A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1921 film)

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Connecticut Yankee 1921.jpg
Theatrical poster featuring star Harry Myers with the spirit of Mark Twain peering over his shoulder
Directed byEmmett J. Flynn
Produced byWilliam Fox
Written byBernard McConville
Based onA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain
StarringHarry Myers
Pauline Starke
Rosemary Theby
George Siegmann
CinematographyLucien Andriot
Edited byC.R. Wallace
Distributed byFox Film
Release date
  • March 14, 1921 (1921-03-14)
Running time
80+ minutes
8 reels (8,291 feet)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a 1921 American silent film adaptation of Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The film was produced by the Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century Fox) and directed by Emmett J. Flynn based on a screenplay by Bernard McConville. It is notable as the first film adaptation of Twain's novel[1] and as the second film about time travel to the past (after The Ghost of Slumber Mountain).[2]

The film stars Harry Myers as the titular Yankee Martin Cavendish. After reading Twain's novel, Cavendish dreams that he, like Twain's protagonist Henry Morgan, is transported back to the time of King Arthur (Charles Clary), where he must use modern know-how to outwit the king's foes Morgan le Fay (Rosemary Theby) and Merlin (William V. Mong). The screenplay modernizes the novel with many contemporary references, including mentions of Ford Model Ts, the Volstead Act, and the Battle of the Argonne Forest.[1] The film was popular, and its success likely encouraged Fox to produce the later sound film adaptation of the novel, A Connecticut Yankee.[1] According to author Barbara Leaming, the film's hanging scene inspired Tom Hepburn, brother of Katharine Hepburn, to commit suicide in 1921.[3]

The film is incomplete in the Library of Congress,[4] and only reels 2, 4 and 7 survive.[5]



The film was the seventh-biggest hit of 1922 in the US and Canada.[6]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ The American Film Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film I
  3. ^ Leaming, Barbara. Katharine Hepburn. (1992). p. 191-203
  4. ^
  5. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". silentera.com.
  6. ^ Variety list of box office champions for 1922

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