Friday, April 30, 2010

EXCALIBUR (1981) - John Boorman


Though there is much water and many lakes in this movie, the more heroic elements in this rendering of the King Arthur legend left me a little dry. Nigel Terry as King Arthur is a royal drip. Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere is just this side of plain. And Nicholas Clay as Lancelot is a slab of beef in tin can armor. Even Excalibur, the star of the show, is constantly lit with the most unflattering of green gels.


Thank god for the magicians though! For my money, Excalibur is purely "The Merlin and Morgana Show," Nicol Williamson and a young, saucy Helen Mirren heartily chewing up the medieval scenery with abandon as dueling sorcerers.


Even Mordred, King Arthur's spoiled half-wizard offspring, is treated to some very cool Evil Gold Buddha armor.


Boorman's Excalibur may be a little long at nearly 2 1/2 hours but still the definitive King Arthur movie. That doesn't mean I wouldn't opt for Monty Python and the Holy Grail in a pinch.

1 comment:

Iron Chef Kosher! said...

Thank you for the sanity check. Almost everyone else I know considers this film to be the epitome of Arthurian epics. Every single criticism you had, I did, too! For a director who said he was "obsessed" with Excalibur, I thought those were the most boring shots in the entire film - except for Igraine's "sexy dance". I always thought it was because I was a heterosexual female that I found that dance to be the least erotic dance I had ever witnessed in anyone under the age of 13. Again, thanks - sometimes, misery does love company!