rating stateside (and IZA certificate here) and though well shot. the bloodless battle scenes pale in comparison.

Of course. now the official line is more sanguine. 'We’ve always felt it was advantageous to go for as wide an appeal as possible with a big summer film like this.‘ assured Disney

spokesman Dennis Rice. Bruckheimer’s backtracking is also pretty special. ‘If I were sitting here and this picture was R.

everybody would be saying. “Why do you need the gratuitous violence? Do you have to chop off people's heads?" he told a [’8 press conference. ‘So. you know. whatever I do is wrong.‘

In this case. quite possibly. The old credo ‘When the legend becomes fact. print the legend‘ was used to justify Hollywood‘s often tenuous grasp of history long before it was uttered in John Ford‘s The Man Who Shot Libel-iv Valanee. Reality is rarely allowed to get in the way of a good story and provided the story is good. most audiences are happy to play along. Ironically the Kng Arthur fable. with its rolling centuries of myth upon counter—myth. through Thomas Malory’s I.e Marie [JUAN/1n): lidmund Spencer‘s 'l'lze l’uerie Queen and 'l'ennyson's 'l'lie lrly/ls oft/1e King. never needed to be grounded in historical truth (liran/oni fudges the facts by a few hundred years in any event). And certainly not one that does away with so much of its inherent appeal.

With only the most perfunctory lip service paid to the romance between Arthur and (iuinevcre. there’s barely a love angle. let alone a love triangle; poor Lancelot only gets a couple of troubled glances in her direction. .\'o lady in a lake. no sword in a stone. no magic-wielding Merlin or scheming Morgan I.e l‘ay . . . It was instructive to note at the London press conference that all present l‘uqua. Bruckheimer. l’ran/oni. ()wen. Winstone and loan (iruffudd cited John Boorman‘s fantastical liven/[Inn as their favourite version of the Arthur legend. It‘s hard to argue with them; even harder to credit that if so. they didn‘t ask themselves why.

King Arthur is on general release from Fri 30 Jul.

The myth of King Arthur

might have been thoroughly debunked in the new film but where would we be without Excalibur, all those knights and the

mysterious Merlin? Here

are five legacies of Camelot that are still around today.

and the rest of the gang

used to gather around this

humongous piece of furniture in the name of democracy and macho

In“ _'

The Round Table Arthur. Lancelot. Gawain. Percival

used as a passpon to credibility one time too many. Forget the dreadful Alan Jay Lerner/Richard

Without the Holy Grail and the devastation the search for it brought on the Knights Templar. there would be no Masons (good thing), Indiana Jones (bad thing). or Masquerade by Kit Williams.

Harris/Vanessa Redgrave film musical think JFK and the Kennedy Clan's hideout. Never had US Catholics had it so good.

Britishness Chivalry. decency and a certain way with the ladies. That's what the Knights of the Round Table were all about. They wrote the book when it comes to the very essence of Britishness and the stiff upper lip. It was an ideal that was passed down and

Green Monsters Sir Gawain and the Green Knight may be one of the

equality. The idea of the round table as a way of keeping individuals of power on a level playing field has lasted to this day. Look at the UN. the Rotary Club and of course the Radio 1 record review show.

The Holy Grail The Covenant. the Lost Arc. it is an idea that runs through all great adventure fiction.

great pseudo anonymous epic poems to come out of the whole Arthurian legend, but without Gawain getting his arsed kicked by the big scary knight we w0u|d not have tinned sweet corn. the Jolly Green Giant or, of course, Shrek.

Camelot A place of impunity and wisdom. the name of Camelot has been

usurped by the great cad actors of the 20th century. Terry Thomas and Leslie Phillips.

3'. THE LIST 23

\,t.' t‘ I\..\} . . .