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254 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne, Nigel Terry
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Writers: John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 18 and over
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Sept. 21 1999
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305558167
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,599 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Excalibur (DVD)

This lush retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a dark and engrossing tale. Director John Boorman (Deliverance) masterfully handles the tale of the mythical sword Excalibur, and its passing from the wizard Merlin to the future king of England. Arthur pulls the famed sword from a stone and is destined to be crowned king. As the king embarks on a passionate love affair with Guenevere, an illegitimate son, and Merlin's designs on power, threaten Arthur's reign. The film is visually stunning and unflinching in its scenes of combat and black magic. Featuring an impressive supporting cast, including early work from the likes of Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, Excalibur is an adaptation of the legend both faithful and bold. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Neurosky on Feb. 21 2007
Format: DVD
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Boyle on Jan. 19 2001
Format: DVD
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Argus on March 9 2011
Format: Blu-ray
"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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By djhexane on March 23 2004
Format: DVD
An excellent movie and a very faithful adaptation of MAllory's Le Morte D'Arthur. This isn't your children's fairy tale however. Put the little ones to bed when you watch this gem. Why you ask. This is the R rated version of King Arthur's tale. There is not shortage of violence, blood and gore associated with that violence, and sex that filled these tales. Yes, these British people were not squeamish with blood and nudity back in 1981, but it does not take away from the movie. It only strengthens it by making it more realistic and belivable.
This movie throws in everything from Uther's lust for Igraine and what leads to Arthur being born. Merlin taking Arthur, Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone, Morgana and Merlin's rivalry, Lancelot and Guinevere's affair, and Mordred vs. Arthur. It also has the quest for the grail, which they could have made a little longer. ... it was too easy. Maybe they were afraid of the movie being to long (alread over two hours). But nevertheless, it gets the job done.
The acting is excellent and the cinemetography is exceptional. You almost forget that this movie was from 1981! And I love how funny Merlin can be at times throughout this movie. Excellent stuff!
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Format: DVD
A film classic based on Sir Thomas Malory's 1485 book "Le Morte D'Arthur". Everyone has a favorite part. Few remember the whole film. And we notice something more with each viewing.

When you first see Excalibur rising from the lake you know you are in fro a great cinema graphic movie.

We get our entire favorite King Author stories well spliced together of form one cohesive tale including the search for the Grail. The round table had a unique symbol in the center.

Some time is spent trying to recognize our favorite actors when they were young. Who would have guessed that Igrayne (Katrine Boorman) was in the film "Zardos" (1974) also produced by John Boorman.

Also trying to identify the music mostly Richard Wagner (from "Parsifal", "Tristan und Isolde" and "G'tterd'mmerung").

After viewing this film it is time to get a different view of the same stories with the film "The Mists of Avalon" (2001) or maybe Merlin (1998).
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