Sword of Lancelot (Lancelot and Guinevere) (1963)

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Released 21-Nov-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Gallery-Photo-9
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1963
Running Time 116:45
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Cornel Wilde
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Cornel Wilde
Jean Wallace
Brian Aherne
George Baker
Archie Duncan
Adrienne Corri
Michael Meacham
Iain Gregory
Mark Dignam
Reginald Beckwith
John Barrie
Richard Thorp
Joseph Tomelty
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Ron Goodwin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Photo Gallery

    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.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     As far as I can tell, this film has only reached DVD in Region 4.

Summary

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Monday, February 02, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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