In the main battle scene, a soldier - apparently thinking he was out of camera range - can be seen at the bottom of the screen standing with an arrow sticking out of his shoulder and smoking a cigarette. See more »
One of the few medieval epics scripted for an adult audience.
A good action film that is reasonably faithful to the Arthurian legends as interpreted (and sometimes actually written) by Thomas Malory in the 15th century. The addition of the "Viking Invasion" dates only to the movie itself, but provides for some good action sequences. And action is the hallmark of this movie. The battle scenes are very well done and the arms and armor (except for the Vikings' horned helmets) are reasonably authentic for the late 11th century. The individual sword fights seem like hard and deadly work----no dancing and prancing or choreographed acrobatics as in most films of this genre. Just clanging metal and men straining in their armor, with gory and graphically depicted consequences.
The film is indeed part soap opera, as is the Lancelot/Guinevere part of the Arthurian Cycle, but these interludes are done in a matter of fact, rather stark manner. This and the copious action scenes make for a fast moving, absorbing pace with little down time. The dialogue is a bit clipped and less theatrical than in most epics but this only adds to its realistic qualities.
An excellent film by a man (Cornel Wilde) very underrated as both an actor and filmmaker.
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