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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
2,040 ( 224)
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 ... 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 »

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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

Most of the forest scenes and Excalibur (the sword) were backlit by green lights, giving it a magical quality. See more »

Goofs

When Perceval is about to defend the queen in combat, he and Sir Gawain are shown bearing shields with the same device. As heraldic devices were supposed to be unique to an individual, this should not be possible. Further, the device shown is that later attributed to Sir Lancelot, therefore Sir Gawain would never use such a shield. See more »

Quotes

Uther: Merlin! You come when you're not asked, and pay no heed when I call you!
Merlin: Oh, I have slept... for nine moons. What I did for you wasn't easy. Now, you must pay me. The child is mine, Uther... you swore an oath.
Uther: They were hasty words, Merlin. This is flesh and blood!
Igrayne: Uther, is this true? Don't let him take the child!
Uther: I swore an oath, Igrayne. I made a pact with Merlin.
Igrayne: It was you; *you* came to me that night! YOU ARE THE FATHER!
Uther: To kill and be King... is that all?
Merlin: Perhaps not even that.
Uther: You ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 20 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Version of Arthur the King (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

O Fortuna
from Carmina Burana
by Carl Orff
Performed by Rundfunkblasorchester Leipzig (as The Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra) and Rundfunkchor Leipzig (as The Leipzig Radio Chorus)
Conducted by Herbert Kegel
Courtesy of Polygram Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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