Knights of the Round Table (1953)

Article 2258 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-22-2007
Posting Date: 10-18-2007
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Featuring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer

King Arthur tries to unite his country with the help of the Knights of the Round Table, but the evil Sir Mordred tries to thwart him by using Sir Lancelot’s love for the queen against him.

Maybe if I hadn’t already seen MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (which pokes hilarious fun at the whole King Arthur story) and EXCALIBUR (which handles the same story with real gusto), I might have liked this one better. Yes, it’s got color and spectacle, and if that’s all that’s important to you, go for it. Unfortunately, all too often people open their mouths and speak the words, and the artificial, mannered and sadly unlyrical dialogue saps a great deal of vitality from the movie; the characters and relationships never really come to life. As a result, stretches of this movie are as dull as they come, and the almost total lack of a sense of humor (except for a truly strange pillow-fight-on-horseback) just makes it drag all the more. It picks up a little towards the end, but it’s a fairly long stretch before that. This is definitely not my favorite take on the legend.


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