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I understand that Paramount wanted to film this with the Rodgers and
Hart score, but couldn't work out the copyright problems, so Burke and
Van Heusen who wrote the between them the most songs for Bing Crosby
contributed a very nice score.
I read Leonard Maltin saying that this movie, "fit Crosby like a glove" and I couldn't have put it better. No, it's not Mark Twain's satire, it's a Bing Crosby film and in 1949 Crosby was the most bankable star in Hollywood. For once Paramount used technicolor and Rhonda Fleming was never lovelier on the screen. This was a woman that technicolor was invented for.
William Bendix's Brooklyn origins kinda stand out, but it's to a good comic effect. The trio of Crosby, Bendix, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke have a rollicking good time with Busy Doing Nothing. Bing has one of his patented upbeat philosophical numbers with If You Stub Your Toe On The Moon.
The third song he sings Once and For Always by himself and with Rhonda Fleming. That song was nominated for best song, but lost to Baby It's Cold Outside.
Nice also that Bing managed to record the score for Decca with Rhonda Fleming and Bendix and Hardwicke.
One thing I like about this film is that it shows Crosby's comic talents without Bob Hope. I like the Road pictures, but Bing was a comic talent onto himself and this film better demonstrates than any other.
This is Crosby at the top of his game.
This movie is humorous, charming, and easily becomes a favorite for those
who enjoy light entertainment. Hollywood is hardly the place for serious
history lessons so I simply accept it as is. Bing, in his usual inimitable
style, performs quite well as the blacksmith, Hank Martin, who by accident
is transported back to another age, the time of King Arthur. The beautiful
Rhonda Fleming is breathtaking as Alisande, or Sandy, the object of Hank's
affections although she is betrothed to the brave and formidable Sir
Lancelot, played by Henry Wilcoxon.
I just love that episode when King Arthur (Cedric Hardwicke), Sir Sagramore (Wm. Bendix), and Hank (Bing Crosby) dress up in tattered clothing and take to the high road with their knapsacks to experience the kingdom at firsthand. King Arthur's comment, "I say, we are not alone" while giving his scruffy garments a good scratch, is one of those hilarious moments in the film. William Bendix's portrayal is superbly ridiculous, not to mention his attempts at quaint "ye Olde English."
The story is not deep but it's well done in my opinion and I enjoy it more each time I see it. It's great family entertainment too.
"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is a film that has a little
something for everyone, and that is what makes it a winner. It has the
right blend of humor, action, intrigue, music, fantasy and charisma. One of
the few total straight-to-finish feel good movies, "Yankee" is great for
everyone in the family. And of all the films I have ever seen, this is my
favorite. A pretty good recommendation, and I can't make it any stronger!
Bing Crosby plays a regular Joe who is mystically taken to the realm of Camelot. Basically he bums around and goes on adventures, bringing his 20th century wit and know-how along. He teams up with spectacular William Bendix's Sir Sagramore and falls for the beautiful Rhonda Fleming. Battles, music, evil plots and laughs ensue.
At times it seems a little too self-serving to Bing Crosby, but it's understandable and at times actually enjoyable. Bing has his run of Camelot, singing and bringing mirth to everyone. The technicolor is a little cheesy at parts, but by no means does it ruin anything. It doesn't matter what you're looking for, this movie has it; "Connecticut Yankee" is the perfect movie for when you're looking for something that takes its joviality seriously.
"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" has become my favorite movie
of all time because it is a movie that has it all and works at a level where
you feel relaxed and happy the whole time you're watching it. Most movies
nowadays try to involve multiple elements in their plots but none of them
come close to what "Connecticut Yankee" accomplishes. It has action, it has
romance, it has good comedy, it has fantasy, it has intrigue, it has music
and all of them weave into each other well. Extraordinarily well to the
point where it becomes a joy to watch.
Of course, modern audiences might shrug off this movie as just another piece of fuddy old Bing Crosby fluff, which it is, in the sense that Bing seems to have absolute control over every situation and basically plays himself in a light-hearted movie. It's not deep, but sometimes that's not what we look for when we watch movies. This is a good "sit down with a loved one and a bowl of popcorn and just enjoy yourselves" film, one of the best in my opinion. Ok, the garish technicolor does get annoying, but it's the only downside to a great great film. Enrich your life! Please see this film!
My youngest sister and I have a tradition of watching old movies that are
set in older times. "Jason and the Argonauts" was classic; she's young
to get scared by the realistic effects of present day, so the special
effects in these movies just makes her--and I--laugh. But this movie was
different. It was low on the special effects, which 86ed our tradition, but
we had fun watching it all the same. It was enjoyable and funny, with an
easy plot to follow (which always helps when one watches a movie with a
If you want my advice, watch it. You'll be entertained, even if the same idea was copied 10,000 times.
I watched this merry movie the other day and enjoyed it
immensely, even though it was about the hundreth time I'd seen it.
It's a wonderful 'family' movie, in that it isn't offensive or overlong-
it's fun. My favourite part has to be the song "busy doing nothing", sung by
the unlikely trio of Bing Crosby, Cedric Hardwicke and William
Bendix (the first and last time they ever sang together!). There are nice touches all the way through, including the 'echoes'
every time king Arthur requests something: "MORE HOT WATER! . . . more hot water. . ." Or "CLOSE THE DOOR! . . .close the door. . ."
to which Murvyn Vye's Merlin replies, "the door closeth sire." While we are on the subject of Merlin, I'm surprised that with a
voice like his he didn't appear in more of Hollywood's costumers.
I've only ever seen him in one other film, and that was 'Green Fire'
(1955). Of course, I have to mention William Bendix's portrayal of 'Saggy' or
sir Sagramore. He turns up in Bing Crosby's prison cell
shame-faced and apologetic for calling him (Crosby) a dragon and
says the following: Saggy: If only there were ought we could do. Crosby: Well, ain't there ought? Saggy: Nought. Whoever heard of a knight of the round table with a thick Brooklyn
accent?! I usually detest musicals but this, along with 'White Christmas', is
an exception. The duet between Rhonda Fleming and Bing Crosby
('Once and for always') is brilliant. It's hilarious when he says she's
pretty, to which she replies enthusiatically, "oh, thou art pretty too
sire!" and he, looking round apprehensively says, "no, say I'm cute
Stylishly directed, picturesquely photographed and brilliantly acted
Crosby's interpretation seems exactly right, Hardwicke has his best
role ever, while Bendix is a treat too this Yankee's appeal is
universal and irresistible.
One of the principal joys of the movie, of course, are the songs. As might be expected, Bing is in fine voice. And although Hardwicke's solo has been cut, we can still hear him sing heartily as he dances merrily with Crosby and Bendix in their famous novelty number, "Busy Doing Nothing". It's also a treat to hear Rhonda Fleming, who, although she enjoyed an extensive stage and concert career as a singer, was rarely given a chance to be heard in the cinema. She has a lovely voice that more than matches her ravishing looksand she looks very fetching indeed in her Mary Kay Dodson costumes.
Director Tay Garnett gets the most out of his lavish budget, using all the resources at his command to present every fabulous scene as effectively as possible. (Perhaps the eclipse looks a trifle too contrived, but who's complaining?)
In short, as the trailer actually describes, an entertainment delight from start to finish.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some of the posters seem less than gruntled because this is neither Mark Twain nor Rodgers and Hart but clearly it doesn't pretend to be either. You'll look a long time to find a greater Rodgers and Hart fan than me but Burke and Van Heusen weren't exactly chopped liver in addition to which they knew Der Bingle inside out and tailored some great songs - But Beautiful, Moonlight Becomes You, It's Always You, The Day After Forever, etc - to fit his highly personal style and here they come up with yet another fine - and unfairly neglected - ballad, Once And For Always, plus a couple of upbeat philosophy-lite entries in If You Stub Your Toe On The Moon and Busy Doing Nothing. The flimsy plot isn't meant to be taken seriously - why else make Merlin a heavy when in most, if not all, of the other versions he is more a friend/mentor to Arthur - so if you start wondering aloud why Sir Lancelot who has been sold to historians as the epitome of chivalry and uprightness metamorphoses into a schoolyard bully you're not going to get much fun out of what is essentially a fun movie. On balance it does what it sets out to do, entertain, so good luck to it.
This movie is a great. The plot is very true to the book which is a classic written by Mark Twain. The movie starts of with a scene where Hank sings a song with a bunch of kids called "when you stub your toe on the moon" It reminds me of Sinatra's song High Hopes, it is fun and inspirational. The Music is great throughout and my favorite song is sung by the King, Hank (bing Crosby) and Sir "Saggy" Sagamore. OVerall a great family movie or even a great Date movie. This is a movie you can watch over and over again. The princess played by Rhonda Fleming is gorgeous. I love this movie!! If you liked Danny Kaye in the Court Jester then you will definitely like this movie.
Hello again, I have to comment on this wonderful, exciting, and believable tale of romance and intrigue. The music in wonderful and memorable. Very good colorful movie. Another movie I liked as well later on was High Society with Bing Crosby. Wonderful music. Thanks for listening, Florence Forrester-Stockton, Reno, Nevada
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