Saturday, August 25, 2012

Adventures of Sir Galahad – Chapter 1: The Stolen Sword


With today’s edition of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s Serial Saturdays, we’re ready to tuck into a brand-new cliffhanger, promising fun and frolic for audiences of all ages.  I recently acquired a DVD copy of Columbia’s Adventures of Sir Galahad (Boldest Knight of the Round Table) (1949) from a collector that, while it does have a number of splices and other slightly worse-for-wear 16mm artifacts, is miles and away a clearer copy than the previous one in my collection.  The legend of King Arthur and his silly English Ka-niggits is a most unusual one for serial treatment, seeing as most period pieces in the chapter-play world were usually westerns (and a metric ton of them, in fact).  It wasn’t the first time that Columbia went to the well for a “medieval” setting—the studio released a similar serial three years earlier with Son of the Guardsman (1946), which was scripted by two of the writers on Galahad, Lewis Clay and George H. Plympton.  (Mr. Plympton, with whom I am proud to share a birthday, was one of the most prolific cliffhanger serial scribes in the history of cinema.  It would no doubt be quicker to list those chapter plays he didn’t work on than the ones on which he put his name.)

Both Guardsman and Galahad were produced by the legendary “Jungle” Sam Katzman, whom I talked briefly about in an essay I wrote for the Classic Movie Blog Association’s Guilty Pleasures Blogathon back in September of last year.  Katzman, who had been a mainstay at Monogram during the early 1940s cranking out cheap Bela Lugosi vehicles and even cheaper East Side Kids films, was offered a sweetheart deal from Columbia studio head Harry “White Fang” Cohn in 1945—Sam would produce the studio’s serials (later working his way up to feature films), using both Columbia’s employees (crew and stock company) and resources (sets, equipment, etc.) and receive a cut of 25% of the profits for himself.  Naturally, with an incentive like that Katzman set out to make these productions as cheaply as he could…which is one of the reasons why many serial fans treat the Columbia chapter plays like smallpox.  I certainly can’t deny that the serials were shoe stringed in terms of economics…but in spite of all that, some of them can be downright entertaining if the mood strikes you.

Because of its medieval background, Adventures of Sir Galahad was a little different from most serials in that most of its footage is 100% original…if this had been a western or crime chapter play, you can bet your bottom dollar they would have recycled past stuff (*cough* Bradley Building *cough*) like nobody’s business.  Galahad was directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet, a journeyman known by classic movie fans as “The King of Serial Directors” (his tombstone inscription cheekily notes “His Last Chapter”) and who started out in the motion picture business as an actor and stuntman before finding his place behind the camera.  He helmed a large number of B-westerns during the 1930s but by the following decade would see his name (usually just as “Spencer Bennet”) on serial favorites like The Masked Marvel, Manhunt of Mystery Island, Superman and Batman and Robin.  So without further ado…chapter 1 of Adventures of Sir Galahad, introduced by Columbia’s resident narrator on the payroll—Knox Manning.

MANNING: In ancient times, when King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table kept the law in Britain

And kept it bloody well…

MANNING: …the signal for a tournament, whereby the fighting men kept fit, was heard as often as was the call to battle…a gay parade left from Camelot…


The very first gay pride parade of historical record?  Ultimately, you must make the call.

MANNING: …headed by King Arthur, his knights and barons and members of his court…they were cheered by all the people from town and country…

Huzzah!

MANNING: …who had come to show their loyalty to their great and just ruler…all gathered at the jousting field to see brave knights break lances in a contest for a purse of gold…the favor of a lovely lady…or to prove their right to a place at the Round Table…in the Royal Pavilion, where King Arthur himself…his Queen, the fair Guinevere…and brave Sir Lancelot, the favorite of the King…


Well, since I have the screen capture up I suppose now is as good a time to introduce some of the dramatis personae.  In the role of Arthur, King of the Britons (though I want to stress that I didn’t vote for him), is Nelson Leigh, who graced several Columbia serials with his commanding presence, including Brick Bradford, Congo Bill and Superman—he played Supe’s pa, Jor-El, in the first chapter.  “The fair Guinevere” is being essayed by Marjorie Stapp, in what I believe was her only major role in a cliffhanger serial—though she did have uncredited and bit parts in films such as Jolson Sings Again, The Blue Gardenia and 5 Against the House (she also did much guest work on TV shows like Cheyenne, Dragnet and My Three Sons).  Finally, Sir Lancelot—played by Hugh Prosser, one of several actors in this serial who also appeared in the aforementioned Son of the Guardsman.  Among his high-profile serial roles: Vic Hardy in Jack Armstrong (a serial I dissected at this blog’s former Salon address, but which has now sadly been scattered to the four winds), Captain Reilly in The Vigilante, and Gideon Spillett in Columbia’s goofy rendition of Mysterious Island.


Manning then introduces “the wise magician Merlin, trusted advisor to the Crown” and Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s sis.  William Fawcett plays the wily sorcerer in this serial—though it would not be unseemly to call Bill “Dr. Fawcett,” since he actually had a Ph.D. in real life (in theatre).  He was content to put groceries on the table by acting in films and TV, however—we’ve encountered Fawcett before in B-Western Wednesdays write-ups of Tumbleweed Trail and Check Your Guns, and he was also in serials like The Sea Hound, Batman and Robin and Cody of the Pony Express.  Actress Pat Barton tackles the part of Morgan le Fay in what appears to be her only major silver screen assignment; she appears in films like The Reckless Moment and In a Lonely Place, but only in bit parts.


“Let the contesting knights make themselves known,” declares His Majesty, which allows us to introduce the members of Team Arthur: Sir Modred and Sir Bors.  Modred is played by Son of the Guardsman player Leonard Penn, who logged fistful upon fistful of movie and television credits once he gave up his stage career in the 1930s and early 1940s.  His other serials include Chick Carter, Detective, Brick Bradford, Congo Bill and Batman and Robin.

Serials historian Hans J. Wollstein has stated that the character of Sir Bors was created for the serial by writers Plympton, Clay and David Matthews…which is a little misleading; Bors’ purpose here is to play comic relief sidekick to our hero (which we will meet here in a little bit) but there actually was a “Sir Bors” in the Arthurian legends (known as Sir Bors de Ganis; he was Lancelot’s cousin)—the only one who survived the quest for the Holy Grail, as it were.  But as mentioned, the Bors of the Galahad serial is meant to produce a few needed chuckles…and, unusually, is played here by Charles King, one of the most prolific actors in the history of the B-western.  When there’s a villain in one of these oaters, it’s even money that King was probably playing him.  The actor’s career stretched all the way back to 1915, when he appeared (as a teenager) in The Birth of a Nation…but by the 1930s he specialized in silver screen western villainy, invariably gunned down by the likes of John Wayne, Buster Crabbe “and pretty much anyone who ever appeared in a film with him” as his IMDb biography states.  (It goes on to joke: “[I]f he had been in a Shirley Temple movie, she would have found a way to bump him off.”)  Among the serials for which King is well-known: The Miracle Rider, The Phantom Rider, Shadow of Chinatown, The Painted Stallion and Zorro’s Fighting Legion.  (He turns up briefly in Chapter 4 of The Phantom Creeps as a cop—talk about being cast against type!)


Modred and Bors’ opponents are Sir Roderick and Sir Meritor—who not only receive no credit at the IMDb, their employer doesn’t even get a shout-out (identified only as “the friendly king of Cornwall”).  You can tell from the screen cap that they’re both rather non-descript, and King Arthur himself doesn’t seem too concerned about the outcome in this tournament…

ARTHUR: Our knights will make short work of the Cornish men…
LANCELOT: Short, indeed…if I read Sir Modred’s mood right…
GUINEVERE: Whatever good cheer Sir Modred lacks will be more than made up for by Sir Bors…look at the fat ox!


Aw, come on now, Queenie.  The dude’s Samoan…he’s got a glandular problem.  So with a rooty-toot-toot from a paean’s horn, the tournament is underway…


…and ends about six seconds in, and Sirs Roderick and Meritor fall ass over tit off the horses and onto the ground below.  (I have a sneaking suspicion this bout was set up by Sir Don of King.)  So, before everyone who was watching this on pay-per-view calls the cable company to complain, King Arthur announces to the crowd: “I declare Sir Knights Modred and Bors victors of this tourney…unless there be a new challenger…”  Awkward pause.  “Are there other challengers?”

After another “we-don’t-want-to-get-involved” pause, Arthur continues: “There being no new challengers, I declare herewith…”

Not so fast, your Kingliness!  A voice emanates from the crowd: “I challenge the victorious knights of the Round Table!”  A would-be knight rides in from the opposite direction, and reveals himself to be:


Yes, the Man Who Would Be Superman—George Reeves himself.  In his seminal book on serials, In the Nick of Time, author William C. Cline argues that the presence of Reeves makes Galahad a superior serial to Guardsman…an opinion with which I concur one hundred percent.

GALAHAD: I call upon the knights Bors and Modred to fight me in single combat on the field of honor!
(Bors and Modred exchange looks with one another as the crowd is reduced to murmurs)
ARTHUR: Who makes this arrogant challenge?
GALAHAD: Your Majesty…my name will mean more after the battle is won…for now, let my lance prove my worth…

“And that way…if I do take an ass-whupping…I won’t suffer that much embarrassment.”  The crowd goes wild, by the way.


ARTHUR (to Lancelot): Shall we let this rash youth learn how easily a lance may shatter, Lancelot?
LANCELOT: By all means, Sire…since a lesson is needed…
ARTHUR (to Modred and Bors): Sir Knights…do you accept this challenge of single combat?
MODRED: The first of us will accept, Sire…but I fear there may be no challenge remaining…
MORGAN (to Merlin): Poor fellow…some wench must have driven him to this folly…
MERLIN: We shall soon see whose folly it is…

It’s like they say…it’s always a wench involved.  Arthur decrees that Modred will be the first to challenge the upstart Galahad, followed by Bors provided there’s anything left.  I’m going to cut to the quick on this…first, Modred ends up on his keister:


Which prompts Arthur to remark to Lancelot: “That’s no kitchen boy out there…”  (Nice laugh-out-loud moment.)


…and Bors follows suit shortly after.  The crowd is ecstatic, and if “the wave” had been invented back then, they would probably start doing it for Galahad.

MORGAN (to Merlin): I never thought I’d see a boy humble two of our good knights…
MERLIN: Nor did Modred…he knows more cuts than courtesies…

After humiliating two of the Round Table regulars, Galahad approaches the viewing stand where Arthur and Guinevere sit to collect his due.

ARTHUR: Well done, young sir…the day’s prize, a golden circuit is yours…
GALAHAD: Your Majesty, I thought to ask a greater boon…a place among your Knights of the Round Table…
ARTHUR: You have well proved your right to the spurs of knighthood…so be it!  (The stock footage crowd goes wild) Tell us your name…
GALAHAD: They call me Galahad, Sire…
ARTHUR: It shall be Sir Galahad after tonight’s ceremonies at my castle at Camelot…


Camelot!



Camelot!


Camelot!  (It’s only a matte painting…)


So when dinnertime rolls around, there is much merriment and gaiety in the court of King Arthur…particularly when this little lady starts to bust a move…


The way she’s dressed, I first mistook her for the same woman playing Morgan le Fay…but then quickly reasoned that if I were King (“Ah, love…if I were King…”) I don’t think I’d have my sister behaving like a cooch dancer in front of my loyal subjects.

So she gets a big hand, and then the King rises to speak…

ARTHUR: The time of revels has ended…my knights, and my good advisor Merlin, will accompany me to the Sword Room…there, our young Galahad will be instructed in the solemn mysteries of the Round Table…


Well, whaddya know?  It really is round!  (And everybody’s name is written at their place, in order to ward off any potentially embarrassing situations: “Hey, Modred you twink…you’re in my seat.”)

ARTHUR (with a majestic gesture): This is the Round Table…counsel place of my knights…on the wall yonder is my sword, Excalibur…


ARTHUR: …given to me in trust by the Lady of the Lake…it is our custom that before assuming their spurs, young knights must stand guard over Excalibur…from darkness until dawn…it’s also the custom that Sir Kay, custodian of Excalibur, shall instruct them in its history…take your places, gentlemen, while Sir Kay recalls the story of the blade…

While the other knights are seated at their places, Galahad does a little extra brown-nosing by helping push the King’s chair in after he sits down.  It is then up to Sir Kay to fill in the backstory of the fabulous sword Excalibur for the viewing audience.  Kay is played by Jim Diehl, another refugee of Son of the Guardsman…but he also appeared in the serials Hop Harrigan, Tex Granger, Batman and Robin and Cody of the Pony Express.


KAY: This is the sword Excalibur…the sword of Arthur, King of Britain…it is a symbol of his might, his right, and his justice… (He removes the sword from its sheath) Behold it reverently, and swear again each and all of you to defend it with your lives…

“I swear,” intones Galahad loudly and proudly, while the other knights are content to just murmur their acquiescence.  Kay then goes into the history of the sword, and one of the things that always makes me giggle during Columbia serials is that flashbacks are never presented with wavy images or the other optical tricks we’ve come to recognize from movies—instead, the screen goes out of focus and then dark, as if they were setting up the flashback in the same shot for fear of shutting off the camera.


In a nutshell, the Lady of the Lake summons Merlin “to a dark wood,” and informs him that he needs to take Arthur out boating so that…


…she can hand him this sword by extending her arm out of the water.  (I like the boat here, by the way—it looks like they swiped it from an amusement park ride and told the ride operator they’d have it back by the end of the day.)  Since there’s a brief shot of Merlin conferring with her Ladyship (played by Lois Hall) in the woods before he and Arthur go sailing, I don’t know why she couldn’t have just given it to him on dry land.  As we are all well aware, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.  Supreme executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

KAY: …this magic blade restored the people’s faith in their king…and when our ancient enemies the Saxons, led by the wicked Ulric, attacked us…young Arthur charged into battle, wielding the great Excalibur and sent his enemies reeling from the fields…

“…and to the safety of the first aid tent.”  “Since that time,” Kay concludes, “peace has reigned in Britain.  And it shall remain thus, so long as we guard and defend Excalibur.”  And guess what, New Guy?  You get to spend the night keeping an eye on it.  What could possibly go wrong?


In the halls of Camelot, a lowly serving wench identified as “Martha” (unfortunately, the actress goes uncredited) pours a generous amount of wine into a goblet.  You’ll notice that for the purposes of our narrative, Martha has parked the goblet about twenty miles from her wench station, and that Sir Bors approacheth:


BORS: Martha…where is the ceremonial wine for the watcher of the sword?  Sir Kay wants it on the instant…
MARTHA: On the table there… (Bors starts toward the table, but she stops him) I have not seen you so strict in duty before, Sir Bors…
BORS: One shouldn’t be so strict…even for duty… (He takes her shoulders tenderly while she giggles uncontrollably)


So while Sir Bors is copping a feel with the hired help, a mysterious arm comes out from nowhere and grabs the goblet, quickly substituting it with another.  (Methinks the watcher of the sword will soon learn the meaning of “Michael of Finn.”)  “You best get back to the wine,” giggles Martha after Bors has properly manhandled her like a good Knight of the Round Table.  “Or there’ll be a scolding from Sir Kay.”

“Right,” agrees Bors.  “He has a sharp tongue.”  And grabbing the doctored goblet, our comic relief thus sets the plot of our serial in motion.  Arriving in the Sword Room, he shows it to Galahad, declaring “Here’s a cup to cheer you through the night.”

KAY: It is traditional for the novice standing watch…to sustain his strength thus…we’ll leave you now to your meditations…

It has been my experience as an occasional wine drinker that sampling a bit of the grape has never “sustained my strength” in any fashion whatsoever.  But I’ll play along for the sake of the serial, and I’ll also refrain from a “Meditations—is that what the younger folk are calling it now?” joke. (Damn it!)

BORS: Keep up your courage, son…this is a haunted place in the small hours…
GALAHAD (smiling): I fear no ghosts, Sir Bors…

And with that, Sir Kay snuffs out all but one of the candles in the Sword Room, leaving with Sir Bors and locking Galahad inside.  There’s a simple but effective directorial touch from Bennet as the camera pans to this candle…


…and then we see a shorter candle, denoting the passage of time.  Galahad continues to stand fiercely at his post.

It’s a bit difficult to convey through screen capturage (I made that word up) what takes place next, but if you’ve ever watched any Abbott & Costello or Three Stooges comedies you’ll have difficulty keeping a straight face.  The suit of armor behind Reeves has someone occupying it, and as it starts to move it naturally makes a considerable amount of noise…


…but when Reeves’ Galahad turns around, the armor snaps back in its original position.  This happens a second time, and once again, Galahad whirls around to see nothing.  So then he decides: “Maybe I need a few sips of wine.”


Not a good idea at all.  A drugged Galahad slumps to the floor and though he makes a noble effort to reach out and grab the armored intruder, his reaction to the wine is…well, pretty much what happens when any of us drink a lot of wine.  The mysterious knight takes Excalibur from the wall and with the sword in his possession, escapes into a secret passageway.

So it’s the next morning.  Sir Kay, key ring in hand, is preparing to unlock the Sword Room when Sir Lancelot happens by.

LANCELOT: Are you going to relieve our young hopeful from his vigil?
KAY: Yes, Sir Lancelot, I am…would you like to come along?
LANCELOT: I have nothing better to do…


Another laugh-out-loud moment.  The two knights enter the Sword Room…and are stunned to find Galahad sleeping one off in the middle of the floor.  Then Kay sees that the sword is missing, and goes completely batshit crazy…

KAY (as Lancelot helps Galahad to his feet): Wake up, you stupid knave!  Who has taken Excalibur?
GALAHAD (groggy): I know not, Sir Kay…at least not by name… (Pointing to a now-empty suit of armor) That armor came alive…seized the sword…disappeared through yonder wall…
KAY: By Merlin’s beard, I have now heard everything!  How dare you feed me such silly pap!  Are you in league with…
LANCELOT (interrupting): Can you not see the boy cannot remember?
KAY: Bah!  A suit of armor came alive?
GALAHAD: I remember taking the wine…it must have been drugged, for when I tried to seize the thief…my arms had no strength to them…beyond that I can recall nothing…
KAY: You shall recall a lot more than that before King Arthur is finished with you!  I’ll take you before him on the instant…march!

Man…talk about your bad “first day on the job” scenarios.  In a scene shift, Galahad, Bors and Martha the Wench have been brought before King Arthur as Sir Kay gives them a Royal Reaming…

KAY: …and so, Your Majesty…we find this rascal…this…this conniver with thieves…asleep on the floor, the great sword gone…and he prattles of empty armor taking it!
GALAHAD: I do not connive with thieves, and I was not asleep!  Sire…the wine was drugged…
ARTHUR: Only three people touched the wine besides yourself…the serving maid Martha, the knights Sir Bors and Sir Kay…are you accusing one or all of them?
GALAHAD: Sire, I accuse no one…I was merely protesting my own innocence…but…the wine made me hazy, and…when the armor disappeared in the wall…

“Oh, Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chick!”

MERLIN: While Arthur wore Excalibur at his side…Britain was secure…now that it is gone, only dark events and great disasters shall follow…Galahad should be punished!  If he is not the thief himself, he’s partner to it!
ARTHUR: Justice will be done when the guilty man is found…since we know not surely that it is Galahad, I shall deal lightly with him…Galahad…your knighthood is denied…until Excalibur is returned…
GALAHAD: My liege…I shall never rest until the sword is back by your side…

Well, now you know what he’s going to be doing for the next fourteen chapters.  An unidentified (and also uncredited) courier enters the court, with dire news for Arthur…and the King orders his men to let him pass.  He bows before the King, and then delivers his message in an accent that would seem to suggest he’s seen more of Bainbridge (Georgia) than Cambridge.

COURIER: Your Majesty…I bring bad news…King Ulric of the Saxons…has attacked Britain
ARTHUR: Bad news indeed…but thanks for your speed in bringing it…go now and refresh yourself…
(The courier bows again, and takes his leave)
MERLIN: Already my prophecy is fulfilled
KAY: Ulric must be certain that Excalibur will be delivered to him or he would not dare such insolence!
LANCELOT: Let us take the road that leads to Ulric…perhaps it will lead to Excalibur, too…
ARTHUR: Well said, Sir Lancelot…

Ass kisser.  “Knights…make ready to ride!” orders King Arthur, who adds as an afterthought: “You may go with us if you wish, Galahad.”  (“Seein’ as how this is your !@#$ing fault in the first place.”)  The knights and other subjects of the court file out of the room, but Lancelot stays behind to give Galahad a little “cheer up, little buckaroo” speech.

LANCELOT (clapping him on the back): Don’t be downhearted, lad…great deeds sometimes make amends for great blunders
GALAHAD: Even if it’s a blunder such as this?
LANCELOT: Even such a one…I’m glad you’re riding with us against Ulric…much honor can be recovered in battle

Lancelot gives Galahad another clap on the back, and then goes off to join the rest of the knights.  (Is it any wonder he’s the king’s favorite?  He seems like such a swell chap.)  But now it’s Morgan le Fay’s turn to raise the would-be ka-niggit’s spirits some.

MORGAN: Galahad…do you really mean to seek Excalibur?
GALAHAD: Well, certainly…how else can I clear my name and become a Knight of the Round Table?
MORGAN: Then you mean to let nothing interfere with that purpose?
GALAHAD (turning to go): Nothing whatever, m’lady…

Gallie…I think she’s coming on to you!

MORGAN: Wait, Galahad…I have a measure of wisdom for you…
GALAHAD: Tell me quickly then…
MORGAN: Remember then…the way to Excalibur lies through the Enchanted Forest
GALAHAD: Why do you tell me this?

“It’s plot exposition.  It’s got to go somewhere.”  No, Morgan is going to continue to be cryptic and mysterious, and she tells Galahad: “I can say no more.”  (“Help/I need somebody/Help/Not just anybody…”)


The knights are ready to ride out…and I guess if you squint a little, this serial does seem an awful lot like a western.  There’s an amusing scene where Guinevere emerges from the castle and when Morgan sees her Le Fay kind of gives her a “Bitch, please!” look.  Meanwhile, Sir Bors has reasoned that since both he and Galahad are “under a cloud” it would be in their best interests to become friends…and the two men shake hands on the proposition.


“You know, that was a merry clip you fed me at the tournament,” grins Bors.  “But I always did admire a strong right arm.”

King Arthur then addresses his men.  “Ulric and his Saxons are afforded camp at the foot of Thunder Mountain.  We will attack in small numbers…the better to surprise him.  We must hurry…so that we may do battle with Ulric before Excalibur can be delivered to him.”  Turning his horse around in the direction of the battle, His Majesty gives the command: “Knights of the Round Table…forward!”

Annnnnnnnd they’re off!  Arriving at a fork in the road, Arthur seeks council from his ka-niggits…

ARTHUR: The shortest path to Thunder Mountain is that one…through the Enchanted Forest
MODRED: But no one has taken it and lived…let us be brave, Sire…not foolish
ARTHUR: You’re right, Modred…we’ll take the longer way…

Everybody in the company of the king decides to be brave…except for the guy who chooses the path of foolishness…yes, it’s you-know-who.  Bors and Lancelot watch as Galahad gallops off in the direction of the Enchanted Forest:

LANCELOT: Galahad has gone to the Enchanted Forest on some fool’s errand…I must stay with the king—follow Galahad, he may need help
BORS: That is true, Sir Lancelot—what is death to a man like me?

“I laugh at Death…ha ha!  I even play keep away!”  Before you come away with the impression that Sir Bors is a fearless kind of dude, Lancelot admonishes him: “You’re no more likely to find it in the Enchanted Forest than in battle with Ulric.”  Um…yeah.  So Bors rides, boldly rides.

Inside the Forest (Enchanted, that is), Galahad rides until he hears a disembodied voice repeatedly calling his name.  He dismounts and starts to search the wood in an effort to find out just who’s screwing with him.  He is then startled by a scream, and looking up…


…it’s only an owl.  (“Yes, but ‘oo’s ‘owling?”)  He continues to walk through the forest, and he hears his name called twice more.  With his sword drawn, he reaches a clearing and then…


Shazam!  A cloud of smoke reveals the imposing figure of Merlin the Magician.

GALAHAD: So it’s you, Merlin…
MERLIN: What do you seek here in my domain?
GALAHAD: You know well enough…I seek King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur…
MERLIN: No man may trespass here…
GALAHAD: And you pretend to be the King’s loyal friend?  And bar the way to his sword?
MERLIN: The way is not for you

Galahad walks past Merlin with an “out-of-my-way-Grandpa” attitude, but Merlin calls after him.  “Galahad…heed my warning!  The way is not for you!”  And he’s serious about this, because he raises both arms in a gesture of magic…


…and a la peanut butter sandwiches!  Galahad is frozen in his tracks!  “You bewitched me,” he says to Merlin accusingly.  “I can’t move my arms!”

“Soon there’ll be much more you cannot do,” Merlin intones, raising his arms again.  The background soon becomes washed out, as if a great light has descended upon Galahad, blinding him.  (Yeah, a little deficient in the special effects department.)  “What have you done to my eyes?” Galahad cries out.


“Spring up, flames of darkness!”  Merlin calls out, really enjoying this stuff now.  And to add further insult to injury…


…Galahad is molested by a tree.  Which wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible thing, except this particular tree is pissed because they never got a callback on that Wizard of Oz audition.  As Merlin cackles like a dirty old man…take it away, Knox Manning!

MANNING: What is to become of the great sword Excalibur?  Will King Arthur fall before the Saxon attack?

What about Galahad, you knob?!!

3 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I've never seen this one, so I'm looking forward to your discussion of it.

James Vance said...

George Reeves, a guy in a tree suit, and that distinct flavor of William Fawcett cheese - I'm looking forward to following this one.

Page said...

Hiya Ivan! YEAH I'm finally back blogging and giving everyone a hard time.

Your description 'squinting and looking a bit like a Western' then the squeaky armor has me laughing over here. I so love your sense of humor and I've really missed it and your wonderful. entertaining reviews.

These screen grabs are just too much. Seriously! Too much. Ha Ha
I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.
I hope you're having a great weekend. Tell the rents I said hello.
Page