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John Boorman's epic version of the King Arthur legend takes all the important elements - the sword in the stone, the Knights of the Round Table, the quest for the Holy Grail, the love between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot - and holds them together in a single sweeping story. Nicol Williamson stars as a camp Merlin and Helen Mirren makes a suitably sinister Morgana, but the most memorable aspects of the film are its art direction and cinematography.
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 LaneSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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).
If you "enjoyed" Gary Oldman in Fifth Element and The Third Stage Guild Navigator in Dune then add this to your collection at once.Hours of mad sword slashing fun and power mad lust crazed grubby snarling troglodytes in beautiful colour.
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.
So Arthur starts out on his hero's journey, in scenes quite similar to young Luke Skywalker's tutelage by Yoda in 'The Empire Strikes Back', with Arthur both beguiled and horrified by the creatures of the forest, featuring the ubiquitous owl present in such films of this period. After the boy king draws the sword from the stone, he is much in need of guidance. However, Merlin is an excellent teacher who seems to draw knowledge from Arthur rather than leading him to it. Yet it's not long before Arthur is seduced away from Merlin to other attractions, such as Guenevere. It's around about here that I usually stopped watching the film when I was younger. It was Boorman's battles that had first attracted me, so shiny and brutal as sword impales and thrusts armour.
It's true that Arthur's Round Table is rich and lush, but rather boring. A time of plenty, but very little drama, apart from Gawain's slander. Arthur does not hear Merlin warn him about Guenevere, and ignores the evidence of his own eyes, as Guenevere becomes a tease and a burden to all his men and in a bizarre and highly staged dance in Leondegrance's fortress. It's also taken time for me to like Nicholas Clay's performance as Lancelot. Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere has never really convinced me. The DVD edition makes her chirpy Irish accent even clearer, which is an irritation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really crappy acting, please do not waste your time with this! With the likes of Cherie Lunghi and Helen Mirren in this, I would have expected more! Read morePublished 23 days ago by R. Houghton
Good for its time and some spot the pre-famous star actors in there to.Published 2 months ago by Kevin John Lancaster