The Dark Ages
The Land Was Divided And
Without A King
Out Of Those Lost Centuries
Rose A Legend...
Of The Sorcerer, Merlin,
Of The Coming Of A King
Of The Sword Of Power...
It is the story of a Sword,
forged by the gods when the world was young,
cast into the stone by Uther Pendragon,
drawn by his son Arthur who became the King.
With the Sword he restored peace,
which was broken shortly after by the betrayal of his Wife and his First Knight.
He went mad just after having sent all his knights on the Quest for the Grail.
The secret of the Grail was finally revealed
by the last and the purest of the Knights of the round table.
Which is the greatest quality of knighthood? Courage? Compassion? Loyalty? Humility?
Truth. It must be truth, above all. When a man lies he murders some part of the world.
He rode with his knights once again for the last time
to defeat his Nemesis...
It is undoubtedly the best movie of all times. I saw it 11 times on silver screen and don't even count the DVD version...
The screenplay is almost perfect (although I always thought it was Galahad who found the Grail).
The score is fantastic and one must say that Wagner and his Ring der Nibelungen fits perfectly in the Medieval World depicted by Boorman. It features:
My favorite actor is of course Nicol Williamson playing Merlin. His acting is between sarcastic and pragmatic, also served by a script that can be ironical on some quotes, and of course his scottish accent. The best one is (IMHO) :
Now look, I once stood exposed to the Dragon's Breath so that a man could lie one night with a woman. It took me nine moons to recover. And all for this lunacy called love, this mad distemper that strikes down both beggar and king! Never again! Never!
He got angry because Arthur asked him to make Guenevere love him. Merlin makes reference to the summoning of the Dragon for Uther who thereby took the shape of the Duke of Cornwall, his castle and his wife, Igrayne (He didn't even bothered taking off his 35kg full plate armour by the way). Cornwall died in the process and Arthur was conceived.
A legend is born.
There are also a bunch of not already famous actors (Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart) at an early stage of their careers, and Boorman's whole family (his Daughters Katrine as Igrayne, Telsche as the Lady of the Lake and his son Charley as young Mordred) and even Byrne's Daughter Barbara as young Morgana...
Concerning the charm of making uttered by Merlin to summon the Dragon, Alias Mother Jonez provided in his node Charm of making a most excellent explanation, so I won't describe it in here (Ack!).
Directed by John Boorman in 1981
Screenplay by John Boorman and Rospo Pallenberg after Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.
Genre : Medieval, Adventure
Rated : PG (surprising since there is a lot of blood and dead people... I would have said Rated R)
Nigel Terry...........King Arthur
Gabriel Byrne.........Uther Pendragon
provided by the good old Movie Database
One Land, One King, One Sword
Everything Quests: Film Reviews