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Unidentified Flying Oddball

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Unidentified Flying Oddball (also known as The Spaceman and King Arthur) is Disney's 1979 film adaptation of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It was directed by Russ Mayberry. Subsequently re-released in the United States under the titles The Spaceman and King Arthur and A Spaceman in King Arthur's Court, the film starred Dennis Dugan as an astronaut.

Plot

NASA spacecraft proves Einstein right when, travelling faster than light, it ends up near King Arthur's Camelot. On board are big-hearted Tom Trimble and Hermes, the look-alike robot he built. Tom immediately makes friends with pretty Alisande and enemies with the awful knight Sir Nordred. It seems Nordred is atempting to oust Arthur, while Alisande's father is not the goose she believes him to be but is also a victim of Nordred's schemes. It's as well the Americans have arrived.

Like Twain's original novel (as well as the 1949 movie adaptation starring Bing Crosby) Merlin is presented as an evil character intent on dethroning Arthur.

Cast

  • Dennis Dugan - Tom Trimble/Hermes
  • Jim Dale - Sir Mordred
  • Ron Moody - Merlin
  • Kenneth More - King Arthur
  • John Le Mesurier - Sir Gawain
  • Rodney Bewes - Clarence
  • Sheila White - Alisande
  • Robert Beatty - Senator Milburn
  • Cyril Shaps - Dr. Zimmerman
  • Kevin Brennan - Winston
  • Ewen Solon - Watkins
  • Pat Roach - Oaf
  • Reg Lye - Prisoner

Production Credits

  • Directed by Russ Mayberry
  • Produced by Hugh Attwooll, Ron W. Miller
  • Written by Mark Twain (novel)
  • Don Tait (screen story)
  • Release date: July 26, 1979
  • Language: English

Props

The spacecraft that was featured in this movie is on display at the Blackgang chine theme park in the Isle of Wight.

1995 adaptation

A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995), likewise based on the aforementioned novel, follows the same premise: a male (in this case, an adoloscent) from the 20th century travels back in time to King Arthur’s Camelot and impresses the inhabitants with technology from the distant future. Moody again plays Merlin in the film, on this occasion as a more sympathetic character.

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