GenreComedy Story byMark Twain CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film English Intertitle Release dateSeptember 11, 1921 (1921-09-11) Based onA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court
by Mark Twain WriterBernard McConville (adaptation), Mark Twain (novel) CastHarry Myers (The Yankee / Martin Cavendish), Pauline Starke (Sandy), Rosemary Theby (Queen Morgan le Fay), Charles Clary (King Arthur), William V. Mong (Merlin the Magician), George Siegmann (Sir Sagramore) Similar moviesTerminator Genisys, The Visitors II: The Corridors of Time, Black Knight, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Army of Darkness, Back to the Future
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a 1921 American silent film adaptation of Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The film was produced by the Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century Fox) and directed by Emmett J. Flynn based on a screenplay by Bernard McConville. It is notable as the first film adaptation of Twain's novel and as the first film about time travel to the past.
The film stars Harry Myers as the titular Yankee Martin Cavendish. After reading Twain's novel, Cavendish dreams that he, like Twain's protagonist Henry Morgan, is transported back to the time of King Arthur (Charles Clary), where he must use modern know-how to outwit the king's foes Morgan le Fay (Rosemary Theby) and Merlin (William V. Mong). The screenplay modernizes the novel with many contemporary references, including mentions of Ford Model Ts, the Volstead Act, and the Battle of the Argonne Forest. The film was popular, and its success likely encouraged Fox to produce the later sound film adaptation of the novel, A Connecticut Yankee. According to author Barbara Leaming, the film's hanging scene inspired Tom Hepburn, brother of Katharine Hepburn, to commit suicide in 1921.
According to silentera.com, only reels 2, 4 and 7 survive. Likewise the Library of Congress silent film database has the film incomplete.
Harry Myers as Martin Cavendish (as Harry C. Myers)
Pauline Starke as Sandy
Rosemary Theby as Queen Morgan le Fay
Charles Clary as King Arthur
William V. Mong as Merlin the Magician
George Siegmann as Sir Sagramore
Charles Gordon as Clarence, the Page
Karl Formes as Mark Twain
Herbert Fortier as Mr. Cavendish
Adele Farrington as Mrs. Cavendish
Wilfred McDonald as Sir Lancelot
The film was the seventh biggest hit of 1922 in the US and Canada.