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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.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Talbot Jennings (screenplay), Jan Lustig (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Lancelot
Ava Gardner ... Guinevere
Mel Ferrer ... Arthur
Anne Crawford ... Morgan Le Fay
Stanley Baker ... Modred
Felix Aylmer ... Merlin
Maureen Swanson ... Elaine
Gabriel Woolf Gabriel Woolf ... Percival
Anthony Forwood ... Gareth
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Gawaine
Niall MacGinnis ... Green Knight
Ann Hanslip Ann Hanslip ... Nan
Jill Clifford Jill Clifford ... Bronwyn
Stephen Vercoe Stephen Vercoe ... Agravaine
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los caballeros del rey Arturo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,849,240, 31 December 1953

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,649,280, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Powerscourt waterfall in Co. Wicklow Ireland was also used in two other Arthurian epics, "Excalibur" and "King Arthur". See more »

Goofs

Morgan Le Fay (Anne Crawford) wasn't too young to be the mother of Modred (Stanley Baker), because in this version of the legend they are not mother and son - they're coeval adult lovers. See more »

Quotes

Arthur: Before us lies only the darkness of utter destruction. The end of chivalry! The end of all our world.
See more »

Connections

Version of Camelot (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

A Lady White
(uncredited)
Music by Clifton Parker
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Ill Fated Passion
10 September 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Arthur legend gets a grand production here, good photography and rousing battle scenes. The leads kind of go through the motions in their roles though, some of the supporting players really carry this film.

Robert Taylor was never comfortable in those 'iron jockstrap' movies as he called them. But he was the most dutiful employee MGM had and like Errol Flynn with westerns, Taylor just went with the flow. Funny thing is Taylor much preferred doing westerns as he reached his forties.

Was there ever a more beautiful Guinevere than Ava Gardner? I sincerely doubt it. If she never spoke a line in the film, you know this is a woman for whom you toss convention out for. Ava was in the middle of her tempestuous marriage to Frank Sinatra at the time, so I'm sure she was preoccupied.

And next to Richard Burton on stage and Richard Harris on the screen Mel Ferrer looks positively colorless. Not the guy to command the loyalty the legendary king was supposed to do.

But I did like the performances of Felix Aylmer as Merlin, Anne Crawford as Morgan Le Fay and Stanley Baker as Mordred. Felix Aylmer was never bad in anything he ever did, always a figure of wisdom and dignity in any role. Morgan Le Fay is quite the schemer here and Anne Crawford brings her to life. Sadly Ms. Crawford died only two years later of leukemia at age 36. American audiences probably only know her for this film, but she's fantastic.

But the best performance in the film has to be Stanley Baker. He was a rugged tough man in every film he did, good guy or bad guy. His Mordred has depth and passion and he's unrelenting in his plans to topple Arthur and the Round Table.

If they gave Oscars out for performances by animals than Robert Taylor's horse Varick would have won it that year. Except for Roy Rogers's Trigger, I don't think we've ever had a smarter movie horse. He's obedient and well trained and knight's horse certainly had to be back in the day. And he saves Taylor's bacon on one occasion.

It's a good film, not the best from either of the stars, but I think you'll like it overall.


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