6.7/10
12,568
111 user 61 critic

Dragonslayer (1981)

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

Director:

Matthew Robbins
Reviews
Popularity
3,835 ( 99)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter MacNicol ... Galen
Caitlin Clarke ... Valerian
Ralph Richardson ... Ulrich
John Hallam ... Tyrian
Peter Eyre ... Casiodorus Rex
Albert Salmi ... Greil
Sydney Bromley ... Hodge
Chloe Salaman ... Princess Elspeth
Emrys James Emrys James ... Valerian's Father
Roger Kemp Roger Kemp ... Horsrik
Ian McDiarmid ... Brother Jacopus
Ken Shorter Ken Shorter ... Henchman
Jason White ... Henchman
Yolande Palfrey Yolande Palfrey ... Victim
Douglas Cooper Douglas Cooper ... Urlander
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Storyline

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 <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El verdugo de dragones See more »

Filming Locations:

North Wales, Wales, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,407,939, 28 June 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,110,013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,914,786
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Vistasonic (some 35 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film to use go-motion, a variant of stop-motion animation in which parts of the model (in this case, the dragon) were mechanized and the movement programmed by computer. During shooting, the computer moves the model while the camera is shooting, resulting in motion blur, which makes the animation more convincing. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Casiodorus Rex: [Elspeth is preparing to sacrifice herself to Vermithrax] ... You... Tyrian... surely you'll do something. If not for me... out of loyalty to the kingdom.
Tyrian: But that's just it, Your Majesty. My first loyalty is... loyalty to the kingdom.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great fantasy movie.
9 August 2004 | by Shawn WatsonSee all my reviews

Fantasy movies such as this are non-existent these days. Gimme back the days of The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson and the Gremlins. For a family movie this is also very straight-faced too. There is not much humor in it, but that only adds to the overall weird tone.

The story is of a wizard apprentice called Galen (a very young Peter MacNicol) who goes on a quest to slaughter a Dragon terrorizing the people of Urland (Ireland maybe?). There are long moments of quiet and a strange atmosphere brewing around the whole movie. It looks and feels quite unique.

No doubt this is owed a lot to the fabulous widescreen compositions, visual effects that range from not bad to surprisingly good and stunning scenery and locations. Indeed the mood of this film is something I've never come across in a fantasy film. Plus for a film that is rated a simple PG, there was quite a lot of graphic gore, violence and even slight nudity. Surprising, but it adds to the boldness of the production. You would never get a family movie like this these days. I will take Dragonslayer over Harry Potter anytime.

Filmed in Panavision, the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture looks really great in most scenes but in others there is a small problem with the black levels. The soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby 5.1 and it is surely loud and forceful. Unfortunately there are ZERO extras. Which is a shame, because for a film like this, I really want more.


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