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Thursday, May 22, 2008

KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (1953)

Lightning didn’t strike twice for KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, M-G-M’s inaugural CinemaScope pic, meant as a follow up to their remarkably sturdy IVANHOE, and using much the same Brit crew. One of the first 'Scope pics out of the gates, it made big bucks, but it’s dramatically inert with a real stiff in Robert Taylor’s graceless Launcelot du MidWest, Mel Ferrer ’s pallid King & a stunning but unengaged Ava Gardner. The Arthurian legend usually tanks onscreen (Jon Boorman’s EXCALIBUR excepted) and not even watching Taylor toppling a large bit of Stonehenge in a studio mock-up offers proper recompense. Even reliable Miklos Rozsa seems out of musical ideas after three superb scores on historical British subjects released over the past few months: IVANHOE, PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE and the wildly underrated YOUNG BESS.

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