Excalibur [Blu-ray] [1981]

  • SKU: 2095365
  • Release Date: 03/08/2011
  • Rating: R
$9.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
92% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (93 out of 102)

Special Features


  • Commentary by director John Boorman

Synopsis


Excalibur
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, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Nigel Terry
    Nigel Terry - King Arthur
  • Nicol Williamson
    Nicol Williamson - Merlin
  • Nicholas Clay
    Nicholas Clay - Lancelot
  • Helen Mirren
    Helen Mirren - Morgana
  • Cherie Lunghi
    Cherie Lunghi - Guenevere



Overall customer rating

4.4
92%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sheer Awesomeness on a Blu-ray disc.

    Posted
    rha409
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    There are better movies out there, but few are as awesome as John Boorman's "Excalibur". Growing up a fan of Arthurian legend, I remember watching this for the first time and and being a little put off by its 1980s bombasticity. But getting deeper into its story of Pagan magic, gleaming armor, epic chivalry, and trippy visuals, it was easy to be absorbed by it all. I was captivated by its sheer epicness, it's timeless story, and I was in awe by the time the credits rolled. Since then, the movie has only gotten better. Nicol Williamson, perhaps one of the most underrated actors in history delivers a terrific performance as Merlin. It'd be so easy for an actor today like Ben Kingsley or Liam Neeson to come in and sleepwalk through the role of Merlin, or even ham it up for a paycheck. Nicol Williamson does something else. His performance is remarkably varied. It's both big and subtle. He can play funny, threatening, and warm all at once, and it's thrilling to watch. Nigel Terry is also wonderful as Arthur. His work early in the film seems strange because it's not how we usually think of King Arthur. But by the film's end, he fully embodies the nobility, age, and weariness of this great character. Terry convincingly portrays the growth of Arthur from a 15-year-old boy to a 50 year old man. Other lead performers include Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, and of course Helen Mirren as the villainous Morgana. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a veritable who's who of future acting greats - Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Ciarin Hinds, Gabirel Byrne and more, all in what were their first big movie roles. The movie features a brilliant soundtrack of powerful classics by Wagner and Orff. The Blu-ray features a very good transfer. It doesn't look like it was made yesterday, but nor should it. The film was often shot with filters to achieve a diffuse, dreamy look and the video transfer accurately reflects this. So don't expect razor sharp images. Otherwise, it's clean and film-like. The Blu-ray's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is accurate and faithful to the film. As for extras, this disc includes a very good but old commentary by Director John Boorman. His comments are insightful and it makes for a good listen. Also included is the film's theatrical trailer in SD. That Warner Home Video has not given this film the special edition treatment yet is a cause for great shame.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excalibur - A movie of High Caliber

    Posted
    Galadrielle

    Excalibur is very action-packed and graceful, and, with a few exceptions to the rule, true to Sir Thomas Mallory's original Le Morte d'Arthur, although two crucial female characters, Vivienne and Margawse, are omitted and, instead, are combined into the Morgana (Helen Mirren) character, and worse, Lancelot's son Galahad in the original book, is blended into the Perceval character. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, and the acting is phenomenal. After having seen Mirren as both Queen Elizabeths I and II, I enjoyed going back to seeing her in this movie. Likewise, Liam Neeson was magnificent as the harsh opinionated Sir Gawain, a role completely different from Aslan in the Narnia movies and Oskar Shindler in Shindler's List. Cherie Lunghi is a strong intelligent feisty Guenevere. The role of Guenevere was very well-written because she is depicted as a highly skilled warrior and doctor. While I was disappointed that the roles of Perceval and Galahad were combined, and having Galahad in the story would have given more depth to the entire film, the Perceval subplot was very stirring and kept the movie going. It was full of very disturbing and gruesome scenes, but it showed the courage of the young knight who almost did not even make it into the knighthood in the first place. Wagner's music added to the richness of this classic epic film, especially when the knights ride through the wasteland, and, thanks to Perceval's courage, England is restored to its former glory. The costumes, while historically inaccurate, are absolutely stunning. This is a lovely movie that is worth seeing over and over again.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Spectacular Movie

    Posted
    Nukular

    The Movie is absolutely one of my family's favorite films of all time. John Boorman struggled to get the film made for years and succeeded in creating a visual masterpiece. Some critics just can't get the thrill out of a film which succeeds in creating such great imagery (which is what a film should be doing IMHO versus pensive heads yapping back and forth "acting" at each other which some critics adore). The commentary on the film is some of the best I have ever seen as John Boorman explains many interesting aspects of getting the film made and clearly shows an obsession for horses. This film has several actors doing their first film or first role of significance who go on to become major stars. Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson come to mind. This film also gave the start to the Irish Film industry as is explained in the commentary. The story tries to be much more true to the original Arthurian legend versus the disneyfied ick that others may think or as the story now. Helen Mirren is the biggest name star now and does a wonderful job. Nigel Terry gives an incredibly great performance as Arthur. Nichol Williamson is wonderful as Merlin with one of the most memorable delivery of lines. The film is a gem that everyone should see. It has some scenes that aren't for children but I think young viewers will love the film if you can zip past a few scenes with too much skin.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    An Amazing Film

    Posted
    BatBoy65
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I have seen this movie in all the forms it has been offered in over the years and this is by far the best A/V transfer yet. I saw things that I never saw before and the score was way better too. I enjoy many of the Arthur legend films and this one is near the top. I did not give it 5 stars as I hope that it will be fully remastered one day so that I can. Still, it is very watchable in this release and at this price, you just can't go wrong.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Fairy Tale For Adults

    Posted
    theTHXKid
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is an excellent telling of the King Arthur legend. It's got it all; love, betrayal, justice, treachery, & adventure. Starting with his father Uther Pendragon, whose uncontrollable lust for power & an ally's wife nearly brings ruin to the schemes of the wizard seeking to bring peace to England, Merlin The Magician. This ISN'T Disney folks. This is truly an epic grand tale. Also look for Patrick Stewart & Liam Neeson too in the early stages of their fine careers. This is a great addition to any home library of "popcorn" movies (& make two batches as it's over two hours long). You won't be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Knights of the round table....

    Posted
    VladPitt
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The first time I saw this movie was in the 80's on VHS, so I had to revisit it in Blu ray fomat... shows the birth of Arthur and how his relationship with Merlin began,very good adaptation of Le Morte D' Arthur, this is a timeless classic, you will see how young a lot of stars are in the movie, among notables are Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne and Patrick Stewart.. the story is very close to the book , since then there have been several movie versions of the Arthurian legend, still enjoyable after all these years..

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Arthur!!

    Posted
    AlteredReality
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    My favorite sword and sorcery movie of all time. Still is great to watch in this day and time. Doesn't feel cheesy as so many films from this time do. Saw this in the theater during it's initial release and have been a huge fan ever since. Takes some liberties with the Arthur legend but it makes for one enjoyable film. Patrick Stewart is in it!!!! That makes it ever better.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An epic tale of a sword and a king

    Posted
    newtechreview
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    One of the best stories of all time. A boy frees a legendary sword from its resting place in a stone and becomes king. The trials and tribulations of Arthur and his kingdom of Camelot have never come to life as well as in this movie. Join Merlin, Lancelot and Arthur in a classic story of love and betrayal in the magical realm of knights in shining armor.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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