Esqueda, an outlaw, attempts to force settlers King and Cordelia Cameron out of his territory. Esqueda's mother raised Rio as her own. Rio has loyalty to Esqueda but also feels the settlers... See full summary »
Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by ... See full summary »
The story of the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere. The plot of illegitimate Modred to gain the throne and Guinevere's growing attachment to Sir Lancelot, threaten to topple Arthur and destroy his "round table" of knights.
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Jerry and Cass have always been competitive. Now that Cass is a well respected Naval aviator like his father, Jerry leaves the submarine service to become a flying cadet with Class 61 at ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
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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
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 »
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 »
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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