Knights of the Round Table (1954)
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as Sir Lancelot
as King Arthur
as Morgan Le Fay
as Sir Modred
as Sir Gawaine
as Green Knight
as Green Knight's First Squire
as Green Knight's Squire
Critic Reviews for Knights of the Round Table
MGM's first CinemaScope picture has not aged well (too verbose and the acting is stiff), but production values are good and Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner are handsome.
Lavish MGM King Arthur tale featuring Robert Taylor and jousting galore.
An uninspiring reworking of the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Conventional but fairly solid adaptation of the King Arthur legend benefits from its colorful pageantry and strongly Christian milieu, including a royal Catholic wedding and a transcendent moment of revelation involving the Holy Grail.
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Audience Reviews for Knights of the Round Table
Robert Taylor was not loved by the Academy, so for all the classic films I've seen, I think this is the first I've seen starring him. MGM teamed up director Richard Thorpe, producer Pandro S. Berman, composer Miklós Rózsa, cinematographer Freddie Young, and Robert Taylor in the lead, all the same men who made Ivanhoe the previous year, for this Cinemascope film of pomp and drama. This is not based on The Once and Future King novels, but on the older Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, the same source that John Steinbeck adapted for his unfinished novel on King Arthur and his noble knights, which I recently read. Arthur establishes his one united kingdom not so much by magic but by political fighting amongst the various factions of many smaller kingdoms. He meets the beautiful Guinevere who also loves Lancelot. Arthur's half sister Morgan Le Fay and her son Modred enact treachery to expose Guinevere and Lancelot's wandering hearts. Despite all this centered around Arthur, Mel Ferrer as Arthur takes a back seat somewhat. The focus is firmly on Sir Lancelot, his heroics and his troubled soul as he fights to control his desire for Guinevere as not to betray Arthur, the king he has sworn to defend and uphold. Robert Taylor's deep voice commands attention, but the sword fights are not very exciting, the writing is mediocre, and MGM's imagined version of what is supposed to be the very early Middle Ages is quite far from the reality of life.
Your ambitions soar high on such young wings. King Arthur and Lancelot become best friends during Arthur's rise to power. They form the knights of the roundtable and are unmatched. As they begin to seem unbreakable, scandals within the walls of the castle opens a crack enemies will try to exploit. "Who is it?" "Death...awaiting on the stairs." Richard Thorpe, director of Jailhouse Rock, Ivanhoe, Vengeance Valley, The Golden Head, The Prodigal, Killers of Kilimanjaro, Athena, and Carbine Williams, delivers Knights of the Round Table. The storyline for this picture was fun and has some great action scenes. I loved the script as well as the acting. The cast includes Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer, and Stanley Baker. "I thank you for the help I did not need." I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. I generally enjoy movies in this genre and this was fairly well done. This may not be an all time classic, or worth adding to your DVD collection, but it is worth a viewing. "Without you I endure life. With you I rejoice in it." Grade: B-
Lavishly appointed, spinning a lucid account of the Arthurian legend with Robert Taylor leading a solid cast as trusted knight Sir Lancelot, the good king played by Mel Ferrer, with Queen Guenevere essayed by Ava Gardner.
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