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King Arthur (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 7 July 2004 (USA)
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A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Director:

Antoine Fuqua

Writer:

David Franzoni
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Popularity
1,434 ( 292)
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen ... Arthur
Ioan Gruffudd ... Lancelot
Mads Mikkelsen ... Tristan
Joel Edgerton ... Gawain
Hugh Dancy ... Galahad
Ray Winstone ... Bors
Ray Stevenson ... Dagonet
Keira Knightley ... Guinevere
Stephen Dillane ... Merlin
Stellan Skarsgård ... Cerdic
Til Schweiger ... Cynric
Sean Gilder ... Jols
Pat Kinevane Pat Kinevane ... Horton
Ivano Marescotti Ivano Marescotti ... Bishop Germanius
Ken Stott ... Marius Honorius
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Storyline

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 Scott Summerton

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Untold True Story That Inspired The Legend See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, a scene of sensuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Ireland

Release Date:

7 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Knights of the Roundtable See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,193,907, 11 July 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$51,882,244, 21 December 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$203,567,857, 31 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (DTS HD Master Audio 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound)| Dolby Digital (Dolby Digital 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound)| SDDS (8 channels) (5.1 Surround Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The horse ridden by Bors (Ray Winstone) in the film is the same horse that was ridden by Maximus (Russell Crowe) in Gladiator (2000). See more »

Goofs

In the final battle, a single Saxon survivor from the group sent inside Hadrian's wall partially opens the gate. The shot changes to inside the wall and the gate is fully open. A following shot has the Saxon army moving forward toward the wall and the gate is now closed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lancelot: [voiceover] 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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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »

Alternate Versions

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:
  • the scene where young Lancelot (Elliot Henderson-Boyle) leaves his village in longer.
  • a scene of young Arthur (Shane Murray-Corcoran) with his mother (Stephanie Putson), and then a scene where he discusses freedom with Pelagius (Owen Teale) whilst he watches the young Lancelot arrive on the hilltop.
  • 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.
  • an aerial shot of Hadrian's Wall
  • a scene where Dagonet (Ray Stevenson) is buried.
  • 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.
See more »

Connections

Version of First Knight (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Me Now (What You See)
Written by Hans Zimmer and Maire Brennan (as Moya Brennan)
Produced by Trevor Horn and Mel Wesson
Performed by Maire Brennan (as Moya Brennan)
Courtesy of Universal Music International
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fresh Look On An Old Theme
4 August 2004 | by lillian.leeSee all my reviews

And I loved it!

Not just the new take on the King Arthur legend and the able cast, but the colors, the costumes, the landscapes, the horses, and Hans Zimmer's heart-pounding score.

I'm no King Arthur scholar but I have always been enamored with the chivalric ideals. It's great to see the knights in shining armor and Merlin conjuring up the mists and casting spells, and the young Arthur pulling Excalibur out of the stone.

But I went into this movie with an open mind. I was swiftly transported to that earlier time and happy for the journey. I could see where the elements of the now oh-so-familiar Arthurian themes may have had their beginnings. I found the on-screen chemistry between Ioan Gruffod and Clive Owen to be very powerful and it provided poignant counterpoint to Lancelot's most fateful choice.

The love triangle was never my favorite part of the Arthurian legends, so the subtle treatment of it here didn't bother me at all. In fact, I found it more intriguing in this film than in any other King Arthur movie I've seen.

I loved that there was no hocus-pocus-type magic. Instead the magic was in nature itself - the landscapes, the forests, the rain, the fog, the ice and snow - all creating an other-worldly atmosphere along with Moya Brennan's haunting vocals and Hans Zimmer's stirring score.

I loved the knights. I loved the idea that they were just regular guys and, in effect, drafted into military service. Not the privileged elite who volunteered their services to a king. Yet it is apparent that the Sarmatian knights fought more out of their love and respect for Arthur than any duty to Rome. That comraderie feels very organic and the sentiments, pure. I liked that they're not all wearing the same uniform, that they might have picked up pieces here and there as spoils of war.

I was especially captivated by Mads Mikkelson's Tristan. There appeared to be Eastern influences in his tattoos, clothing, sword, and fighting style. I love the idea of Lancelot using two swords. And I learned something about battlefield strategy, too.

Whatever shortcomings this movie may have, I found heart and soul in it. It was not only entertaining, it touched all my senses, and I felt good when I walked out of the theatre.


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