7.4/10
56,410
394 user 116 critic

Excalibur (1981)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,945 ( 150)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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 (Nigel Terry) brought once again to the screen. Uthur Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) 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. Several years later, Arthur, Uthur's bastard son, draws Excalibur and becomes King. Guided by Merlin, Arthur marries Guenevere (Cherie Lunghi) and gathers the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur's evil half-sister Morgana (Dame Helen Mirren) sires a son with him, who may prove to be his downfall. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a King. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Merlin's name appears as "Myrddin" in Welsh tradition. He is partly based on a historical figure, the bard Myrddin Wyllt (Myrddin the Wild), who is also called Myrddin Emrys (Myrddin Ambrosius), Merlinus Caledonensis (Merlin of Caledonia), and Merlin Sylvestris ("of the woods"). The historical Myrrdin was one of the survivors of the defeated side in the Battle of Arfderydd (573) but reportedly went insane following the battle. He supposedly fled into the forest, lived with the animals, and received the gift of prophecy. See more »

Goofs

When Arthur accepts Lancelot's invitation to joust, Arthur's squire carries three lances. Arthur takes a lance from Lancelot's rack and uses this for his first attack. He goes to his squire to collect a lance for the second attack and his squire only has one; what has happened to the other two? See more »

Quotes

Merlin: When a man lies, he murders some part of the world.
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Alternate Versions

The movie was originally put into theatrical release in 1981 as an R-rated film in the USA. Later there was an announcement of a PG rated version, but it was not widely released. The original R-rated cut is 140 minutes. Most home video versions are the R-rated version, but TV and movie channels show the PG cut, making the movie 119 minutes. The R-rated version features about 21 more minutes of graphic sex and violence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: Michael Collins (1996) 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 »

User Reviews

No Richard Gere, guaranteed
22 April 2002 | by KGersenSee all my reviews

This is by far the best Arthurian film offering - sure, sure it gets a bit loopy with the Quest for the Grail, but I'm pretty sure such a Quest would involve some loopiness. The acting is v. good given the material, the atmosphere is strong and the use of Wagner is, at times, inspired. Oh, and there's no Richard Gere looking purty...


52 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

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

Gross USA:

$34,967,437

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,971,136
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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