I’ve mentioned this before, but I think I’ve reached the point in my survey of Arthurian Films now where I can identify it as a firm rule - the First Law of King Arthur Films: if you leave out the magic, they turn into Westerns. It’s a two-way street, of course: the lonely heroes who ride through Hollywood’s ahistorical version of the Wild West are really just knights errant in a new setting. It makes me wonder if anyone has ever gone the whole hog and just made a Western based on Le Morte D’Arthur or Gawain and the Green Knight or something. And if not, why not? In Jerry Zucker’s 1995 film First Knight the Western element is really quite explicit. Jerry Goldsmith’s lush score sounds like it’s come from a John Ford film, the Knights of the Round Table wear navy blue uniforms and carry yellow pennants like the Seventh Cavalry, and evil Prince Malagant’s riders gallop into town like a gang of outlaws, tossing burning torches into flammable buildings and shooting down hapless bystan
Reviews and ruminations by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series, the Railhead trilogy, Here Lies Arthur, Goblins, and The Legend of Kevin, Pugs of the Frozen North, etc, with Sarah McIntyre.