15 thoughts on “TBT: Knights of the Round Table (1953)

        1. I have to admit that I love most of the costumes in this film. It seems relatively accurate for 1950s medieval.
          But I can’t locate the first film review in this medieval trilogy (was it on Ivanhoe or on Quentin Dunward?) Help on finding it is appreciated!

  1. I have to admit that I love all the colour of that classic. Mr. Taylor just is the perfect Lancelot and Mel Ferrer a somehow not really clever king Artus which maybe reflects his character quiet well. I prefer this film over more recent productions like “The outlaw king” or “The last duel” with all those knights with dirty armour and hairstyles which are not really more historical then in the good old times… ;-)

    1. Hehe, it’s always a bit difficult to adapt the Arthurian mythos into visual media, as the legends are originally from the earlier centuries of the Middle Ages but the most famous versions of it are from the 15th century, meaning that people always connect king Arthur with late Medieval longswords, heavy armors and stone castles. I have seen only two, and I repeat only two adaptations that had a general idea of the original time period. And those two were a Donald Duck comic and a Finnish children’s book with antropomorphic animals (God bless Mauri Kunnas and his historical research).

      That being said, it is funny how Hollywood manages to find new ways of failing historical costumes and looks. In the older movies it is the blatantly 50s and 60s make up that irks me most. However, at least those movies had COLORS. I don’t know who decided to start telling costume designers that everyone wore ugly grey and brown robes. Not to mention that darned “medieval filter” that makes everyone and everything look more or less grey and miserable.

  2. In defense of the striped surcote, I think it probably is properly aligned, but it is full enough that the fold makes it look wrong?

  3. At least, back in the day, Hollywood “knew”/showed the Medieval period to be much more Historical colourful, than they do these days. Especially the high & mighty were extremely fond of showing off their wealth and their allegiance in a riot of colours. Which most of us today would call “garish”. I wish Hollywood would stop with making history look much more “dull” than it really was.
    Plus they seem to have been far more capable, then these days, at arming their knights & horses in the proper “kit” 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻.

  4. I saw this film as a child, but now I’m pretty impressed with the costumes. When I was starting out as an historical costumer, back in the early 1970s, one of the most available medieval costuming books, whose title thankfully escapes me, did show sideless surcotes as one-piece, bicolored dresses! Luckily, I found Herbert Norris’s series shortly afterward. At the time, the best reference around.

    1. This film is such a classic “Olde Englishe Fantasye” film that my only serious reservation with the various costumes is that they didn’t bother to use any of the ‘Attributed Arms’ of the diverse kings, nobles and knights.


      In all fairness, neither does anyone else.

      On a more serious note, I’m reasonably sure that Ms. Ava Gardner spent much of this film thinking “I’m a Morgan, not a Guinevere dagnabit!” (Fun Fact: Ms. Gardner was apparently a personal friend of Mr Robert Graves – I’ve been wondering what a Livia Drusilla as-played-by-Ava Gardner might have looked like ever since).

  5. I have a definite soft spot for this film – with it’s very decent, but painfully adequate Arthur, delightfully scheming Morgan & Merlin, immense sense of Chivalry and (By far the best thing about the film) a score from the Mighty Miklos Rosza so memorable I started chanting “DAN-dan-DAN-da-da!” in delight the moment I saw the title for this article.

    But then I have a weakness for FIRST KNIGHT as well, so my taste in Arthuriana may be suspect.

    1. ED, I join you in your weakness for First Knight. I readily admit that I will at least pay attention to all Arthurian tales, even if they turn out to be dumb ones!

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Frock Flicks

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading