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Excalibur (1981)

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Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

Thomas Malory (book), Rospo Pallenberg (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,078 ( 226)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nigel Terry ... King Arthur
Helen Mirren ... Morgana
Nicholas Clay ... Lancelot
Cherie Lunghi ... Guenevere
Paul Geoffrey ... Perceval
Nicol Williamson ... Merlin
Robert Addie Robert Addie ... Mordred
Gabriel Byrne ... Uther Pendragon
Keith Buckley ... Uryens
Katrine Boorman ... Igrayne
Liam Neeson ... Gawain
Corin Redgrave ... Cornwall
Niall O'Brien Niall O'Brien ... Kay
Patrick Stewart ... Leondegrance
Clive Swift ... Ector
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Knights See more »

Filming Locations:

County Kerry, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,519,706, 12 April 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$34,967,437
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Boorman was originally aiming at making a movie based on "The Lord of the Rings". However, he did not acquire the rights, and decided to make this movie instead. See more »

Goofs

During the final battle scene against Mordred, the background audio track of men yelling and swordplay is clearly a re-tread of the Leon De Grance castle battle. In the final battle scene, one can clearly hear the "throw the rope" line that Merlin yells to Arthur from Leon De Grance castle battle, as well as the yell from Arthur as he jumped from the castle into the moat. (00:37:02 same as 02:88:18, 00:40:12 same as 02:09:58). See more »

Quotes

Arthur: Where hides evil in my kingdom, then?
Merlin: Always... where you never expect it. Always.
Gawain: I know where.
Arthur: Where, Sir Gawain?
Gawain: I cannot say.
Arthur: You must speak your heart. You sit at the Round Table. Where is this evil?
Gawain: He's our best... and our bravest... why, then, is he never here? Without Lancelot, this table is nothing! Is there anyone here who doesn't think him a god? And now to be driven from us
[points to Guenevere]
Gawain: by a woman's desire!
Guenevere: In the idleness that comes with peace, I see that gossip has bred ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Darkon (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Siegfried's Funeral Music
from "Die Götterdämmerung"
by Richard Wagner
Specially recorded by London Philharmonic Orchestra (as The London Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Norman Del Mar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excalibur. The best of the King Arthur films.
16 February 2006 | by sinicolsonSee all my reviews

Excalibur is a truly atmospheric film. It has the ability to take you back to the time it depicts, without using sentimentality or rose tinted spectacles. Having seen the film numerous times, I still get more out of it with every viewing. It certainly seemed to start many careers on the right path and many of the actors are very well known now. My only sadness is that Paul Geoffrey and Nigel Terry, two of the main character actors, seem not to have become such household names. They both stand out in the film and to my mind have made it what it is, brilliant. Great direction, production, photography and music. King Arthur himself would have been proud of it.


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