Subject: Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming on sale for limited time


A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (1949)
Starring Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Though the Mark Twain original has been refashioned into a Bing Crosby vehicle, this 1949 musical adaptation of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a lot more faithful to the Twain original than either of the two previous film versions. Crosby plays Hank Martin, a turn-of-the-century American mechanic who is conked on the noggin and awakens in sixth-century England. Captured by dull-witted Sir Sagramore (William Bendix), Hank is marched into the court of King Arthur (Cedric Hardwicke), where he uses his machine-age ingenuity to win the title of "Sir Boss." Even while incurring the wrath of the duplicitous wizard Merlin (Murvyn Vye), Hank woos and wins the lovely lady-in-waiting Alisande (Rhonda Fleming). Shocked by the appalling living conditions of the British peasants, Hank insists that King Arthur travel amongst the people in disguise so that he can experience their misery first-hand, and thereby bring about social reforms. Merlin schemes to use this opportunity to overthrow the king, but Hank foils the wizard's plans by pretending to demonstrate magical powers during a total eclipse. As a last-ditch effort to rid the kingdom of Hank, Merlin kidnaps Alisande and lures "Sir Boss" to certain doom. This scurrilous scheme segues into a much happier ending than one will find in the Twain novel. The expected "time displacement" routines are freshly handled by Crosby and company, while the songs are melodious and perfectly suited to the situations at hand. The film's Technicolor photography is another major asset.
Director: Tay Garnett
Writers: Mark Twain (novel), Edmund Beloin

Stars: Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Cedric Hardwicke, William Bendix, Murvyn Vye, Joseph Vitale, Henry Wilcoxon, Richard Webb, Alan Napier

Songs include:

Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby and child chorus

Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Rhonda Fleming

Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming

Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby, William Bendix and Cedric Hardwicke
Mark Twain got his idea for Hank Martin to use the eclipse for his benefit from Christopher Columbus. Columbus actually used an eclipse knowingly to perhaps alter history. Stranded in Jamaica in 1503, on his fourth voyage, Columbus and his crew were wearing out their welcome with the natives, who were feeding them. Columbus knew a lunar eclipse was coming, so he "predicted" the Moon's disappearance. The natives begged him to bring it back and, of course, he did, in due time.
The filmmakers couldn't use the musical's original score because it had already been purchased for use in Words and Music (1948), a Richard Rodgers tribute.
Deanna Durbin, on the verge of retiring from the screen, turned down opportunities to costar with Bing Crosby in this film and his previous vehicle that year, Top o' the Morning (1949). Crosby insisted that first-time Paramount contractee Rhonda Fleming share star billing with him because he was worried about carrying the sole weight for a film's success or failure.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
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