A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hallam ...
Peter Eyre ...
Sydney Bromley ...
Chloe Salaman ...
Emrys James ...
Roger Kemp ...
Brother Jacopus
Ken Shorter ...
Yolande Palfrey ...
Douglas Cooper ...


A King has made a pact with a dragon where he sacrfices virgins to it, and the dragon leaves his kingdom alone. An old wizard, and his keen young apprentice volunteer to kill the dragon and attempt to save the next virgin in line - the Kings own daughter. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El verdugo de dragones  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$6,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(some 35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To create the dragon fire, the FX team used a pair of military-style flamethrowers. See more »


In the Paramount Widescreen Collection edition during the lottery scene the man drawing the tiles reads the name "Princess Elspeth Ophelus; Filia Regis". Filia Regis is Latin for "Daughter of the King". The subtitles read differently, instead of Filia Regis it reads "Clearly outrageous". See more »


Casiodorus Rex: [Elspeth is preparing to sacrifice herself to Vermithrax] ... You... Tyrian... surely you'll do something. If not for me... out of loyalty to the kingdom.
Tyrian: But that's just it, Your Majesty. My first loyalty is... loyalty to the kingdom.
See more »


Referenced in Napoleon Dynamite (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just watched the DVD...
22 October 2003 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

The Disney company took a lot of heat from angry parents because many thought this co-production with Paramount was going to be "a Disney movie" (if you follow me), and nowhere as intense as it turned out to be to their freaked-out children! I never saw this in theaters; I first saw this years ago, when it was on TV. With its DVD release I decided to take another look at it, since it was in widescreen and I could see it uncut.

The movie has a lot going for it. The look of it is great - the locations impress and chill you at the same time, the sets (especially the cave interior) are detailed, and some of the dragon special effects are great, beating a lot of similar effects done with computer graphics nowadays. The story had some interesting (and unexpected!) plot turns.

However, while the movie is a good rainy day viewing, I didn't feel it to be much more than that. Minor stuff first. While some of the dragon special effects were good, there were others (mainly when the dragon was flying or crawling) that looked pretty bad. I don't know if it was because of the source print (clearly Paramount didn't bother to restore the movie, given there are some visible scratches in some parts), but on my TV screen the dragon in those sequences looked badly superimposed, and actually *worse* than some computer graphics nowadays!

The biggest problem I had with the movie (and the reason why I think the movie was a box-office failure) is that there are no real strong and compelling characters. The youthful hero (and his eventual girlfriend) don't have that much depth and personality. There are signs that some character development (not just of those two characters) got cut out, given the abruptness of a few scenes. As well, I couldn't really figure out just was what propelling that evil henchman knight character to do all that evil stuff he was doing. Also, the mountaintop climatic fight somehow lacked a good amount of punch, with an ending that was more like a whimper than anything else.

12 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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