Necromancer Merlin (Nicol Williamson) offers the magic sword Excalibur to the warlike Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) in exchange for a promise that he'll make peace with his enemy, the duke of Cornwall (Corin Redgrave). He agrees but breaks his word after catching sight of Cornwall's wife, Igraine (Katrine Boorman). With the magician's help he makes love to the woman in the guise of her husband. She bears a child, Arthur, who is taken by Merlin as payment for his assistance and left in the care of Ector (Clive Swift). Years pass, and the boy, now a humble squire, pulls Excalibur from the stone in which Uther had sunk it--a task no other could accomplish. With Merlin's counsel, he marries the stunning Guenevere (Cherie Lunghi), finds a champion in Sir Lancelot (Nicholas Clay), subdues the skirmishing knights, and builds the Round Table to unite them. Yet his half-sister, Morgana (Helen Mirren), lurks in the shadows, preparing to poison her brother's reign. (official distributor synopsis)


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English Some very good to excellent scenes (Arthur's duel with Lancelot, Perceval's search for and finding the Grail...) are unpleasantly spoiled by downright boring scenes, during which I had a hard time not reaching for the remote and pushing the tired plot forward a bit. It is the same with the actors - some act well, others overact badly, the music is only good when Wagner or Orff (sorry, Trevor Jones) are blaring, and the set sometimes looks spectacular, sometimes suspiciously cheap and almost Monty Python-esque. I'm only half satisfied with the vaunted Excalibur in every respect. ()


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English Borefest. The narrative is somewhat disjointed and uninteresting in the spoken sequences, while the action scenes are shot in a confused manner and it’s difficult to navigate them. On the other hand, great praise should be given to the impressive fantasy atmosphere, the wonderful music by Trevor Jones and the cast, which saves everything. Otherwise, this famous film is probably a legend only for those who rode it back in the 80s, nowadays is nothing but a faded trophy. ()



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English Excalibur is considered by my generation as the first contact with the fantasy genre, and its influence on shaping the ideas of Western cinema fans was undeniable and very strong. This can reliably be traced in nostalgic comments made by others. During my youth, questioning the quality of Excalibur was unthinkable, but it's 2019 and everything is different now. Anachronisms in weaponry and attire leave me unfazed this time, as it is after all a fairy tale and not a historical story. The omnipresent clumsiness, whether it concerns the way the Arthurian legend is told, the theatrical performances of the actors led by Nigel Terry, or the movements of the extras in shiny metal imitations of armor, is undeniable and at times truly painful. Where the film strives to be enchanting and mystical, it now appears kitschy and unintentionally funny. The music has withstood the test of time, and the camera can leave a decent impression, but otherwise, there are few reasons to revisit Excalibur. Within the genre, not only the adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones have convincingly surpassed it, but also a number of other lesser-known projects. Overall impression: 55%. The lackadaisical nature of Boorman's direction is evidenced by a scene where two running knights have lit cigarettes in their mouths... ()


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English For me, this isn't the ultimate version of the Arthurian legend, but it's pretty close. I can't help it, I always preferred this legend with a greater amount of fantasy elements. It just works for me. And probably less God, but it's clear that the topic will simply belong to the Holy Grail. Still excellent after all these years. ()


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English Few people know that Boorman was originally going to make a Lord of the Rings film, but changed his mind at the last minute and ended up using some of the costumes and armour for the Tolkien adaptation in Excalibur. For the viewers, that’s great. The Arthurian legend could not have been filmed better than Boorman did, and it is unlikely to be surpassed in the future. Also thanks to the music, starting with Wagner and ending with Orff, the perfect production design and the overall magical atmosphere. ()

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