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Dragonslayer (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  26 June 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 10,188 users  
Reviews: 102 user | 57 critic

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


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Title: Dragonslayer (1981)

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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It was a magical time but darkness rule the land. A young apprentice sorcerer faces a terrifying quest - he must destroy the fire-breathing Vermithax. For he is the . . . [Australia] See more »


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?


Film debut of Peter MacNicol. See more »


During the scene in which the wizard teleports himself to the mountaintop for the final battle, thunder continually rumbles under a clear sky in the soundtrack even though the wizard hasn't yet magically summoned the electrical storm (which he will do in a few moments). See more »


[Galen has interrupted the sacrifice of Princess Elspeth to the dragon, scaring everyone away except for Tyrian]
Tyrian: I knew I'd find you here. Well, I'm not as sentimental as his majesty. The kingdom, everyone of us, needs this sacrifice. If you intend to interfere, you'll have to kill me.
Galen: I've plenty of reasons to kill you that have nothing to do with this sacrifice.
See more »


Referenced in Napoleon Dynamite (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Now THAT'S what I call a dragon!!!
30 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With the name Disney attached to a sword and sorcery/fantasy romp, many genre purists might be filled with immediate consternation as they visualise in horror the possible 'cute' connotations.

Fortuitously, the understandable apprehension that this may well induce actually proves to be entirely unfounded however, as this movie is about as far from Pete's Dragon or any other Disney fare as is humanly imaginable!

What we do have here, is an excellent movie with top notch production values, awesome special effects, a fine cast, and a very dark story.

The dragon itself is without doubt the best ever committed to celluloid (a much better design than the CGI one in Dragonheart) and proves to be hugely menacing and destructive as it incinerates everything in it's path.

The actors to, all put in excellent performances and it's particularly great to see such a fine piece of casting in the form of the late great Sir Ralph Richardson as the wizard Ulrich. In fact for such a role there has surely never been a more appropriate choice of actor other than of course, Peter Jackson casting Sir Ian McKellen to play Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

For fans of sword & sorcery and fantasy movies in general, this really is an absolute must see!

31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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