When Knights Were Bold (1936 film)

When Knights Were Bold

DVD cover with artwork from original Swedish poster
Directed by Jack Raymond
Produced by Max Schach
C.M. Woolf
Written by Harriett Jay (play)
Douglas Furber
Austin Parker
Starring Jack Buchanan
Fay Wray
Garry Marsh
Music by Harry Perritt
Cinematography Freddie Young
Edited by Frederick Wilson
Capitol Film Corporation
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release dates
19 February 1936
Running time
76 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

When Knights Were Bold is a 1936 British musical comedy film directed by Jack Raymond and starring Jack Buchanan, Fay Wray and Garry Marsh.[1] Songs include "Let's Put the People To Work" sung by Jack Buchanan, "Onward We Go" sung by Buchanan & soldiers' chorus, and "I'm Still Dreaming" sung by Buchanan.[2]


Sir Guy de Vere inherits his father's estate while serving with the British army in India. He returns home to take up his new role, but is greeted with hostility by his family and servants. After a drunken evening, a bump on the head with a suit of armour sends Sir Guy back to the 1400s and the golden age of chivalry.


The film was made at Elstree Studios by the independent Capitol Film production company.[3] Buchanan had recently left his contract with producer Herbert Wilcox with whom he had enjoyed a number of hit releases. It was based on the 1906 play When Knights Were Bold by Harriett Jay. The film's sets were designed by the art director Wilfred Arnold. Some scenes were shot on location at Warwick Castle.[4]


Critical reception

In 1936, The Daily Express wrote, "In spite of its laudable effort to put more action into a fairly static play, the film script is a rare triumph of unimaginativeness." In 1942, The New York Times wrote, "it is, to state it briefly, a pointless trifle, a minor vaudeville skit...If the Little Carnegie is anxious to show none but British product, why doesn’t it play in revival some really memorable films? We can think of two dozen British pictures such as The Ghost Goes West, South Riding, To the Victor and Drums, not to mention the Hitchcock classics, which most certainly retain their appeal. Why expose a blunder which had better be forgot?" ;[5] while more recently, TV Guide noted, "it seems that the best British farces come from mocking that land's rather stuffy customs. This picture takes that course and provides pleasing comedy by not taking itself seriously." [6]


  1. "When Knights Were Bold (1936)". BFI.
  3. Wood p.88
  4. Low p.200
  5. "Knightsfilms".
  6. "When Knights Were Bold". TVGuide.com.


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