Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Knights of the Round Table (1953)



In my English class sophomore year of high school my teacher had us read the legends of King Arthur. Ever since then I have loved reading the legends. I love reading about all the quests the chivalrous knights had to complete and especially tales of the Holy Grail (come on who does not have an interest in the Holy Grail?). I have seen several films concerning King Arthur and his knights. Even before this class when I was little one of my favorite Disney movies was The Sword and the Stone.  Knights of the Round Table is the latest film about King Arthur I have viewed.
            Hopefully everyone knows how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and after he became king he assembled his Knights of the Round Table and each knight was then sent on a quest. Lancelot was Arthur’s best friend and trusted knight but when Lancelot met Queen Guinevere they started an affair. Lancelot leaves for a few years with a woman he takes as his wife but his wife dies and once again he and the queen are together again. Their affair leads them to be banished.

            That is pretty much the exact story of this film and I have to say it was a bit boring. The battle scenes were so fake I could not take them seriously enough to watch them. Mel Ferrer as King Arthur was terrible he looked like a wax figure. I have to admit though I only sat through the film because of Robert Taylor and mostly Ava Gardner. Robert Taylor as Lancelot was excellent he was such a good actor though that I find it hard to believe he was ever bad in any of his films. Ava Gardner was barely in the film but she is top billed along with Robert Taylor because MGM knew that if she was in a film no matter how long people (men mostly I assume) would see it and the studio could make guaranteed money.
            Knights of the Round Table is a good film but as I said I have seen so many films based on King Arthur that I was bored. My attention may have been held if Ava Gardner was in the film a bit longer and had more scenes with Robert Taylor. This was the first MGM film to be made in Cinemascope so if you see it the film is in wide screen… maybe that is why the battle scenes are horribly dragged out?