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Knights of the Round Table (1953)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 15 January 1954 (USA)
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King Arthur's rule is threatened by the adulterous love between Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, a relationship the king's enemies hope to exploit.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Anne Crawford ...
...
Modred
Felix Aylmer ...
Maureen Swanson ...
Elaine
Gabriel Woolf ...
Anthony Forwood ...
Robert Urquhart ...
Niall MacGinnis ...
Ann Hanslip ...
Nan
Jill Clifford ...
Bronwyn
Stephen Vercoe ...
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Storyline

King Arthur establishes the greatest reign England has ever seen, and along for the ride are his indispensable Knights of the Round Table, particularly Sir Lancelot. Then, Arthur finds himself a bride, the beautiful Guenivere. While she loves Arthur, she also loves Lancelot and though Lancelot repeatedly fights it, he loves her, too. Treachery is brewing as the evil Morgan le Fay and her knight Sir Modred work to trap them. So begins the decline and eventual fall of Arthur and Camelot. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the glory and splendor of King Arthur's court


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los caballeros del rey Arturo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Baker was cast at very short notice after the actor first cast, George Sanders, had to be replaced due to illness. Baker was cast as Mordred due to his acclaimed portrayal of a villainous Royal Navy officer in The Cruel Sea (1953). See more »

Goofs

References to England are incorrectly regarded as goofs. The first known use of "England" occurred in 897. If King Arthur had been a 'real' king, he would have lived around the 5th or 6th centuries, however, it is more as a Middle Ages knight that he is presented in literature -- and in this movie. Knights in suits of armor (as portrayed in this film) began to appear in the early 15th century. See more »

Quotes

Modred: Was there ever enough gold to silence a traitor?
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Connections

Version of Excalibur (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

A Lady White
(uncredited)
Music by Clifton Parker
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User Reviews

 
Very Shakespearian Take on the Arthurian Legend
12 May 2005 | by (Petersburg, Vasaria) – See all my reviews

For those of you with an interest in Shakespeare, you're in luck! The script is beautiful ("I am for thee, lone knight!" and "Is he a king or is he a man of straw?") and Mel Ferrer is excellent as King Arthur (he is my favorite American actor, and he speaks as though he has had some classical acting experience).

Who cares if this film is accurate or not? One should just sit down, relax, and savor the vast widescreen pageantry and battle scenes, the beautiful production and music, and the great dialog (which should have been Oscar-nominated) and cast. Alas, some of the acting is wooden (Robert Taylor, as with almost all Lancelots, is miscast and it's kind of funny hearing Shakespearian dialog with a "cowboy" accent and incorrect pacing of the beautiful lines) and some scenes are slow (due to the staginess of the inexperienced widescreen crew), but these six things listed above make up for it.

Ava Gardner is extremely lovely, and Stan Baker is suitably cast is the evil Modred. The film is more faithful to the legend than other film versions, but there's no supernatural elements whatsoever. It's a shame that Shakespeare films, then and now, aren't made like this, where every scene is made to make one truly sink into the action.

But Shakespeare fans, like me, as well as classic movie buffs and medieval fans (especially those who love Errol Flynn's "The Adventures of Robin Hood"), will very much enjoy this film. As Mel himself says on the DVD, "Good viewing!"

*** (out of four)


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