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Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984)

Gawain was a squire in King Arthur's court when the Green Knight burst in and offered to play a game with a brave knight. No knights stand to defend their king's honor. Except for the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Linet (as Cyrielle Claire)
The King
Wilfrid Brambell ...
Bruce Lidington ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
Brian Coburn ...
Friar Vosper
Morgan La Fay


Gawain was a squire in King Arthur's court when the Green Knight burst in and offered to play a game with a brave knight. No knights stand to defend their king's honor. Except for the valiant Gawain. After being quickly knighted Gawain plays the game, but learns that it's all a trick, and he has lost. But the Green Knight shows mercy, letting Gawain grow a year older before having to face the consequences. Gawain journeys across the land, learning about life, saving damsels, and solving the Green Knight's riddle. Written by Sean Kilby and Jason Parker <gestalt@ix.netcom.com>

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Release Date:

17 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sword of the Valiant  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie is based on the 14th Century poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" although the story is markedly different. See more »


Camera and sound equipment shadows fall across Gawain and the Baron during their sword fight in the pit. See more »


Sir Gawain: Does your mother know you do this?
See more »

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User Reviews

A Magnificent, Humorous, Fantastic Vision
14 July 2001 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Yes, this film has weaknesses, notably Miles O'Keefe in the lead. It doesn't really hurt the film, being a hero type role, but it doesn't help, either. The film is a collection of episodes in a year of Gawain's life, which cycles through four seasons in the pattern of the Green Knight's life. The sense of time is rather peculiar, and it's unclear how Gawain rejoins his squire after visiting Leonesse, yet somehow it all fits. The film builds its vignettes around the game of the Green Knight's four part riddle. The film seems to have been botched in the editing room a bit, as the script is excellent, though with a great deal of joke cracking, notably one about a corkscrew that gets repeated an extra time, although it's the only one of the jokes that could be considered camp.

The film is sumptuously photographed, and the cast and the sets are wonderful to look at. Weeks planned to incorporate footage from _Gawain and the Green Knight_, but everything that the producers took out of that film they destroyed, this time hampered again by producers, who denied him final cut and forced him to cast O'Keefe after _Tarzan the Ape Man_ proved a box office success, despite being universally loathed.

The music score is rousing, but it was done on a computer, and so the timbres seem jarring. The humor and makeup effects are obviously jarring to some. Also jarring is the bright yellow bars letterboxing the credits of the video version. While the film suffers from being preserved only in pan and scan, I couldn't wait for the letterboxing to end since it makes the opening sequence more difficult to watch with the yellow glaring at you.

Don't let the bad reviews of this film dissuade you. This is a thoughtful film, buggered in the production process, but much of its glory still shines through. Know going in its a semi-comedy, and that some of the cast, including the aforementioned O'Keefe and Cyrielle, who is lovely but had to have all her lines dubbed, being a French speaker, and the likelihood you'll appreciate this film will go up. Most of the film works so well that I focused on that rather than its weaknesses. I also picked up Weeks's _Madhouse Mansion_ in the same closeout sale (Video Update went into Chapter 11 and is selling off the inventory from most of their stores in the area). That film has been equally poorly received by IMDb users, yet I have read (in _Video Watchdog_) that it is his best work. After having seen this, I hope to list it among the greatest film ever made. This is certainly one of the most entertaining fantasies I've seen in a long time. The other reviews I see here sound like reviews for _Wizards of the Lost Kingdom_ except that they mention Connery's Green Knight, which is certainly impressive. Other than that, it seems like we saw different films.

An entertaining film with weaknesses is still an entertaining film if it makes you think and rouses your spirits. Could have been better, but unquestionably worth seeing.

18 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Two words to describe.... z_domingue
Good Movie samraisor
The Green Knight's poem? waltrips
It's like a porno without the sex scenes Abe_Phroman
I actually love this movie... kardio
Another reason it's bad jeffmac2112

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