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Lancelot of the Lake (1974)
"Lancelot du Lac" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,103 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 33 critic

A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving ... See full summary »

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Title: Lancelot of the Lake (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luc Simon ...
Laura Duke Condominas ...
La Reine (The Queen)
Humbert Balsan ...
Vladimir Antolek-Oresek ...
Le Roi (The King)
Patrick Bernhard ...
Mordred (as Patrick Bernard)
Arthur De Montalembert ...
Lionel
Charles Balsan
Christian Schlumberger
Jean-Paul Leperlier
Marie-Louise Buffet
Marie-Gabrielle Cartron
Antoine Rabaud
Jean-Marie Becar
Guy de Bernis
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Storyline

A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving and greedy men who, just before the film starts, have failed miserably to find the Holy Grail. Aimlessly resentful at first, the developing relationship between Lancelot and Queen Guinevere focuses their rage, leading to inevitable tragedy... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 September 1974 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lancelot of the Lake  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Spoofed in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Subversion of an old tale
1 November 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

You know that everything is possible and cinema has no limits when the most austere, minimalist and anti-conventional director of all-time shoots his version of the story of Camelot... and makes a masterpiece. In the first shot we see two unknown knights having a typical medieval fight; one of them eventually is hit and fall dead, and some blood runs through the ground. The winner goes away. But the difference is that it is shown in the most raw way possible, without any kind of beauty or visual show to please the audience. That's the essence of Bresson's cinema: "only the necessary", said the master. Then, after the credits, we see that is not the Holy Grail story, the traditional story, but what happens next, it begins were the legend ends. The knights return demoralized to the kingdom. Their leader, Percival, is lost, and Lancelot blames himself and his adultery with Guinevere as the reason that the Grail was not found- the search for it was, for him, also the search for God. The Queen is not convinced, and ask his love with words which have nothing extraordinary alone; however, the emotionless way she asks makes it unusual, and somewhat disturbing. The knights are completely demystified and shown not as legend, but men, and men which lack something: is it love, God, a reason to live now that their search is over (and was unsuccessful)? Maybe all that, maybe more, but the fact is that eventually it will explode, and Camelot's decadence will be inevitable. Bresson's ultra-naturalistic and anti-conventional style makes it's images very powerful. The best are a tournament when he applies one of his principles "to give something for the ears and then for the eyes, never both", increasing the effect of the combats, which would have seem even foolish otherwise, and the ending, which is a very shocking one. Because of all that, Lancelot of the Lake is one of the finest films of one of cinema's greatest masters. Mainstream audiences will probably hate it, but one who's eager to see another side of a very known story should see it.

PS: I'm quoting out of memory, so it maybe not be the exacts Bresson's words


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