Review: ‘A Connecticut Yankee’

The [Mark Twain] story was originally turned down by Doug Fairbanks, after which Fox made it with Harry Myers. It was released late in 1920. The staff working on this sound version must have run off the silent print plenty. William Conselman gets the credit for the modern adaptation, but there's no telling how many writers worked on the script. Neither the beginning nor the end is entirely satisfactory, especially the finish. But the main section is a dream, and there are more than sufficient laughs to compensate.

The [Mark Twain] story was originally turned down by Doug Fairbanks, after which Fox made it with Harry Myers. It was released late in 1920. The staff working on this sound version must have run off the silent print plenty. William Conselman gets the credit for the modern adaptation, but there’s no telling how many writers worked on the script. Neither the beginning nor the end is entirely satisfactory, especially the finish. But the main section is a dream, and there are more than sufficient laughs to compensate.

Opening has Will Rogers as a smalltown radio store proprietor, called to a mysterious house to install a battery. An armored figure falls over, knocks Rogers out and thence into the dream. The change back to the modern story and finish is decidedly weak.

Rogers’ main cast support comes from William Farnum as King Arthur. Mitchell Harris as Merlin, the magician, and Brandon Hurst playing the menace. Myrna Loy does not do much with her femme heavy, while Maureen O’Sullivan has nothing much more than a bit. Frank Albertson, supplying the other half of the love interest, appears to be at a loss in not being able to chatter at his generally furious rate.

A Connecticut Yankee

Production

Fox. Director David Butler; Screenplay William Conselman; Camera Ernest Palmer; Music Erno Rapee

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Will Rogers William Farnum Myrna Loy Maureen O'Sullivan Frank Albertson Mitchell Harris
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