DVD 140 mins IMDB 7.4 (13,765 votes)
Warner Brothers (1981)
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Adventure, Fantasy
USA  /  English

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
Terry Nigel
Liam Neeson Gawain
Corin Redgrave Cornwall
Niall O'Brien Kay
Patrick Stewart Leondegrance
Clive Swift Sir Hector

Director John Boorman
Producer John Boorman
Writer Thomas Malory; Rospo Pallenberg; John Boorman
Cinematography Alex Thomson
Musician Trevor Jones
User Credit 1 John Merritt; Donn Cambern
User Credit 2 Bob Ringwood

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. — Robert Firsching

Edition Details
Barcode 085392201822
Region Region 1
Chapters 45
Release Date 2/8/2005
Packaging Snap Case
Screen Ratio Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Subtitles English; French
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
No. of Disks/Tapes 1

Color Closed-captioned Dolby Widescreen
Personal Details
User Lookup 1 DVD Original
User Text 2 No mortal could possess it! No kingdom could command it!
Links IMDB
All Movie Guide
Amazon US
DVD Empire

Trivia: The location for the Duke Of Cornwall's castle is now a housing estate. (more)

Goofs: Crew or equipment visible: After casting his spell on Uther, Merlin turns toward the camera, showing the reflection of the cameraman and camera in his helmet. (more)

Merlin: STAND BACK! Be silent! Be still!
Merlin: That's it... and look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then... this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, 'I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!' For it is the doom of men that they forget.

Awards: Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations (more)