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Dragonslayer [DVD] [1981] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AUHOM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,697 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In the early 1980s there was a spate of fantasy movies -- ranging from movies like "Conan the Barbarian" and "Excalibur", to distinctly B-grade productions like "The Sword and the Sorceror", and "Hawk the Slayer". This was probably due to the phenomenal success of "Star Wars", as science fiction and fantasy have always marched pretty closely beside one another as genres. "Dragonslayer" was one of the better films of this type, and the movie's lack of financial success is frankly inexplicable to me. The best guess I can make to account for it is that the movie is not so action packed as "Star Wars" or "Conan the Barbarian", and not quite so fast paced, so perhaps audiences were let down by that. But it's still a great movie. The production values are second to none. The film perfectly captures the look of the Dark Ages -- the early medieval period, no more than a century or two after the fall of the Roman Empire. This was a time when records were scanty, many communities were more isolated than at any time before or since, Christianity was a new religion, and just one faith among many, and a time when people really believed in magic and the supernatural. It is the PERFECT setting for such a movie. The cast is superbly chosen. Peter MacNicol makes a good Galen, who is naive, brash, and possesses the arrogant confidence of youth, but who finally comes to understand he didn't have it all as completely figured out as he thought. Ralph Richardson, in one of his last roles, is superb as the wise old sorceror. Peter Eyre is thoroughly believable as the weak-willed king of Urland (presumably one of the smaller kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England) who has made what he sincerely believes is the best bargain he can make with an invincible supernatural creature.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
If you are a fan of fantasy then you must see this film. I can remember watching this film for the first time and was amazed at how real the dragon looks. The scenes at the end of the film are spectacular.
No talking and goody goody dragons here! This dragon is as evil and twisted as they come. A must see...It rivals any other dragon special effects even to this day. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
The special effects team who animated this dragon, as far back as 1981 , deserve every penny they made...
Outstanding!
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Format: DVD
Ultimately, "Dragonslayer" succeeds where the vast majority of monster movies fail, which is the point at which you get to see the creature and it is a big disappointment. Very few movies had really great monsters when I was growing up and you get to the point where you just expect them to be bad. Even when the make up is pretty good, say Boris Karloff in the original version of "The Mummy" or Oliver Reed in "The Curse of the Werewolf," you get shorted on how often the monster actually gets to be on screen. "Dragonslayer" ups the ante because there is a big build up to the point when you finally get to see the dragon. But for my money it is well worth the wait because the folks at Industrial Light & Magic delivery even though we are talking 1981 special effects.
The story in "Dragonslayer" combines a couple of recognizable plot lines from the fantasy genre. First there is the hapless young apprentice, Galen (Peter MacNicol), trying to learn his craft from a great wizard, Ulrich (Ralph Richardson). I am certainly reminded of Mickey Mouse from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in "Fantasia," except that Galen is a lot more earnest. Second, there is the fact that Casiodorus Rex (Peter Eyre), the ruler of the land, has been sacrificing virgins to keep the local dragon from leveling the countryside. Young Valerian (Caitlin Clarke) arrives to beseech Ulrich, the last wizard around, to kill the dragon, which is probably the last of its kind as well.
The only problem is that Ulrich has died, which means that young Galen has to become a dragonslayer. Galen wants to do the great deed for the right reasons, but there is also the Princess Elspeth (Chloe Salaman) to consider, along with all the other young virgins forced to participate in the grim lottery.
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Format: DVD
I've watched bits of Dragonslayer before I bought the DVD, and was struck by the great location and by the performance of the sadly late Caitlin Clarke. I'm sad to say I was disappointed with the extra barren DVD, but at least I got to see the film right through.
Dragonslayer is about a young sorcerers apprentice called Galen (Peter McNicol), who after the demise of his master travels to the land of Urland to rid it of an evil dragon. To appease the dragon, the Urlanders sacrifice a virgin chosen by lot each year, and much of the story involves Gaelin struggling with the authorities that want to keep this system in place.
What first strikes you first about Dragonslayer is the great scenery. The film was shot in North Wales and on the Isle of Skye, and the beautiful scenery helps create a world that feels magical and epic. Yet many shots look bleak, and this runs with the films fatalistic theme - magic is leaving the world to be replaced by religious drudgery.
The plot is one of Dragonslayer's letdowns as although most is feasible, the reactions of some of the characters and some of the events are just unrealistic. For example Valerian (played by Caitlin Clarke) has been disguised as a man since childbirth so that she can avoid the lotteries - Clarke doesn't look like a man for a start, and it seems impossible that she should keep her gender secret for so long. When she finally reveals herself no one seems angry that she cheated the system and she even has the cheek to complain about the princess, who also did not take part in the lottery!!!
The characters on the other hand I think are great.
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