The Black Knight

1954

Tay Garnett
Director
Columbia Pictures
Studio

Lowly blacksmith must save Camelot from the treachery of Conrish King Mark and Saracen Sir Palamides, as well as win the hand of his lady.

Well mounted and performed Arthurian saga with the typical medieval setting. Fairly accurate to Malory, as well, though the Stonehenge scenes are a little ludricrous, to say the least. Ladd is a bit too old for the lead, but is still charming enough to pass. Still, the film belongs to Cushing and Troughton, who make a nicely venomous pair of villains. Noteworthy for the prominent billing of Brandon as a henchman (a role that ten years later would undoubtedly have gone to Milton Reid), and a remarkably subdued performance from Harry Andrews. Medina's character is a bit of a drip who doesn't seem worth the effort to woo, though. The matte painting of Camelot looks a lot like Hogwarts!

The working title of the film was Lochinvar, but very little of Scott's tale remain in the finished work. Many of the outdoor scenes, including the climatic battle and the fake Stongehenge, were filmed in the desert around Madrid, which explains the rather spaghetti western atmosphere.

Remade, with much reuse of this film's footage, as Siege of the Saxons in 1963.

-Dave W.



26th August 1954
Cinema




1.37:1



HyperLink
"
Alan Ladd
John, the Black Knight
Patricia Medina
Lady Linet
André Morell
Sir Ontzlake
Harry Andrews
Earl of Yeonil
Peter Cushing
Sir Palamides
Anthony Bushell
King Arthur
Laurence Naismith
The Major Domo
Patrick Troughton
King Mark
Bill Brandon
Bernard
Ronald Adam
The Lord Abbot
Basil Appleby
Sir Hal
Thomas Moore
The Apprentice
Jean Lodge
Queen Guenevere
Pauline Jameson
Lady Catherine Yeonil
John Kelly
The Woodchopper
Elton Hayes
The Minstrel
John Laurie
James, The Servant
Olwen Brookes
Lady Ontzlake
David Paltenghi
High Priest
Michael Gulbenkian
Sir Palamides' Page
(uncredited)
Michael Ingram
Yeonil's Messenger at Camelot
(uncredited)
Jill Adams
Extra
Faith Bailey
Minor role
Larry Dann
Boy
Keith Davis
Page
George Howell
Knight's Page
Bob Simmons
Stunts

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes