Excalibur

Excalibur

4.5 15
Director: John Boorman

Cast: John Boorman, Nigel Terry, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay

     
 

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John Boorman directed this gloriously savage interpretation of Arthurian legend loosely based on Thomas Malory's novel Le Morte d'Arthur. By turns gleaming and filthy, tender and bloody, the film is a visually stunning epic which is never less than compelling. Nigel Terry is perfectly cast as Arthur, whose unwavering trust and faith are shown to be both quietlySee more details below

Overview

John Boorman directed this gloriously savage interpretation of Arthurian legend loosely based on Thomas Malory's novel Le Morte d'Arthur. By turns gleaming and filthy, tender and bloody, the film is a visually stunning epic which is never less than compelling. Nigel Terry is perfectly cast as Arthur, whose unwavering trust and faith are shown to be both quietly heroic and achingly naïve. Interestingly, the quest for the Grail is the least effective part of the film, despite bold cinematography by Alex Thomson (who was nominated for an Oscar) and a fine performance by Paul Geoffrey as Perceval, whose greatest desire is attained in his dying sight. It is the scenes of Camelot in which Boorman is at his most effective, as Arthur is betrayed by the burning passions of Guenevere (Cherie Lunghi) and Lancelot (Nicholas Clay), whose boiling internal forces cannot be denied, whatever the cost. The wicked Mordred (Robert Addie) and Morgana (Helen Mirren) are commanding when onscreen, and Nicol Williamson's performance as the grandiosely self-sacrificing Merlin is outstanding. Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart also appear in this dense, passionate, and stirring triumph featuring a marvelous Trevor Jones score. The gruesome effects by Peter Hutchinson and Alan Whibley, however, and sights such as a knight having sex in full body armor make this a fairy tale strictly for adults.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of the most ambitious, lavish productions of the Arthurian legend (as set forth in Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte d'Arthur), Excalibur largely fulfills its lofty pretenses. This is not a child's fairy tale, and director John Boorman fashions a violent, sexual world of swords, sorcerers, and seducers. Excalibur is a visual marvel, garnering Alex Thomson a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his cinematography (only the widescreen version of the film does his work justice). Boorman filmed in the lush hills of Ireland, and the movie is suffused with a misty, poetic feel that suits the tone of the material. The principals are generally stellar, and a variety of future leading men can be glimpsed in the supporting cast, including Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Stewart, and Liam Neeson. This is a big movie in every sense, and sometimes Boorman's desire to include everything in the film overwhelms him: the quest for the Holy Grail, for example, may strike some as confusing. Excalibur has detractors as enthusiastic as its fans, which can be said of any work as ambitious as this grandiose spectacle of a film.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/08/2011
UPC:
0883929167982
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:21:00
Sales rank:
16,789

Special Features

Commentary by director John Boorman

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nigel Terry King Arthur
Nicol Williamson Merlin
Nicholas Clay Lancelot
Helen Mirren Morgana
Cherie Lunghi Guenevere
Paul Geoffrey Perceval
Robert Addie Mordred
Gabriel Byrne Uther
Keith Buckley Uryens
Katrine Boorman Igrayne
Liam Neeson Gawain
Corin Redgrave Cornwall
Emmet Bergin Actor
Niall O'Brien Kay
Patrick Stewart Leondegrance
Clive Swift Ector
Ciarán Hinds Lot
Liam O'Callaghan Sadok
Charley Boorman Boy Mordred
Garrett Keogh Mador
Brid Brennan Lady in Waiting
Eamon Kelly Abbot
Barbara Byrne Young Morgana

Technical Credits
John Boorman Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Barry Blackmore Asst. Director
Donn Cambern Editor
Michael E. Doyle Special Effects
Anna Dryhurst Makeup
Michael Dryhurst Associate Producer
Roberta A. Eisenstein Executive Producer
Terry English Consultant/advisor
Bryan Graves Set Decoration/Design
Edgar Gross Executive Producer
Peter Hutchinson Special Effects
Tim Hutchinson Art Director
Gerry Johnston Special Effects
Trevor Jones Score Composer
John Lawlor Asst. Director
John Lucas Art Director
John Merritt Editor
David Murphy Asst. Director
Basil Newall Makeup
Rospo Pallenberg Screenwriter
Anthony Pratt Production Designer
Bob Ringwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Mary Selway Casting
Bob Smith Camera Operator
Alex Thomson Cinematographer
Doug Turner Sound/Sound Designer
Bertram Tyrer Art Director
Anthony Van Laast Choreography
Alan Whibley Special Effects

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