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Excalibur [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import]


Price: £10.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Excalibur [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import] + The Name of the Rose [Blu-Ray] [Import]
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Product details

  • Actors: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Writers: John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg, Thomas Malory
  • Producers: John Boorman, Edgar F. Gross, Michael Dryhurst, Robert A. Eisenstein
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Mar 2011
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Q66JXA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,364 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

A lush retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Excalibur is a dark and engrossing tale. Director John Boorman (Deliverance) masterfully handles the tale of the mythical sword Excalibur, and its passing from the wizard Merlin to the future king of England. Arthur pulls the famed sword from a stone and is destined to be crowned king. As the king embarks on a passionate love affair with Guenevere, an illegitimate son, and Merlin's designs on power, threaten Arthur's reign. The film is visually stunning and unflinching in its scenes of combat and black magic. Featuring an impressive supporting cast, including early work from the likes of Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, Excalibur is an adaptation of the legend both faithful and bold. --Robert Lane

Synopsis

Raised by Merlin, young Arthur draws the mystical sword of Excalibur from the stone and becomes King. He grows to manhood and with his wife Guenevere and first knight Lancelot unites the country and founds the Knights of the Round Table. An epic battle between the knights of good and evil decides the fate of Camelot.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Dec 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Within my memory, there've been only a couple films featuring the legend of King Arthur. However, one of them released in 1981, EXCALIBUR, is the standard by which all others, past and future, must be judged. It's positively stunning in its excellence, and a must-see for any devotee of the tale.

In a sense, EXCALIBUR is more a story of Merlin than Arthur since Nicole Williamson's fabulous, unique portrayal of the former overshadows Nigel Terry's role as the latter. However, the film faithfully depicts the Arthurian legend from his conception and birth at Tintagel Castle, to his death at the hands of Mordred. In between are all the other elements of the story one would hope for and expect: Uther Pendragon, the Sword In the Stone, the Battle of Mount Badon, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere, Sir Percival, the Quest for the Holy Grail, the Lady of the Lake, and Lady Morgana (a.k.a. Morgan La Fey).

A note of caution for parents of young children. At times, the film is intensely violent, bloody and sexual. (Gee, it sounds like any normal day at the office.) You are warned. And it's not a movie for squeamish adults, either.

The costuming is superb. The brilliant cinematography and film editing, combined with a magnificent soundtrack that includes "Carmina Burana" and "Tristan's Funeral March" (correction: "SIEGFRIED'S Funeral March") at just the right scenes, make EXCALIBUR absolutely awe-inspiring. You'll want to watch it over and over. (I've talked myself into wanting to view it again right now!) The final scene is one you'll wish you could extract from your TV screen and frame, with sound.

Oh, my! What a cinematic achievement!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Jorgensen on 3 Jun 2007
Format: DVD
Anyone who really likes "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, will most likely enjoy this movie as well. "Excalibur" is over 25 years old, but this film stands the test of time. The costumes and locations are superb, and the battle scenes are both exciting and ravishing. The intense and beautifull music score makes this film truly magnificent. The actors in "Excalibur" are very good, especially Nicol Williamson and Gabriel Byrne. If you like action packed sword and sorcery films, then you should give this one a try. It's one of the very best, if not The Best.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By David J. Smith on 8 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
This is the story of the magic and mysticism in the tale of Arthur, as seen by John Boorman. The story starts with Uther Pendragon convincing Merlin to help him bed Ygraine, and ends with the return of excalibur to the Lake. It is also the story of Merlin, played excellently by Nicol Williamson with a massive vocal range, and the intrigue of Morgana (Helen Mirren in a seductive and evil role). Merlin muses both wryly and poignantly about a changing world in which magic is fading, the natural order is threatened with the arrogance of men, lamenting the "lachrymae mundi", while Arthur and his knights, wearing impossibly heavy armour, lop limbs of their enemies with big weapons. All to the hard-drinking monk's tune of Orff's "O Fortuna". What more could you want from a film, by turns whimsical, sad, mystical, violent, passionate, tender, mysterious and aloof? Speak the charm of making Merlin, set the world to rights.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott Dean on 27 Jun 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I'm keeping my review of this film strictly to the quality of the transfer (it's a given that if I've bought it again - third time, first on video, then DVD, now Blu Ray - that I love it):

It's visually and audibly better than the current DVD version, but that's about it. I doubt that we'll ever get anything better, so if you want the best quality currently available then grab this. But don't expect anything like what is now acceptable when it comes to most Blu Ray transfers of older films such as this one. It's saving grace is most definitely the John Boorman commentary.

Disappointed, but still the best quality currently available to buy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 22 May 2005
Format: DVD
A film classic based on Sir Thomas Malory's 1485 book "Le Morte D'Arthur". Everyone has a favorite part. Few remember the whole film. And we notice something more with each viewing.
When you first see Excalibur rising from the lake you know you are in fro a great cinema graphic movie.
We get our entire favorite King Author stories well spliced together of form one cohesive tale including the search for the Grail. The round table had a unique symbol in the center.
Some time is spent trying to recognize our favorite actors when they were young. Who would have guessed that Igrayne (Katrine Boorman) was in the film "Zardos" (1974) also produced by John Boorman.
Also trying to identify the music mostly Richard Wagner (from "Parsifal", "Tristan und Isolde" and "Götterdämmerung").
After viewing this film it is time to get a different view of the same stories with the film "The Mists of Avalon" (2001) or maybe Merlin (1998).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adam Jackson on 16 May 2008
Format: DVD
John Boorman's 1981 film is an exercise in how to treat fantasy in an adult and serious manner.
The fantasy elements are subtle - there are no stop motion monsters to be found here - and yet still pervade the movie with a sense of the magical & arcane. This film in no way attempts a realistic approach to the extent of 2004's King Arthur.
Merlin as portrayed here is dark & ambiguous, constantly aware of the end of the time of magic & the old gods. A very eccentic performance by the
excellent Nicol Williamson. Helen Mirren as the evil & seductive sorceress, Morgana gives an erotically charged performance that is not easily forgotten!
Nigel Terry as Arthur is a bit wooden BUT his tone & manner suits the film's often sombre approach & he brings a sense of dignity to a mythic role.
The movie is over 2 hours long & indeed feels longer (in a good way!).
Very epic, making a mockery of what was not a huge budget. Everything is beautiful, the costumes, the sets, the armour, the weapons - the wonderful photography. Everything glows with otherworldy greens & reds & the sheen of polished steel, tendrils of mist curl around the edge of every frame....
Visually it's a work of art & the score perfectly matches the film, all orchestral & taken from such great works as Carl Orff's O Fortuna & Richard Wagner's Gotterdammerung. Siegfried's Funeral March (Wagner) accompanies both opening & closing credits and is one of the finest classical pieces ever written.
There is plenty of Dark Age combat culminating in the final battle between Good and Evil. The action is stirring & brutal with the screen awash with blood at times.
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