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Excalibur [Blu-ray]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 23.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table receives its most impressive screen treatment in Excalibur, from visionary director John Boorman (Deliverance, Hope and Glory). All the elements of Sir Thomas Malory's classic Le Morte Darthur are here: Arthur (Nigel Terry) removing the sword Excalibur from the stone; the Round Table's noble birth and tragic decline; the heroic attempts to recover the Holy Grail; and the shifting balance of power between wily wizard Merlin (Nicol Williamson) and evil sorceress Morgana (Helen Mirren). With Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson in notable early screen roles.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legend Arises March 9 2011
By Argus TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Excalibur" is a terrific attempt at bringing the Arthurian legend to the screen. Director John Boorman was at pains to present what he called a "mythological truth," meaning he stayed faithful (excepting minor changes) to the stories of Thomas Mallory, Chretien de Troyes and Geoffrey of Monmouth. The dialogue, visual imagery and classical music of Richard Wagner and Carl Orff evoke a sense of primeval epic romance, but one with a hard edge of modernity, particularly in the quirky performance of Nicol Williamson as Merlin.

An aura of enchantment is created through the use of luminescent greens and shimmering silver, colours which also heighten the perception of a world in transition from paganism to Christianity. Less satisfactory is Boorman's interpretation of the crucial Grail sequence. The mystical secret of redemption revealed to Percival (Paul Geoffrey) is awkwardly correlated with the corruption of knightly virtues, the land in turmoil and Arthur's (Nigel Terry) depressive sickness. Perhaps it is a symptom of trying to cover too much ground at the expense of structural development. Also unfortunate is the bizarrely outlandish appearance of Mordred (Robert Addie) whose masked helmet looks like something out of a religious mystery play!

Regardless of these imperfections, an impressive array of acting talent including Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Cherie Lunghi, Gabriel Byrne and a young Liam Neeson makes the most of an engaging script. Who could forget Arthur's rallying cry to "ride once more with [his] knights to defend what was and the dream of what could be!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Excalibur" is Legend itself Jan. 19 2001
A sword fashioned when the world was new. A king to wield the sword. A comrade to betray the king. An unfaithful queen forlorn. A wizard to watch over them all.
"Excalibur" is not a story about a precise location at some specific point in a time. Rather it is Legend itself; a dreamy tale about one brief, shining moment in a fantastic, magical kingdom. Filled with romance and adventure, "Excalibur" captures both the essence of, and the spirit of, the "knights in shining armor" interpretation of the Arthurian legend.
There are so many beautiful sequences in "Excalibur," such as Perceval's quest for the Holy Grail, or the entire end sequence, set in motion when Mordred says to Arthur, "Come, father, let us embrace at last." Director John Boorman skillfully blends realism and authenticity by way of a mythical setting.
No other film has ever captured the romantic notion of the Arthurian legend, both in scenery and drama, quite like "Excalibur." To this day, I still get the chills when I hear "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana over the visuals of the last of the knights of the Round Table riding into battle with Mordred's forces. "Excalibur" is, quite simply, cinematic perfection.
NOTE: Several exceptional and distinguished Shakespearian actors appear in "Excalibur" including Nicol Williamson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Nigel Terry and Cherie Lunghi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excalibur (Original 1981, John Boorman) April 21 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great movie; should be in all secondary schools as it gives an excellent overview of Arthurian lore.
David Le Gallant
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic July 11 2004
The thing to remember about this movie is that it was made in 1981. By that token, do not expect non stop battle sequences, one dimensional acting and obviously fake computer cg graphics. This is a movie in the old tradition, in the vein of something like "The Lion in Winter." It is not a non stop action epic and takes pride in slowly building up the story according the classical tales of King Arthur. I like to think of this as a great adaptation in the grand old style. Bravo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good Feb. 28 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The best of the many sword in the stone movies over the years. A John Boorman classic production from the 1980's.
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4.0 out of 5 stars American fantasy film March 30 2013
By T
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excalibur is a 1981 dramatic fantasy film that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excalibur Aug. 13 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hello if you want sword play this is the movie for you. store line lots of love betrayal all kinds of stuff. everything for the family. I have owed this movie on VHS before i bought it on DVD. thank you Chris
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, War, Romance... Feb. 21 2007
This is one of those films which can cause you to forget just how good it is with neglect. It stays fairly true to Sir Thomas Malory's work, while trying to be more decisive in some ways. Williamson gives a classic performance as Merlin, which is both edgy and whimsical. All the characters are nicely brought to life by gifted character actors. And some movie fans might be pleased to see early film performances by Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson. Fans of British sitcoms might recognize Clive Swift from "Keeping Up Appearances", who stars in the film as Sir Hector, Arthur's adoptive father. The film lies out a series of memorable moments, as the weaknesses and the strengths of man battle each other for hold over the future...
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