Customer Review

140 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visuals and soundtrack will knock your socks off, December 21, 2000
This review is from: Excalibur [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Within my memory, there've been only a couple films featuring the legend of King Arthur. However, one of them released in 1981, EXCALIBUR, is the standard by which all others, past and future, must be judged. It's positively stunning in its excellence, and a must-see for any devotee of the tale.
In a sense, EXCALIBUR is more a story of Merlin than Arthur since Nicole Williamson's fabulous, unique portrayal of the former overshadows Nigel Terry's role as the latter. However, the film faithfully depicts the Arthurian legend from his conception and birth at Tintagel Castle, to his death at the hands of Mordred. In between are all the other elements of the story one would hope for and expect: Uther Pendragon, the Sword In the Stone, the Battle of Mount Badon, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere, Sir Percival, the Quest for the Holy Grail, the Lady of the Lake, and Lady Morgana (a.k.a. Morgan La Fey).
A note of caution for parents of young children. At times, the film is intensely violent, bloody and sexual. (Gee, it sounds like any normal day at the office.) You are warned. And it's not a movie for squeamish adults, either.
The costuming is superb. The brilliant cinematography and film editing, combined with a magnificent soundtrack that includes "Carmina Burana" and "Tristan's Funeral March" at just the right scenes, make EXCALIBUR absolutely awe-inspiring. You'll want to watch it over and over. (I've talked myself into wanting to view it again right now!) The final scene is one you'll wish you could extract from your TV screen and frame, with sound.
Oh, my! What a cinematic achievement!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 20, 2009 11:17:03 PM PST
I wouldn't say it's that sexual, of course the inclinatioin of sexual betrayal and hidden attraction but i would not go far as to say Lancealot is doing a John Holmes or peter North performance on the Queen.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2009 2:56:33 PM PST
P.J.,

Well, I wrote the review in 2000. Times change. The level of violence and sexuality in EXCALIBUR is now matched by anything shown in the Saturday afternoon kiddie matinee. (OK, ok. I know kiddie matinees are a thing of the past, but you know what I mean.)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 6:31:22 PM PST
Bee says:
This movie is R rated and there is a reason for it. I agree with you, it is rather violent and sexual in my opinion and not for young kids. I remember seeing it in a movie theater when I was probably 11. I didn't get a chance to see it again afterwards, although I'd love to, but I remember a dark movie and 3 things stuck with me. 1- Carmina Burana, grandiose! 2- The beginning of the movie being a sex scene. 3- Knights' bodies dangling from trees with raven picking their eyes out.... So yeah, it might not seem like a lot in today's standards but I'll wait a little to show it to my kids.

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 5:39:12 PM PST
Jay Brown says:
The music of Wagner is "Siegfried's Funeral March" from Gotterdammerung, the 4th music drama of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung. Its use in the film is absolutely the right choice.

Jay Brown
Miami, Florida

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2011 2:21:39 PM PDT
J. Sadler says:
...and "Prelude to Tristan and Isolde", also by Wagner, was used for the Lancelot/Guenevere affair.

Great enthusiastic review!
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