The legend of King Arthur gets about its 850th movie reboot in theaters this week. For our Roundtable tie-in, let’s revisit some of our other favorite movie kings, queens and royal families.
We’ll allow a really broad leeway with this topic, and will take modern, historical, fantasy, even sci-fi monarchies. They don’t even have to be the central characters of the film so long as they play some notable part in it.
I love how Aragorn is written in the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ films. His moral struggle is rich and, thanks to a solid adaptation and Viggo Mortensen’s performance, it comes through perfectly in the films. He’s a humble man who knows his destiny, but is also burdened by the weight of the bad decisions of his ancestors. He fears that he will fail, that his fate will take him down the path of those who tarnished his family name in the past, yet he does it anyway. His humility ultimately makes him the true king. For me, watching his journey is one of the highlights in the books and films.
Now that I’ve put some thought into my geeky love for ‘Lord of the Rings’, it’s about time for my annual marathon.
I’m going way off the beaten path with this week’s topic and crowning ‘King Ralph‘ as my favorite movie monarch.
This 1991 comedy (still not available on Blu-ray) begins with the entire royal family being electrocuted, which naturally is a great opening for any comedy. Needing to find a blood heir to the throne, the royal secretary (played by Peter O’Toole) comes to America to track down Las Vegas lounge singer Ralph Jones (John Goodman) and tell him that’s he’s the man who would be king. Hijinks ensue.
Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve seen ‘King Ralph’, I wonder if it still holds up. However, I remember enjoying it a lot during its theatrical run.
I’m going to roll with Uther Pendragon from ‘Excalibur‘. In spite of all his feats and conquests, and the aid both Merlin and Excalibur, he’s an incredibly bad king. He’s so covetous (to the last when he places Excalibur in the stone), he loses every single important gain and asset, and is fatally wounded in the muck only moments away from aid and safety. And yet, his very comet-like turn as king continues to influence all the players during Arthur’s life.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
One of the scientists in ‘Leprechaun 4: In Space‘ helpfully explains why I’ve crowned Princess Zarina for this week’s Roundtable: “On the planet Dominia, when a woman of royal blood shows you her breasts, it’s a death sentence.” Of course, you don’t hear that until Zarina has popped open her space-bra and cackled maniacally, baffling what few survivors remain and the audience alike. “Look upon them and know that you are forever doomed!” It’s one of the most nonsensical excuses I’ve ever come across to shoehorn in gratuitous nudity, and that’s part of the reason I love this tongue-in-cheek, no-budget remake of ‘Aliens’ so much.
Enough said. R.I.P. Carrie Fisher.
Who are your favorite movie royals? Tell us in the Comments.