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
Somewhat dispirited costume epic with uneasy leads...
Sir Thomas Malory's traditional tales of King Arthur and Lancelot are made even more commercially palatable with this costumed version from the British arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The narrative has become so basic (and dull), presumably for mass consumption, that all we have left to respond to is the ornate production. Robert Taylor's Lancelot devotes himself to being Guinevere's champion (not that her husband--Mel Ferrer's vacuous King Arthur--would notice!), but Taylor seems to have wandered in from another picture; his diction is thudding and his hangdog face never brightens, not even in the presence of a ravishing Ava Gardner as Guinevere (who doesn't so much flirt with Lancelot as she does beam and glow with silent affection). The overlong film is a sumptuous spread, and there's plenty of action, but the episodes fail to come together as a whole and the sound recording (Oscar nominated!) is barely adequate. Consequently, the legendary characters rarely come to life. ** from ****
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