A Connecticut Yankee (film)

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A Connecticut Yankee
Theatrical Poster
Directed byDavid Butler
Written byWilliam Conselman
Owen Davis
Jack Moffitt
Based onA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain
Produced byWilliam Fox
StarringWill Rogers
William Farnum
Maureen O'Sullivan
Myrna Loy
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited byIrene Morra
Music byArthur Kay
Fox Film Corporation
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • April 6, 1931 (1931-04-06)
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.2 million[1]

A Connecticut Yankee is a 1931 American Pre-Code film adaptation of Mark Twain's 1889 novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It was directed by David Butler to a script by William M. Conselman, Owen Davis, and Jack Moffitt. It was produced by Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century Fox), who had earlier produced the 1921 silent adaptation of the novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. A Connecticut Yankee is the first sound film adaptation of Twain's novel.[2] It is unrelated to the 1927 musical also titled A Connecticut Yankee.

As in The Wizard of Oz, many of the actors in the film play more than one role, a character in the real world and one in the dream world. The film stars Will Rogers as Hank Martin, an American accidental time traveler who finds himself in Camelot back in the days of King Arthur (William Farnum, a Fox star for many years). Myrna Loy and Brandon Hurst play the evil Morgan le Fay and Merlin, who must be overcome by Hank's modern technical knowledge, while Maureen O'Sullivan plays Alisande.

The hero's name was changed from Hank Morgan to Hank Martin, possibly because the original name sounded too similar to that of actor Frank Morgan.[citation needed]

A trailer for the film exists at the Library of Congress.[3]


Radio salesman Hank Martin (Will Rogers), after being knocked out by a toppled suit of armor, travels back in time to Camelot where he is welcomed by King Arthur (William Farnum) and must use his modern knowledge to stop Morgana Le Fay (Myrna Loy) and Merlin (Brandon Hurst) from taking over.



Fox was likely inspired to produce A Connecticut Yankee based on the success of the 1921 silent film.[2] The 1931 version was likewise successful, and was re-released in 1936.[2] The film cost $750,000 to make; the production used 174 Austin automobiles, among other pieces of modern machinery, to make the final battle scene. It was a commercial success despite being released during the Depression.[4]

Although the film was released in black and white, director David Butler used progressively darker shades of pink tint to emphasize a scene in which Morgana Le Fay flirts with Hank Martin.[4]


  1. ^ Quigley Publishing Company "The All Time Best Sellers", International Motion Picture Almanac 1937-38 (1938) p 942; accessed April 19, 2014
  2. ^ a b c Grellner, Alice; and Harty, Kevin J. (1991). "Films". In Norris J. Lacy, The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, p. 152 (New York: Garland, 1991); ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  3. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress (<-book title)[for trailer only] p.35 c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  4. ^ a b Harty, Kevin J. (2015). Cinema Arthuriana : twenty essays (Revised ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. pp. 99–100. ISBN 9781476608440.


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