Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, A (1949)

“Me thinketh I liketh Camelot — a lot.”

Synopsis:
A 20th century blacksmith (Bing Crosby) awakens from a hit on the head to find himself in medieval England, where he impresses King Arthur (Cedric Hardwicke) and Merlin (Murvyn Vye) with his technological know-how, and romances Lady Alisande (Rhonda Fleming) with his crooning melodies.

Genres:

Review:
Mark Twain’s time-traveling sci-fi/fantasy novel has been filmed numerous times (including once with Will Rogers in 1931), but this Technicolor musical — a tailor-made Bing Crosby vehicle — is likely the best-known version. It’s a “feel-good”, song-filled adventure tale which allows Crosby to croon some forgettable ditties and get himself in and out of trouble numerous times, all while romancing gorgeous Rhonda Fleming (playing a vapid beauty with zero personality). Attempts at humor — mostly of the one-note variety — fall sadly flat; we’re meant to laugh at the fact that Harwicke’s sneezy King Arthur has a perpetually red and runny nose, for instance, and at Crosby’s modern-day attempts to speak in medieval lingo (viz. the selected quote above) — but it’s all simply tiresome. The film does have its devoted fans (see IMDb), but all-purpose film fanatics needn’t bother checking this one out.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Vibrant Technicolor cinematography

Must See?
No; this one is strictly must-see for Crosby fans.

Links:

One Response to “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, A (1949)”

  1. First (and last) viewing.

    Family entertainment delivered DOA. Nicely produced but abandon hope all ye who enter.

    For similar territory, handled brilliantly & with better songs, see ‘The Court Jester’.

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