Cinema Arthuriana

Twenty Essays, rev. ed.


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About the Book

The legends of King Arthur have not only endured for centuries, but also flourished in constant retellings and new stories built around the central themes. With the coming of motion pictures, Arthur was destined to hit the screen.
This edition of Cinema Arthuriana, revised in 2002, presents 20 essays on the topic of the recurring presence of the legend in film and television from 1904 to 2001. They cover such films as Excalibur (1981) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), television productions such as The Mists of Avalon (2001), and French and German films about the quest for the Holy Grail and the other adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Harty, a professor of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia, is associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society (of which he is the former president). He has previously written or edited 14 books, including ground-breaking studies of depictions of the Middle Ages on film.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin J. Harty
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 317
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4683-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0844-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

The Contributors      3

1 Cinema Arthuriana: An Overview     7

2 Mythopoeia in Excalibur     34

3 Fire, Water, Rock: Elements of Setting in Excalibur and Merlin    44

4 Morgan and the Problem of Incest     54

5 An Enemy in Our Midst: The Black Knight and the American Dream    64

6 Tortilla Flat and the Arthurian View     71

7 The Retreat from Camelot: Adapting The Natural to Film     80

8 Cinematic American Camelots Lost and Found: The Film Versions of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Knightriders     96

9 The Ironic Tradition in Four Arthurian Films     110

10 Two Films That Sparkle: The Sword in the Stone and Camelot    118

11 Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Madness with a Definite Method   &nbsp 127

12 Not Dead Yet: Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the Twenty-first Century 136

13 The Arthurian Legend in French Cinema: Lancelot du Lac and Perceval le Gallois     149

14 From Stage to Screen: The Dramatic Compulsion in French Cinema and Les Chevaliers de la table ronde (1990)     163

15 Blank, Syberberg, and the German Arthurian Tradition     177

16 Gawain on Film (The Remake)     185

17 Will the “Reel” Mordred Please Stand Up?     199

18 Filming the Tristan Myth     211

19 Fable and Poésie in L’Éternel Retour (1943)     220

20 Arms and Armor in Arthurian Films     235

21 Cinema Arthuriana: A Comprehensive Filmography and Bibliography     252

Index      303

Book Reviews & Awards

“an essential and classic resource in the study of Arthurian film”—Arthuriana; “a useful volume that might readily serve as a textbook…Kevin J. Harty, the originator of the term ‘cinema arthuriana,’ is an expert bibliographer and surveyor of the field”—Parergon.