During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.
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
Although Robert Taylor is top-lined alongside Ava Gardner in this MGM historical romp, he plays Lancelot, not Arthur. The King himself is played by Mel Ferrer with utmost seriousness. Despite a lot of bad reviews over the years, this movie from Richard Thorpe is actually quite enjoyable.
Taylor and Gardner (playing Guinevere, of course, and looking every inch the part) are particularly watchable, but there is sterling support from icy Brit Anne Crawford as Morgan Le Fay; Stanley Baker as Mo(r)dred; Felix Aylmer as Merlin; Maureen Swanson as Elaine (whose midsummer wish brings Lancelot into her life and into his first meeting with Arthur); and Niall McGinnis as the argumentative Green Knight.
Sumptuous colour and some exciting swordplay keep this film bumping along - just short of two hours and, if it veers away from the legend a bit, well, it is all in the spirit of 1950s cinema.
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