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4.2 out of 5 stars
Excalibur [1981] [DVD]
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2011
Deploying the number one trick of movie-making and storytelling - a fantastic opening sequence! the director has pulled out all the stops: Wagner's 'Siegfried's Funeral March' (perhaps the most spine tingling dramatic piece of music ever composed) is married with the iconic image of the great sword of Kings 'Excalibur' emerging from a dark misty lake supported by the Lady's sturdy yet elegant forearm. Marvellous! But sadly it can only go one way after this and it does...downhill.
I was repeatedly reminded of Monty Python's 'Holy Grail' throughout this movie. It is frequently ludicrously camp and accidentally funny. Merlin and Arthur have daft Wurzel-like accents, Cornwall or Devon being the inspiration I suppose. The fight scenes are just like Monty Python's Black Knight farce scene.
A young Helen Mirren is gorgeous as is a semi-naked Cherie Lunghi.
It's good escapist fantasy legend but it could have been tremendous. A bigger budget and better actors would have helped.
A young Liam Neeson stars as Sir Gawain.
JP :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2013
Probably one of the best adaptations of the tales of legendary King Arthur which some sweet acting and action. May seem a bit dated now but well worth watching, a true classic.
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on 13 March 2015
A very good movies by jhon boorman
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on 22 July 2015
All time classic arrived on time.
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on 5 July 2014
Received in good condition
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Because everything about this film is so over-the-top, it was my favourite movie as a child (yes, my Dad edited out Uther's and Morgana's sex scenes). I bought it on DVD a few years back and, while I found parts of it still arresting (the locations, the music, the camerawork on some shots like the dead Gawain on horseback), it hasn't aged well. Nicol Williamson's camp turn as Merlin would be better suited to pantomime, and Nigel Terry and Cherie Lunghi just aren't a convincing lead couple. An interesting but very flawed film.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The legend of King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table, has been the subject of numerous films, almost all of them forgettable. From the cringe-worthy musical `Camelot', to the lampooning farce of `Monty Python and the Holy Grail', there have been many others, purporting to bring the truth behind this legend onto the screen.
In 1981, the film maker John Boorman threw his hat into the ring, and brought us this epic version. Taking liberties with time and place, and moving the events from their supposed time in the 6th Century, forward a few hundred years to a more recognisable medieval setting, he assembled a magnificent cast, and a suitable budget. At the time, I remember coming out of the cinema in London, thinking that I may have just seen a future masterpiece. The crashing soundtrack, swirling visuals, and (for that time) astounding special effects, left me reeling.

Thirty years later, it does all seem a bit tame, and surprisingly clumsy in parts, but I have not lost my affection for it. Helen Mirren is at her sex-siren best as the wicked Morgana, playing her part as if it was written by Shakespeare. Nicol Williamson as Merlin is capricious, irritable, and yet shows that it is really him that holds all power, regarding the other characters as children that he has to look after. Nicholas Clay plays a worthy Lancelot, even though costume (and direction? ) make him come across like a gay pin-up boy. The cast list rolls on, never failing to impress; Gabriel Byrne, Cherie Lunghi, Patrick Stewart , Liam Neeson, Corin Redgrave, at times it just feels as if everyone is in it.
Nigel Terry takes the lead as Arthur, a strange choice. For reasons best known to the director, and possibly Nigel himself, he plays the part as a country bumpkin, with appropriate accent, and slack-jawed appearance. Supposedly educated and groomed to manhood for his role as the King, by Merlin, he doesn't really alter his performance at all. That aside, there are other treats in store. Robert Addie appears as Mordred, the incestuously conceived son of Arthur, all childish wickedness, and resplendent in gold armour, looking as camp as a row of tents. He brings the country to war, famine, and disease, by attempting to seize the throne; and the Knights leave, in search of the grail, which they believe will save the realm.
It is great stuff really, pretty much irresistible; but it is tosh.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2013
very good quality,good service, 10/10 . arrived in good time .postage good.over all i am happy to have dealt with this person and service..many thanks
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on 20 May 2015
Still a classic!
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on 27 April 2015
Love this Movie
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