Knights of the Round Table (1954)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

MGM's first CinemaScope production was the lavishly appointed Knights of the Round Table. Without overlapping into any copyrighted material (specifically T.H. White's The Once and Future King), the film spins a lucid account of the King Arthur legend. The good king is played by Mel Ferrer, while Queen Guenevere is essayed by Ava Gardner. Arthur's efforts to create a perfect society in Camelot are compromised when Guenevere falls in love with trusted knight Sir Lancelot (Robert Taylor). The ambitious Mordred (Stanley Baker) uses his knowledge of the Queen's indiscretion to destroy both Camelot and King Arthur's round table. Most of the story material in Knights of the Round Table is lifted from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

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Robert Taylor
as Sir Lancelot
Ava Gardner
as Guinevere
Mel Ferrer
as King Arthur
Anne Crawford
as Morgan Le Fay
Stanley Baker
as Sir Modred
Felix Aylmer
as Merlin
Gabriel Woolf
as Percival
Robert Urquhart
as Sir Gawaine
Niall MacGinnis
as Green Knight
Jill Clifford
as Bronwyn
Stephen Vercoe
as Agravaine
John Brooking
as Bedivere
Alan Tilvern
as Steward
John Sherman
as Lambert
Dana Wynter
as Vivien
Mary Germaine
as Brigid
Barry MacKay
as Green Knight's First Squire
Roy Russell
as Leogrance
Derek Tansley
as Green Knight's Squire
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Critic Reviews for Knights of the Round Table

All Critics (5)

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.

Full Review… | February 5, 2012

Lavish MGM King Arthur tale featuring Robert Taylor and jousting galore.

March 2, 2008

An uninspiring reworking of the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Full Review… | December 28, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.

Full Review… | August 29, 2003
Decent Films Guide

Quote not available.

May 14, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

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.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


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-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

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.

hawk ledge
hawk ledge

Super Reviewer

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