By Rebecca A. Umland, Samuel J. Umland
This is the first book to examine the various uses of the Arthurian legend in Hollywood film, covering films from the 1920s to the present. The authors use five representational categories: intertextual collage (or "cult" film); melodrama, which focuses on the love triangle; conservative propaganda, pervasive during the Cold War; the Hollywood epic; and the postmodern quest, which commonly employs the grail portion of the legend. Arguing that filmmakers rely on the audience's rudimentary familiarity with the legend, the authors show that only certain features of the legend are activated at any particular time. This fascinating study shows us how the legend has been adapted and how through the popular medium of Hollywood films, the Arthurian legend has survived and flourished.