IMDb > Excalibur (1981)
Excalibur
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Excalibur (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Excalibur -- Medieval times are brought to vivid life in stylish retelling of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and the rise and fall of Camelot. Starring Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart.
Excalibur -- A spirited accounting of one of the most obscure periods of the world's history. This reprisal is magical in its execution and gives its audience something to watch.
Excalibur -- Another retelling of the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   43,326 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Thomas Malory (book)
Rospo Pallenberg (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Excalibur on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 April 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
No mortal could possess it! No kingdom could command it! See more »
Plot:
Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the round table of Camelot even as forces conspire to tear it apart Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(215 articles)
Arrow Films announces Blu-ray slate for September
 (From Flickeringmyth. 11 June 2015, 9:00 PM, PDT)

Liam Neeson's Top 10 Roles
 (From Cineplex. 7 June 2015, 8:00 AM, PDT)

John Boorman in flashback by Richard Mowe
 (From eyeforfilm.co.uk. 5 June 2015, 9:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Excellent battle scenes. Well worth seeing. See more (329 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Nigel Terry ... King Arthur

Helen Mirren ... Morgana
Nicholas Clay ... Lancelot

Cherie Lunghi ... Guenevere

Paul Geoffrey ... Perceval

Nicol Williamson ... Merlin
Robert Addie ... Mordred

Gabriel Byrne ... Uther Pendragon
Keith Buckley ... Uryens

Katrine Boorman ... Igrayne

Liam Neeson ... Gawain

Corin Redgrave ... Cornwall
Niall O'Brien ... Kay

Patrick Stewart ... Leondegrance

Clive Swift ... Sir Hector

Ciarán Hinds ... Lot (as Ciarin Hinds)
Liam O'Callaghan ... Sadok
Michael Muldoon ... Astamor

Charley Boorman ... Boy Mordred
Gerard Mannix Flynn ... Mordred's Lieutenant (as Mannix Flynn)
Garrett Keogh ... Mador
Emmet Bergin ... Ulfus
Barbara Byrne ... Young Morgana
Brid Brennan ... Lady in Waiting
Kay McLaren ... Aged Morgana
Eamon A. Kelly ... Abbot (as Eamonn Kelly)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilary Joyalle ... Lady of the Lake (uncredited)
Prudence Wright Holmes ... Sunshine (uncredited)

Directed by
John Boorman 
 
Writing credits
Thomas Malory (book "Le Morte d'Arthur")

Rospo Pallenberg (adaptation)

Rospo Pallenberg (screenplay) and
John Boorman (screenplay)

Produced by
John Boorman .... producer
Michael Dryhurst .... associate producer
Robert A. Eisenstein .... executive producer
Edgar F. Gross .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Trevor Jones 
 
Cinematography by
Alex Thomson 
 
Film Editing by
John Merritt 
Donn Cambern (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Mary Selway 
 
Production Design by
Anthony Pratt 
 
Art Direction by
Tim Hutchinson 
 
Set Decoration by
Bryan Graves 
 
Costume Design by
Bob Ringwood 
 
Makeup Department
Anna Dryhurst .... makeup artist
Anne Dunne .... hair stylist
Anne McFadyen .... hair stylist
Basil Newall .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jack Phelan .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Barry Blackmore .... assistant director
Robert Dwyer-Joyce .... second assistant director
John Lawlor .... second assistant director
Peter MacDonald .... second unit director
Andrew Montgomery .... second assistant director
Ted Morley .... second assistant director
David Murphy .... second assistant director
Martin O'Malley .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Trisha Edwards .... production buyer
Bob Hedges .... property master
Joe Lear .... master plasterer
Joe Lee .... construction manager
John Lucas .... associate art director
Owen Murnane .... master painter
Paddy Murray .... property man
Mario Novelli .... model maker (as Anthony Freeman)
David Rayner .... property man
Mervyn Rowe .... scenic artist
Bertram Tyrer .... associate art director
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Cos Egan .... set dresser (uncredited)
Mark Hedges .... trainee propman (uncredited)
Owen Monaghan .... set dresser (uncredited)
Brian Muir .... sculptor (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Pat Brennan .... assistant sound editor
Tom Curran .... sound recordist
Ron Davis .... sound editor
John Fortune .... boom operator
Tony Message .... dialogue editor
Doug E. Turner .... sound mixer (as Doug Turner)
Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Michael Doyle .... special effects
Peter Hutchinson .... special effects
Gerry Johnston .... special effects
Alan Whibley .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Wally Veevers .... special optical effects
 
Stunts
Ken Byrne .... stunts
Dominick Hewitt .... stunt double
Paul Kelly .... stunts
Chris King .... stunts
James McHale .... stunts
Ed McShortall .... stunts
Donal O'Farrell .... stunts
Bernard O'Hare .... stunts
Peter Spelman .... stunts
Alan Walsh .... stunts
Alan Walsh .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Brewster .... assistant camera
John Campbell .... assistant camera
Jack Conroy .... electrical supervisor
Louis Conroy .... electrician
Terry Eiffe .... electrician
Derek Hate .... electrician
Martin Holland .... electrician
Peter MacDonald .... photographer: second unit
Shane O'Neill .... assistant camera
Luke Quigley .... camera grip
Bob Smith .... camera operator
Arnaud Sélignac .... still photographer
Peter Versey .... assistant camera
Mike Fox .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Jon Sorensen .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Des Whelan .... second assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Daryl Bristow .... wardrobe master
Janet O'Leary .... wardrobe mistress
 
Editorial Department
Michael Kelliher .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Trevor Jones .... conductor: original music
Dick Lewzey .... music recording engineer (as Richard Lewzey)
John Richards .... music recording engineer
John A. Coleman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation manager
 
Other crew
Terry Baker .... stand-by crew
Philip Bernon .... rider
Telsche Boorman .... general assistant
Richard Collins .... rider
Seamus Collins .... rider
Con Cremins .... assistant accountant
Joe Cullen .... rider
Barry Cunningham .... stand-by crew
Daithi Curren .... rider
Tony Doyle .... rider
Terry English .... armorer
Nick Fitzpatrick .... armorer
Martin Forrestal .... stand-by crew
Donal Fortune .... rider
David Gavaghan .... rider
Beryl Harvey .... production assistant
William Hobbs .... fight arranger
Neil Jordan .... creative associate
Eddie Kennedy .... rider
Peter Leicht .... armorer
Tom Lundy .... stand-by crew
Marie McFerran .... production assistant
Bronco McLoughlin .... rider (as Bronco McLaughlin)
Kevin Moriarty .... location manager
Michael O'Farrell .... rider
Ray O'Toole .... rider
Michael Rowland .... horse master
Jean Skinner .... continuity
Arthur Tarry .... production accountant
Steve Tidiman .... armorer
Anthony Van Laast .... choreographer
Christy Yourell .... stand-by crew
Wayne Docksey .... animal wrangler (uncredited)
Craig Miller .... marketing consultant (uncredited)
Philip Sharpe .... technician (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
140 min | USA:119 min (edited version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Iceland:12 | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Ireland:15 | Peru:14 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 (cable rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R | USA:PG (cut) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The scene in the woods at night where Merlin is with the young Arthur was shot on a set so the animals featured could be controlled.See more »
Goofs:
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Full plate metal armor was not invented until about the year 1350, and not used in Europe until much later than that. Numerous such anachronisms (use of stirrups, weaponry) can be excused as being faithful to Sir Thomas Malory's book, which followed 15th-century conventions of making historical characters behave in a contemporary way.See more »
Quotes:
Merlin:The future has taken root in the present.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Prelude to Tristan and IsoldeSee more »

FAQ

Is this film based on a book?
Why does Merlin have armor on his head?
Where were the forests located?
See more »
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Excellent battle scenes. Well worth seeing., 13 September 2001
Author: MikeA from Isle of Man, British Isles

John Boorman's semi-adaptation of La Morte D'Arthur may come as something of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one, as the usually glamorised and fanciful tale is furnished in grimly realistic fashion. The armour, weapons and castles all look very authentic, and indeed it is in the battle sequences that the film excels, especially due to the stirring music selected to accompany each pivotal scene.

Purists will doubtless find plenty to frown and ‘tut' about, but doing justice to the Arthurian legends in film is a monumental task and Boorman delivers a true classic. Acting is fine, although dialogue is shouted more than spoke, and delivered with all the subtlety of a flanged mace. Nicol Williamson stands out in particular as the creepy Merlin, but it's fun to see Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson paving their ways to future stardom.

Of course, if the film has any reputation at all it is with its vicious battle scenes, which are still gory even today. They are, it has to be said, very welcome, because without the depictions of desperate, hand-to-hand battle, you might start comparing it with First Knight – which would be something close to sacrilege.

My older DVD copy looks fine but sounds a bit tinny, so it's with some annoyance I see there's a special edition out now, which presumably has had the full restoration work done on it. If you haven't seen Excalibur but have an interest in the subject (and hated First Knight), you should certainly give it a try.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (329 total) »

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Extended cut Darcsyde01
Documentary 'Behind the Sword in the Stone' fortean2
Monty Python carl-norquist
Interview with John Boorman from 2011 robert-552
Things You Learned from watching Excalibur Darth_Ferior
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