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A Dirty Knight's Work (1976)

Trial by Combat (original title)
A group of British aristocrats, who call themselves "Knights of Avalon", isn't content with the system of justice and executes judgment themselves. Instead of just killing the people they ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colonel Bertie Cook
Sir Giles Marley
Marion Evans
Sir John Gifford
Ma Gore
Sir Edward Gifford
Sidney Gore
John Savident ...
Oliver Griggs - Police Commissioner
John Hallam ...
Sir Roger
Keith Buckley ...
Neil McCarthy ...
Ben Willoughby
Thomas Heathcote ...
'Blind' Freddie - beggar
Alexander John ...
Diane Langton ...


A group of British aristocrats, who call themselves "Knights of Avalon", isn't content with the system of justice and executes judgment themselves. Instead of just killing the people they believe guilty, they give 'em a chance in traditional combat. When one day Sir Grifford witnesses their sessions, they have to remove him too. His son and heir, Sir John from America, starts to investigate with help from Ms. Marion and Colonel Cook from Scotland Yard. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Choice of Weapons  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,032 (USA) (12 July 2002)


$2,032 (USA) (12 July 2002)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Released in the United Kingdom in a double bill with The Swiss Conspiracy. See more »

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User Reviews

12 June 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

I was faintly surprised that I'd never heard of this film: Made in Britain with John Mills, Donald Pleasance, Peter Cushing, Brian Glover, Bernard Hill, Margaret Leighton, John Savident and that tarty bird from The Rag Trade - it sounds like the kind of film that should be lodged somewhere in the consciousness of a British movie fanatic. Then I watched it and I immediately realised why it has been consigned to the 'forgotten' files of filmdom.

It's silly and it's stupid.

The plot revolves around a group of toffs who dress up as ye knights of olde to off miscreants they feel the justice system has overlooked - usually at the end of a jousting... stick. They then dump the bodies on the same stretch of road within site of Tower Bridge, wrapped in a bright red banner, from a bright yellow vintage Rolls Royce. Donald Pleasance plays the lead baddie and he's probably the best thing about the whole sorry mess. John Mills is the lead good guy (C-lister Burney's there for the American market) and he seems to be the only one who's treating it with the appropriate degree of levity. Watching actors like Mills, Pleasance and Cushing in a film like this really gives you an insight into what a moribund condition the British film industry was in back in the mid-70s: they'd probably have appeared in a Carry On or Confessions film if they'd been asked.

Avoid at all costs unless you really want to see how low the British film industry had sunk in the 70s.

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