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King Arthur - The Truth Behind the Legend (Documentary) (2004)

 NR |  DVD
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

King Arthur - The Truth Behind the Legend (Documentary) + Biography - King Arthur: His Life And Legends (A&E DVD Archives) + Ancient Mysteries - Camelot (A&E DVD Archives)
Price for all three: $36.01

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Delta Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002HODKY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,003 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Come with us on a magical journey of mystery and discovery as we attempt to uncover the truth behind the legend of history’s most well-known sovereign King Arthur. Explore verdant, dew-drenched plains, wander amongst ancient crum-bling ruins, and scour the rugged weather-beat-en coastline of Great Britain in search of the elusive spirit of King Arthur and the enchant-ing Camelot. on this well-worn trail, you will encounter the likes of beautiful Guinevere, valiant Lancelot, magical Merlin, and the glori-ous Knights of the Round Table not to mention Excalibur and the Holy Grail! Discover the possible final resting places of King Arthur, explore the potential locations of Camelot, and join the debate over the existence of the Holy Grail. It is all here and more, so charge forward into the realm of magic, mystery, and chivalry to uncover the truth behind the legend.


~King Arthur’s heritage, and how it contributed to his character ~Why there is no historical record of the valiant Arthur and his beautiful Queen, Guinevere. ~The magical Merlin ~Merlin’s connection with Stonehenge ~How Merlin played a part in King Arthur’s conception and life as a child. ~The Holy Grail ~Excalibur, the beautiful sword in the stone ~And much more!

This fascinating documentary brings life to the legend...and details the romantic era of the Knights of the Round Table!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice photography, not much else November 16, 2005
I looked to this production to be a very updated and scholarly work looking at recent findings and work done in the field to bring Arthur into a more realistic perspective than is done in the legends we have to date. Unfortunately, this was a disappointment for me.

The visuals show lots of "name places" throughout England. It is interesting to see many places like Tintagle Castle. At times it looks more like a travel log than a documentary.

What is pointed out is the fact that there really isn't much historically other than Godfrey of Monmouth's work that mentions Arthur. They do rightfully point out that Godfrey was fond of filling in the blanks with his own imaginative stories. Issues of the social structure and the need of hero worship at the time does allow the viewer to understand more clearly why Godfrey's work stood for 600 years without question.

The story switches from Geodfrey of Monmouth's "history" to the telling of the story of "Morte d'Arthur" by Malory. There is a nice overview of the history of the story. Also discussed are the lovely illustrated versions by Tennyson. The story is then related from various bits from all these versions of the legend.

What is interesting is the photography of the name places and locations and items that are associated with the legend. In all honesty, the production could have been cut down to about half an hour to 45 minutes and done the job just as well.

This production drags and plods along for much of the 90 minutes the film runs. Nicely photographed, the narrator's voice (Liam Dale) is not really all that pleasant. Much of the material in this production is well known and has been speculated to death elsewhere.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
This excellent documentary (although obviously done on a lower budget) was very informative and entertaining: the scenary was very pretty, and the facts and storyline were intriguing. The narrarator sounds like lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous, and I enjoyed hearing a bit more about whether King Arthur and his knights were really real, and who they could have been: it explores the history behind the King Arthur legend and just who he was in reality.

If you saw the movie King Arthur with Kiera Knightley and Clive Owen, or even are just interested in finding out more about this legendary hero, you should check out this DVD!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably lame excuse for a documentary February 6, 2014
By E. Mafi
The PRO would be the writing, which although delivered in thick brogue is actually somewhat informative, sometimes very funny, and even slightly stilted at times with elevated vocabulary (compunction, punctilious, etc.). Some of the psychological appeal analysis is interesting and probably accurate, too.

The CONS are the pacing and the visuals, or rather lack thereof. The video has numerous virtual intermissions, with long, slow pans of (English?) countrysides, including three flowers in succession, ancient ruins, and statues with no narration and therefore no purpose whatsoever. The video should have been closer to 60 minutes, and it still would have felt long.

The VISUALS are utterly cheap, with one uncrowned knight on a horse who gallops and wildly swings a sword, hitting himself and his horse as he goes at least once. The sword in the stone part involves what you see on the cover: a sword stuck in a green mound of fake turf, never pulled and with no human to reenact the narration. The best part is when battles or knights are described: a chess set is used instead of people, so Arthur is the white king, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the white bishop, Sirs Ector and Kay are knights, and when Arthur dies, the screen cuts to the white king chess piece lying flat on his back.

I got this at the local 99 cent store, and I still feel ripped off.
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