IMDb > Lancelot of the Lake (1974)
Lancelot du Lac
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Lancelot of the Lake (1974) More at IMDbPro »Lancelot du Lac (original title)


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Robert Bresson (written by)
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Release Date:
26 September 1974 (France) See more »
A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Monty Python mocked this, but that doesn't mean it's a "bad" movie See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Robert Bresson 
Writing credits
Robert Bresson (written by)

Produced by
Jean-Pierre Rassam .... executive producer
François Rochas .... executive producer
Alfredo Bini .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Philippe Sarde 
Cinematography by
Pasqualino De Santis (director of photography) (as Pasqualino de Santis)
Film Editing by
Germaine Artus  (as Germaine Lamy)
Production Design by
Pierre Charbonnier 
Set Decoration by
Jean Boulet 
Makeup Department
Éliane Marcus .... key makeup artist (as Eliane Marcus)
Production Management
Michel Choquet .... production manager
Jean Pieuchot .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Baroody .... second assistant director
Gilles Berault .... second assistant director
Bernard Cohn .... second assistant director
Mylène Van der Mersch .... first assistant director
Art Department
Pierre Cadiou .... assistant production designer
Michel Suné .... property master (as Michel Sune)
Sound Department
Bernard Bats .... sound
Jacques Carrère .... sound mixer (as Jacques Carrere)
Daniel Couteau .... foley artist
Bernard Rochut .... boom operator
Special Effects by
Alain Bryce .... special effects
Leslie Gilles .... special effects assistant
Billy Callaway .... armourer
Yvan Chiffre .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean Chiabaut .... camera operator
Mario Cimini .... camera operator
Jacques Dorot .... assistant camera
Dominique Le Rigoleur .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Raymonde Ventura .... costumer
Editorial Department
Arlette Lalande .... assistant editor
Other crew
Claude Bertonazzi .... production accountant
Alfredo Bini .... presenter: Italian version
Robert Chevereau .... production accountant
Blanche Cochet .... production secretary
Geneviève Cortier .... script supervisor
Jean-Pierre Rassam .... presenter
Jean Yanne .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Lancelot du Lac" - France (original title)
See more »
Hong Kong:85 min | Argentina:88 min | USA:85 min | France:85 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Richard Linklater's director of photography Lee Daniel states that this films' long tracking shots had a great influence on the long takes in "Slacker".See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the knight is stabbed in the gut, the blood is visibly coming from the sword instead of the wound.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Wear (2015)See more »


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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Monty Python mocked this, but that doesn't mean it's a "bad" movie, 18 February 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Camelot. The Holy Grail. Lancelot. Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, Guinevere. They're all here, ripped right from the pages of history and countlessly re-told versions of the King Arthur mythology/history and made into, yes, a film by Robert Bresson. This means that those who want just a meaty action movie aren't going to be entirely happy with what they see, particularly because of its promise literally in the first minute of the film has some explicit, rampant bloodshed. It was indeed what spurred on the "It's only a flesh wound" scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And unlike the Python gang, Bresson plays it with such a straight face one will think straight away that this might be the most bloody of all of the Arthurian pieces of cinema.

It is, I should report, not that really. Oh sure, when it comes time to it, like in the last five minutes, there is quite a good deal of it, and shown in that matter-of-fact approach that gives a clinical fascination as in any Bresson picture. But you may also notice that the film has no stars that are actual "stars", or even actors for that matter (this was Luc Simon, playing the title character, in his only screen appearance), and this was the commonality with Bresson. This is what makes Lancelot of the Lake one of Bresson's most challenging pictures even for someone who respects and admires his work ("loves" may be too strong a word to associate), since it's still taking something that is kind of a fable or legend, something a child could understand with the essentials at bedtime, and does his stripping away as in stripping away the soul to the bone, so to speak.

This doesn't mean anything is taken away from the story, per-say, but it's the way he goes about it. Take the jousting tournament as a prime example. It's not shot at all in a conventional style, even if the pieces appear to be there. We get a shot of a bagpipe playing, but at an odd angle. We get maybe a shot of a knight gearing up to run. Then a cutaway to the the specific knight spectators as the joust is done off-camera. Then many shots of the horses hoofs going around, their eyes, flags waving high. It's like a puzzle that is pieced together in front of you that you can quite put together yourself. The only star of Lancelot of the Lake is Bresson himself, and goes about giving us the details of the aftermath of the failed quest for the Holy Grail with a limited scope of drama. It's about the people, but it's also about a sense of place without much hope, of a God that is cruel and dark and cold, of which Lancelot and his ilk failed to grasp a taste of from their aborted quest.

So while the film drips and oozes with incredible atmosphere, and while it's filmed beautifully and the story, with some exceptions, is presented without too much pretension, it's not for a mainstream "Braveheart" kind of crowd. I don't meant this to put down the film, or even the audience. Maybe some who are more attuned to being enamored with the period and history and Arthurian mythology will gobble it up. Others may end up finding out why Monty Python struck such rich gold out of something that did, at the least, take itself seriously enough to mock. But it is a very interesting picture, one with a question or two posed to legend itself and what it amounts to. I wasn't enthralled by it as an action picture (even if a few times Bresson surprisingly does pretty well with suspense), but rather as a moral tale pulled apart, of what men who've sacrificed themselves to something already feel and do when at the whim of Lancelot or Arthur, or God. It is, and I mean this as a compliment, hauntingly ponderous.

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