Sword of Lancelot (Lancelot and Guinevere) (1963)
|Year Of Production||1963|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Cornel Wilde|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Sword of Lancelot was originally released in the UK as Lancelot and Guinevere. The film was directed by its star, Cornel Wilde. While this is by no means the best version of the Camelot story, it is not bad. The story should be familiar to everyone. This particular version covers much the same ground as First Knight, covering the events from when Lancelot is sent as King Arthur's champion to bring Guinevere to Camelot to marry the king, to the defeat of Mordred.
Cornel Wilde not only directs, he plays Lancelot and plays him as a Frenchman. Wilde seems to have prepared his accent and gestures by watching old Maurice Chevalier films. His wife at the time, Jean Wallace, plays Guinevere. Both are too old for their roles. Veteran British star Brian Aherne plays Arthur. While some critics have criticised his performance, I found it to be quite appropriate. He develops the role from a fairly carefree approach in the beginning, to later portraying Arthur's realisation that his wife is unfaithful and his consequent unhappiness.
Like most of Cornel Wilde's efforts as director, there is a lot of action. While the battle and fight sequences are not brilliantly staged, they are reasonably convincing, and quite violent by the standards of the time. The performances are variable, and the direction is competent without being especially innovative. Nevertheless, the film is reasonably enjoyable.
The video is presented in a Pan and Scan aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original aspect ratio was 2.35:1. The source material has the look of a TV print. The pan and scan has been done reasonably well, so most of the film looks as if it was shot in 1.33:1, but this is still not really acceptable.
The print is full of film artefacts, mostly white spots and flecks. There is some print damage in places, such as at 92:40. Shadow detail is not very good, but so much of the film is brightly lit that it does not matter. The film is also quite grainy in places.
The colour has faded to the extent where all colours but red are muted. This is a great pity, as the film appeared to be full of bright primary colours.
The entire film is squeezed onto a single-layered disc, but there appear to be no compression artefacts.
Unfortunately, the audio afforded to this film is quite poor.
There is a single audio track, in English Dolby Digital 2.0. There is some distortion to the audio throughout much of the film, especially during the middle third. There is some significant distortion at 116.11.
The music score is very good, composed by Ron Goodwin, a former bandleader who scored several notable British films of the 1960s.
|Surround Channel Use|
This extra consists of nine photographs taken during the production. By their looks, they were intended as publicity stills. All are black and white and reasonably sharp. However, this is fairly poor measure as an extra.
As far as I can tell, this film has only reached DVD in Region 4.
A minor but enjoyable film retelling the ill-fated love story of Lancelot and Guinevere, presented with a relatively poor transfer, though better than some from this source.
The video quality is below average, but is tolerable if you really want to see this film.
The audio quality is poor.
The extras are negligible.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Yamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175|