choose Rowena, played by Lysette Anthony, over Olivia Hussey's Rebecca despite the clear sexual frisson between the Christian knight and the Jewish beauty.

"Come on, Ivanhoe, it's 2013. Bloody well choose Rebecca!" exclaimed Aftonbladet sports reporter Robert Laul on Twitter.

Yet whether inter-religious relationships are less taboo nowadays means little to the hordes of irritated Swedes who are still stuck with the film's ending on screen.

"It's equally annoying every year when he chooses the wrong chick!" tweeted Johanna Lindell.

"Should one start the year with being irritated at Ivanhoe picking the wrong girl?" tweeted Malin Grundström, one of the many Swedes who joined the grumbling online.

In the 1952 version of the film, Elizabeth Taylor played Rebecca while Joan Fontaine took on the role of her romantic foe Rowena.

A quick scan of Twitter, with one hour to go before broadcast, reveals that no one is on Rowena's side in the love-triangle drama. Or at least they don't admit to it in public.

Editorial writer and youth writing coach Dilsa Demirbag-Sten on the other hand seemed to think that Anthony Andrews' Ivanhoe actually does Rebecca a favour.

Story continues below…

"Rebecca should thank her lucky star that she didn't end up spending the rest of her life with that sleeping pill of a man," Demirbag-Sten tweeted.

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Your comments about this article

20:11 January 1, 2013 by RobinHood
On behalf of the mayor of Malmö, I want to make it clear that because of the state of Israel's behaviour, Ivanhoe clearly made the right decision.

If anyone wants to give Rebecca a good kicking, that's alright by the mayor.
07:22 January 2, 2013 by saab
RobinHood, you're an idiot. Using your reasoning, Ivanhoe should not pick Rowena either because she comes from a country that supported the Crusades. And while I am at it, Ivanhoe should be tarred and feathered, and sanctioned by the UN for his role in the Crusades.

But I'll give you credit: you are probably the first moron, frankly the first person ever, to link Ilmar Reepalu with Ivanhoe, New Year's Day and anti semitism.

I'm glad I was there to witness it.
21:36 January 3, 2013 by leras
So every year the Swedes watch the same Ivannhoe movie and every year they hope that he will choose the brunette instead of the blonde?
16:59 January 4, 2013 by 3rdjerseyman
A) Liz Taylor was ubelievably beautiful in Ivanhoe. Plus, the final duel between George Sanders and Robert Taylor is awesome in its unusual realism. Notice the crunch sound on the final blow!

B) We should be proud of the Crusaders. They were trying to free the Middle East from the tyrrany of Islam. If the Syrians, Egyptians, Palestinians were enjoying the level of human rights and prosperity enjoyed by Europeans they'd be far ahead of where they are now.

C) Ivanhoe celbrates the indigenous people's rights against the invaders violence. Something that Swedes should pay heed to!

D) Happy New Year!
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