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King Arthur [DVD] [2004]

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Product details

  • Actors: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Directors: Antoine Fuqua
  • Writers: David Franzoni
  • Producers: Bruce Moriarty, Chad Oman, James Flynn, Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Latin
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Nov. 2004
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ZUHD8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,323 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Big-budget action adventure based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The film attempts to place King Arthur within the historical context of his time (around 500 AD), and take into account many more historical and political facts of the era than previous interpretations of the legend. It also dispenses with much of the magic and fantasy that have shrouded events of the period, although Merlin (Stephen Dillane) does feature as a shaman who used his powers against the Romans. Clive Owen stars as Arthur, who, as England falls into chaos after the fall of the Roman Empire, gathers around him a band of brave knights, including Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd), Galahad (Hugh Dancy) and Gawain (Joel Edgerton), who hope to defeat the invading Saxon armies and restore peace and order to their country. Keira Knightley co-stars as Guinevere.


It's got a round table, some knights, and a noble warrior who rises to become King Arthur, but everything else about this revisionist legend is pure Hollywood. That's not such a bad thing if you enjoyed Rob Roy, Braveheart, Gladiator and Troy, and there's some intriguing potential in presenting the "real" Arthur (played by Clive Owen) as a 5th-century soldier of Rome, assigned to defend Roman-imperial England against a hoard of invading Saxons (led by Stellan Skarsgard in hairy villain mode). As revamped history and "archaeological findings" would have us believe, Guinevere (Keira Knightley) is a warrior babe in face-paint and Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) is a nonentity who fades into the woodwork. Never mind. Best to enjoy the harsh, gloomy atmosphere of Irish locations, the ruggedness of Owen and his hearty supporting cast, and the entertaining nonsense of a Jerry Bruckheimer production that strips battle-ready Guinevere down to leather-strap S&M gear while all the men sport full-body armor. Hail to the queen, indeed! --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on 17 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD
A very different portrayal of King Arthur, it aims to be the `true' his
torical portrayal. With all said and done it simply a different perspective, but fans of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table should be open to a different take on the story.

There was some things I liked about this and some things that I did not. The original story of King Arthur was indeed set before the Saxon invaders from Germany and Denmark succeeded in conquering Great Britain, and the Celtic peoples inhabited the island. As such the knights in shining armor often portrayed in Arthuric legend came considerably later in history. So I liked the idea of the costumes and weapons being closer to the age under portrayal.
I am not sure that I liked the idea of the Knights being `Samartians', men imported by the Romans as mercenaries from somewhere around the Ukraine. I don't believe there is any evidence for King Arthur and his men as being anything other than indigenous to Britain. I did however like the idea of Guinevere being a Pictish Princess - played by the dark and gorgeous Kiera Knightley. Though I thought it was silly not to have Merlin at Arthur's side as his trusted friend and adviser, and to rather have him as a sort of enemy of Arthur's.

The setting where brilliantly done, it came together well, and the caste was good. I think that Clive Owen added some force to the role of Arthur, and Iiked the casting of his knights especially Ray Winston as the rough and ready Bors.
The movie is entertaining and thrilling and comes together well, even if I did not like all of the way the story was written.

It was better than First Knight , in my opinion, but not as good as Excalibur or Merlin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 July 2006
Format: DVD
The King Arthur Director's Cut is no better or worse than the theatrical version, having the same strengths - some good character writing, action scenes where you can actually tell what is going on, an interesting background - and weaknesses - plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through, laughable historical errors, idiotic battle strategies and some hideously bad performances. The latter are definitely the biggest problem, with Antoine Fuqua proving more often than not truly hopeless at directing actors. Indeed, KA boasts some of, if not THE worst performances ever seen in a major studio picture. Clive Owen may look the part, but he delivers the lines like a dyslexic reading off idiot boards while fighting a hangover while Keira Knightley's Guinevere is just as pitiful: she's supposed to be a Celtic warrior queen but despite the fact that her people seem to speak Sioux for some reason she sounds like she's been to a rather expensive English finishing school where they teach you to mispronounce words like `cuhnntwee' (country) and `Roahm' (Rome). That wouldn't be so bad if she had even the remotest shred of talent, but none is to be found. Not since Helen of Troy have their been two leads so desperately in need of dubbing by more talented artists. Throw in Ken Stott doing an outta-ray-juss Ay-Taly-Eano accent, Ray Winstone overdosing on the bish-bash-bosh routine he does instead of acting these days and a couple of frighteningly inept child actors and it's a miracle that the film manages to be as much fun as it is. When the characters aren't trying to talk (something only Ioan Gufford seems to be able to do with success), the action is well handled (particularly the battle on the ice) and the film surprisingly good - but with better casting, it could have been so much more.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I viewed the extended Director's Cut, and enjoyed it. When _King Arthur_ first came out on ordinary DVD I ignored it, due to dire press reviews. But what I now find is an excellent, surprisingly thoughtful, and well-filmed medium-budget movie. It left me wondering about the motivations of some of the original reviewers. Certainly this is not the expected (and drearily familiar) medieval version. Nor is it much like Boorman's fine magic-imbued 1981 _Excalibur_ film version of the legend (similarly hated by reviewers when first released, I remember). Instead it's something much grittier and much more plausibly rooted in ancient British history.

The acting seems to have been the main butt of press criticism. I found the acting generally workmanlike rather than stellar, and it all worked for me. There was very little "hamming it up", which was welcome. I suspect the director told the actors that ham was strictly off the menu. Everything else was first-rate: cinematography; costuming; sound; music; dialogue; the pacing; the battles, etc. There's very little to fault.

And then... there's the history. I'm pretty well read on ancient British history and archaeology. So I read right through the quibbling pedantry of the Arthur obsessives (all camped out on the movie's Wikipedia page, spears bristling and axes grinding...) with a critical eye. I came to realise that not _too_ many historical liberties were taken by the movie, given the haziness of the earliest sources. Dates are moved around a little; places combined; one of the knights gets a different name; the Lancelot and Guinevere sub-plot was cut for the cinemas (but is very neatly restored in this expanded release).
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