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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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:

R | See all certifications »

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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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| (edited)

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many actors had been mentioned for the Merlin part including Max von Sydow, Sean Connery and oddest of all, Lee Marvin. The actor who John Boorman wanted most was Donald Sutherland, but he was scheduled to do Ordinary People (1980). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Arthur: Move aside! This is the king's road - and the knights you joined arms against were his very own.
Lancelot: I await the king himself. His knights are in need of training.
Arthur: I am King. And this
[draws the sword]
Arthur: , is Excalibur, sword of kings from the dawn of time. Who are you? What do you seek?
Lancelot: I am Lancelot of the Lake, from across the sea. And I have yet to find a king worthy of my sword.
Arthur: That is a wild boast. You lack a knight's humility!
Lancelot: Not a boast, sir. But a curse. For I have never met my match in ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in V.I.P.: ExValibur (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude to Parsifal
by Richard Wagner
Specially recorded by London Philharmonic Orchestra (as The London Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Norman Del Mar
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Great Film
17 November 2003 | by (Albany, NY) – See all my reviews

I am an Arthurian buff and a film fan (aspiring to be a novelist and a screenwriter). EXCALIBUR is a great, great film that holds up very well after more than 20 years. It is an expert distillation of the essential Arthurian legend (this from someone who has read and re-read Malory's original work, Le Morte D'Arthur, on which the movie was based, as well as Tennyson, White, Steinbeck, and many of the other modern fictional treatments, as well as a lot of the secondary literature on the history and meaning of the Arthur myth). The film is wonderful on many, many levels, from Boorman's masterful direction and writing (along with Pallenberg, his screenwriter), to the cinematography, the armor and costumes, the sets and production design, and the acting (with a great cast too numerous to mention). The film has violence, sex, myth, drama, intrigue, heroics, pathos, and aspirations to art, all in the best senses of those terms. The film probably works best if you already have some sort of sense of the Arthur legends, but I would recommend it to anyone. Also, listen to Boorman's director's commentary on the DVD. Perhaps the best and most lucid DVD commentary that I have heard on video; interesting and sharp comments throughout the entire film, and well worth replaying if you aspire to filmmaking in any way, or just want to hear a smart filmmaker talk about his work. I have tried to write Arthurian stories and an Arthurian script, but all have so far paled in comparison to Boorman and Pallenberg's work. Long live Boorman and long live EXCALIBUR!


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