Archive for January 6, 2023

The Death of the Arthur: What’s a nice Galahad like you…?

Posted in FILM, Mythology with tags , , , , , on January 6, 2023 by dcairns

I was warned not to. Why didn’t I listen?

I have started watching THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GALAHAD. It’s not good. My copy is unrestored, grey and murky, with warbling music and an overall dismal quality.

Sir. G. is George Reeves, who tries to get some human personality into it. He managed with Superman, playing him as smugly superior, supermansplaning to all the inferior earth folks. Galahad is just a big dopey fellow. After proving his valour at tedious length in a tournament (“jousting” is a nice word, it should be attached to something actually fun, like a compound of bouncing and jesting, telling jokes on a trampoline, instead of repetitive and painful looking horse business) he’s adopted into the Knights of the Round Table, which is quite an honour as the budget only runs to a table big enough for ten,

As part of the job he has to stay up all night and guard the sword Excalibur, which is hung up on a couple of hooks in a ratty picture frame. But what’s this? Somebody has doped his wine!

What follows cracked me up, and made me think this thing might be good for additional laughs. Sir Galahad is standing guard. Hasn’t had his wine yet. Behind him is a free-standing suit of armour. But it turns out there’s someone in it. So we get a very good Abbot & Costello pantomime “He’s behind you!” routine.

It’s so goofy. I’m not convinced that they used armour as ornamental displays in the middle/dark ages, when it was still a practical thing. That would be like me putting my woolly hat on display. Or a primitive man decorating his cave with hairy pants. Plus, why is the guy in the armour doing any of this? He knows he’s got to wait for George to take a swig.

Other things of note — there’s a banquet, and Morgan le Fay (Pat Barton) does an exotic dance to entertain everyone. She’s King Arthur’s sister in this one: how did she draw this duty? Her dance is a standard Arabian nights number, only she’s wearing a floor-length gown. So it’s very weird.

Director Spencer Gordon Bennet (THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE) mostly can’t be bothered, but he does track in, once, when Merlin does some magic. So that’s something. I’ll watch one more instalment and if it makes me laugh I’ll go on writing about it.