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Excalibur (1981)

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the round table of Camelot even as forces conspire to tear it apart

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(book), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Geoffrey ...
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Robert Addie ...
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Niall O'Brien ...
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Storyline

The myth of King Arthur brought once again to the screen. Uthur Pendragon is given the mystical sword Excalibur by the wizard Merlin. At his death Uthur buries the sword into a stone, and the next man that can pull it out will be King of England. Years later Arthur, Uthur's bastard son draws Excalibur and becomes king. Guided by Merlin, Arthur marries Guenivere and gathers the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur's evil half-sister Morgana sires a son with him, who may prove his downfall. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No mortal could possess it! No kingdom could command it! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Knights  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson were initially reluctant to work with each other, as they had both been in a disastrous production of "Macbeth" and were not on speaking terms. John Boorman cast them because their natural animosity would be perfect. See more »

Goofs

During the wedding scene, the camera is reflected in Arthur's armor. See more »

Quotes

Arthur: [of Lancelot] Will he live?
Merlin: Oh, yes.
Arthur: Will Guinevere...?
Merlin: Yes.
Arthur: Merlin, will I ever have a son?
Merlin: Yes.
Arthur: No riddles? Nothing but a simple "yes"? That frightens me.
Merlin: But a King should be afraid, Arthur, always... of the enemy. Waiting, everywhere. In the corridors of his castle, on the deer-paths of his forests, or in a more tangled forest... in here.
[taps his head with his finger]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Xcalibur 2 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

O Fortuna
from Carmina Burana
by Carl Orff
Performed by The Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Conducted by Herbert Kegel
Courtesy of Polygram Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best rendition of the Arthur legend
26 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is certainly the best version of the Arthur legend there is. The worst thing about new versions of old British legends are the fact they are often made by and starring Americans, and they often don't even make an attempt at a English accent (First Knight, Prince of Thieves etc) and these make them seem really stupid.

Merlin was a decent enough series, but a little too kiddy and straying from the works of Mallory.

The acting is rock solid, the effects although poor (it's 1981, let's be fair) don't really matter since they aren't integral to the story. This is about a quest and magic and swords and knights, not about special effects.

I own it on video and watch it now and again, and I hope that if Boorman ever makes Knight's Castle that he brings back Nicol Williamson as Merlin, because he's just too good in that role (despite the fact he must be really getting on by now).

Watch the movie, enjoy the legend!


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