Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.
Based on a more realistic portrayal of "Arthur" than has ever been presented onscreen. The film will focus on the history and politics of the period during which Arthur ruled -- when the Roman empire collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries -- as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale on which past Arthur films have focused.Written by
Cerdic invades from the North in the film, but in historical fact, he invaded from the South, as he would later found the kingdom of Wessex. Also, the first Anglo-Saxons did not initially invade; they were invited to Britain to help defend the Britons against raiders from the Irish sea, the Scots, Gaels and Picts. The Battle of Badon hill took place approximately 80 years after the Roman withdraw from Britain in 496 A.D and Baden Hill itself is nowhere near Hadrian's wall, it is much farther South, most likely on the hills surrounding Bath. See more »
By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these ...
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There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »
The film was originally envisioned and shot as an R-rated piece with corresponding graphic violence. However, after the picture had been edited, Disney executives demanded it be changed to a PG-13, hence necessitating a lot of effects work to remove the blood from the battle scenes. Additionally, a number of scenes were removed and rearranged, and some new scenes were added. In total, the Director's Cut runs roughly 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. These additions include:
during the first battle, aside from the additional blood that was digitally removed from the theatrical version, numerous quick shots have been added. These include: Picts dragging Romans off their horses and killing them; a Pict slashing at a horse with his sword, causing it to fall; a Pict decapitating a soldier and holding his head aloft, only to be beheaded himself from behind; a Pict hit with an arrow; a Pict impaled on a spear; a Pict hit in the back with an arrow whilst trying to get to the Bishop; a scene of a Pict being hit in the eye with an arrow; a scene of Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) decapitating a Pict by using his swords like a scissors; a scene of Bors (Ray Winstone) fighting with his 'gloved knives'; a scene of Bors stabbing a Pict in the throat.
after the battle, in the theatrical version, the fake bishop (Bosco Hogan) has an arrow in his chest; in the Director's Cut, it is in his head.
a scene where the knights approach the real Germanius (Ivano Marescotti) with their weapons drawn, before realizing that all is well and sheathing them.
the conversation between Germanius and Arthur (Clive Owen) is longer.
a scene of the knights toasting their fallen comrades at the Round Table.
a scene where Germanius visits the knights as they prepare to leave, and they show him their disapproval of the mission.
the Director's Cut does not contain the scene where the knights sit around a camp fire talking about their prospective lives in Sarmatia.
a scene where some dead soldiers are found on the side of the road.
a conversation between Lancelot and Guinevere (Keira Knightley) about England and the weather.
another conversation between Lancelot and Guinevere, this time at night, where they discuss family and faith. The scene ends with Lancelot telling her he would have left her in the dungeon.
the first conversation between Merlin (Stephen Dillane) and Arthur has been edited differently with different takes used.
a scene of Bors sitting at Dagonet's grave, getting drunk.
the sex scene between Guinevere and Arthur is in a different place in both versions of the film. In the theatrical version, Arthur is seen in full battle armor, examining the broken image of Pelagius, when he is alerted that the Saxons are heading towards Hadrian's Wall. He runs outside, but when he appears, he is hastily putting on his shirt, and his hair is disheveled, thus creating something of a continuity error. The sex scene follows this scene. In the Director's Cut however, after the conversation between Arthur and Guinevere where they discuss his morality, they begin to have sex only to be interrupted with the news of the Saxons. The scene then cuts to Arthur appearing on the wall, putting on his shirt. As such, the scene where he is examining Pelagius's image is absent from the Director's Cut. The scenes have been edited together differently as well, with the sex scene in the Director's Cut being slightly longer than the theatrical version.
a scene where Cynric (Til Schweiger) is demoted for his failure during the ice battle. His frustration is much to Cerdic's (Stellan Skarsgård) amusement.
a scene of the knights leaving Hadrian's Wall amidst hundreds of small fires set by the Saxons.
the scene of the confused Saxons in the fog is longer, with more Saxons being chopped down, including one having his arm severed.
the scene of the sole Saxon survivor (Joe McKinney) running back to the Saxons is longer.
during the final battle, aside from the additional blood that was digitally removed from the theatrical version, numerous quick shots have been added. These include: a scene of a Saxon impaled by an ax in his chest; a scene of Guinevere stabbing a fallen adversary; a scene of a Saxon being stabbed in the throat; a scene of Guinevere stabbing a Saxon in his crotch; a scene of Arthur ramming his sword into a Saxon's throat; a scene of Gawain (Joel Edgerton) being shot in the chest with an arrow and pulling it out; the scene of several female warriors overpowering a Saxon is much longer and more violent as the women begin to literally tear him to pieces; a scene of Tristan (Mads Mikkelsen) slowly approaching Cerdic; a scene of Bors being stabbed in the back but continuing to fight; a scene of Ganis (Charlie Creed-Miles) fighting a Saxon inside the Wall; a scene where a Saxon is stabbed in the face; the battle between Tristan and Cerdic is longer and more graphic; the scene of Lancelot being wounded is in slow motion; the scene of Cerdic's death is longer and includes a new conclusion where he and Lancelot crawl towards one another and Lancelot stabs him through the throat; the fight between Cerdic and Arthur is slightly longer, with Arthur stabbing Cerdic a final time after Cerdic has whispered Arthur's name.
I initially was content with King Arthur's medieval atmosphere and tone, given that I don't mind grey films, which was one criticism. In this case I didn't care that the violence was PG. The acting was adequate although Ray Winstone (Bors) reminded me more of a British Soccer Hooligan.
The film eventually dragged for me and strained my credibility on a number of points. Firstly, I just couldn't see Arthur and his seven or so "knights" single handedly being asked to traipse around the British landscape like some bad gun-slinger/Conan movie (I identified more with Arnold in Conan by the way). Secondly, it made no sense that Arthur kept referring to his cronies as "my knights" since he never actually became king until the end of the movie. Who knighted them and how can an indentured soldier of the Roman Empire have the status of knight? Even a squire has higher status than a slave-soldier. How pretentious can you get?
In the end the movie dragged and I didn't feel the sense of connection Arthur had for his people. It seemed as if he hardly knew them, but was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. The Excalibur explanation also seemed weak and devoid of the meaning that the legend gave it. It seemed almost pointless to include it. I also expected more of Merlin, who really didn't say much or earn his "sorcerer" title. It's unclear, other than Merlin's influence, why the Britons even bothered to make him king. I guess it's possible that he organized the final battle, but you didn't see that in the movie. The only ones he seemed to be motivating were his own buddies, the handful of knights, who for some reason were the only ones who had horses.
In short this film needed more depth and more of a connection between the myth and fact. Instead the screen writer just used the ambiguity of history to make up his own film based on a smattering of general historical facts.
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