"Excalibur" is by far the best movie adaptation of the Legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table directed by John Boorman. The movie plot is about how Arthur came to be king, how he wielded the great sword Excalibur, how the Knights of the Round Table came to be, and the rise and fall of Camelot. This is an epic movie of betrayal, quest, honor, magic, ambition, tragedy. It has violence, sex, myth, drama, intrigue, heroics, pathos, and aspirations to art. The cinematography is beautiful and breathtaking. The costumes, amour the weapons and the castles are magnificent and very authentic. The events are approached with total emotional reality. The special effects hold up fairly well. The magical element is there within a believable medieval setting. The Christian aspects were added into the movie as well. The acting is superb. Nigel Terry gives a brilliant performance as King Arthur. Nicol Williamson was excellent in his role as the wizard, Merlin with moments of whimsey and deadly seriousness personalities. Helen Mirren does an excellent job in portraying the beautiful and evil sorceress, Morgan Le Fay. Paul Geoffrey as Percival, Gabriel Byrne as Uther Pendragon, and Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance were astounding through their impressive performances. The music in the movie is remarkable with dark and moody classical passages, ethereal vocals, and brass fanfares. Overall, an excellent movie version of the Arthurian legend. If you like fantasy adventure, sword and sorcery, magic, romance, medieval Europe, and knight chivalry, this Arthurian movie is a must see.
I wasn't going to post - but I noticed someone ignorantly wrote, "a misguided folly." I read Le Morte D'Arthur, I've perused the Winchester Manuscript, and for a counter-perspective, have enjoyed all of Marion Zimmer Bradley's incredible Mists of Avalon series. That being said, I wonder, as that individual sat watching this, if he somehow was unable to connect to the magic of the Arthurian tradition at its heart. Perhaps he failed to reach within himself and find anything that was remotely close to any sense of personal valor, as well as the grace presented in this exquisite tale. Was he confused by the wedding? Did he expect Gregorian chant, or ... This was a tale of brilliant characterizations, Merlin as the best of them, followed by a classic Lance and Guin...produced in a time when no one then and still no one nearly forty-years later, has been able to reproduce. This is the legend in its finest hour - and sadly fails on those who wallow in their own hubris and ignorance.
Told by the British them selves; This 1981 version of the fable answers alot of questions about the myth, THEY'RE ALL HERE; KING ARTHUR, GUINEVERE,LANCELOT, PERCIVAL, shows WHY THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL. SET TO WAGNER'S MUSICAL SCORE,ITS A MORE BELIEVABLE VERSION ,THE FIGHT SCENES ,SETTINGS AND BACK DROP ARE BEAUTIFULLY DONE. AN ALL STAR CAST,WATCH AND ENJOY ! (Yes not for the kids.)
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