A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949 film)

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tay Garnett
Produced by Robert Fellows
Written by Edmund Beloin
Based on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
by Mark Twain
Starring
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Ray Rennahan
Edited by Archie Marshek
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 22, 1949 (1949-04-22) (USA)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a 1949 American musical comedy film directed by Tay Garnett and starring Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and William Bendix.[1]

Based on the 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, the film is about a mechanic in 1912 who bumps his head and finds himself in Arthurian Britain in AD 528, where he is befriended by a knight and gains power by judicious use of technology. When he falls in love with the King's niece, her fiancée Sir Lancelot takes exception, and when he meddles in the politics of the kingdom, trouble ensues.

Filmed in early 1948, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was released April 22, 1949, distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was a popular success and became one of the highlight films of 1949.[2]

Plot[edit]

Hank Martin (Bing Crosby), an American mechanic, is knocked out and wakes up in the land of King Arthur. Here he finds romance with Alisande la Carteloise (Rhonda Fleming) and friendship with Sir Sagramore (William Bendix).

Unfortunately, the heroic Hank also incurs the hatred of both Merlin (Murvyn Vye) and Morgan le Fay (Virginia Field). While Hank persuades King Arthur (Cedric Hardwicke), an aged, semi-perpetual, cold-in-the-nose invalid, to tour his kingdom in disguise to see the true, wretched condition of his subjects, Merlin and Morgan plot to usurp his throne. When Hank tries to stop them, he is returned to his own time.

Heartsick over losing the woman he loves, he goes on a tour of a British castle. Its owner, Lord Pendragon (Hardwicke again), sends him to see his niece, who looks just like Alisande.

Production notes[edit]

The film soundtrack was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke. The orchestral score was written by longtime Paramount staff composer Victor Young, who also conducted the orchestra for many of Crosby's Decca Records recordings.[3]

  • "If You Stub Your Toe on the Moon" by Bing Crosby
  • "When Is Sometime" by Rhonda Fleming
  • "Once and for Always" by Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming
  • "Busy Doing Nothing" by Bing Crosby, William Bendix, and Cedric Hardwicke
  • "Once and for Always" (reprise) by Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming
  • "Twixt Myself and Me"

A highlight of the film is the scene in which Hank Martin teaches the court musicians how to "jazz up" the medieval music they are playing. Perhaps the best-known song from the score is "Busy Doing Nothing," which Hank, Sir Sagramore and the King sing when they are strolling through the woods pretending to be peasants.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was one of the highlight films of 1949.[2] The film was nominated for AFI's Top 10 Fantasy Films list.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Neuhaus, Mel. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Soundtracks for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Full cast and crew for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot

External links[edit]