Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Boorman|
|Produced by||John Boorman|
|Written by||Thomas Malory|
|Music by||Trevor Jones|
|Editing by||John Merritt|
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 10, 1981|
|Running time||Original cut|
140 min. John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point Sir Thomas Malory (c 1405 – 14 March 1471 was an English writer the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur. John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point Nigel Terry (born August 15, 1945) is a British stage and Film actor probably best known by movie audiences for his portrayal of King Dame Helen Mirren, DBE (born 26 July 1945 is an English stage, Film and Television actress. Nicol Williamson (born 14 September 1938) is a Scottish Actor who was described by English Playwright John Osborne Trevor Alfred Charles Jones (born March 23, 1949 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a South African Orchestral Film score Carl Orff ( &ndash) was a 20th-century German Composer, most famous for Carmina Burana (1937 Alexander Thomson ( 12 January 1929 - 14 June 2007) was a British Cinematographer. John Ayers Merritt ( January 26, 1926 &ndash December 13, 1983) was a head football coach at Jackson State University Orion Pictures Corporation was an American company that produced movies from 1978 until 1998 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc (or Warner Bros, Warner Bros Pictures) is one of the world's largest producers of Film and Events 879 - Louis III becomes King of the Western Franks. 1407 - the lama Events January 19 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquires beleaguered concurrent United Artists.
Excalibur is a 1981 fantasy film which retells the legend of King Arthur. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Events January 19 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquires beleaguered concurrent United Artists. Fantasy films are films with fantastic themes usually involving magic, Supernatural events make-believe creatures or exotic Fantasy worlds King Arthur is a legendary British leader who according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders It grossed USD$ 34,967,437 and was the 18th most successful film of that year. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been
The film opens as the forces of the powerful and headstrong knight Uther Pendragon battle the Duke of Cornwall's army. Gorlois ( Old Welsh: Gwrlais) was a Duke of Cornwall and Igraine 's first husband before her marriage to Uther Pendragon, The wizard Merlin gives Uther the sword Excalibur after retrieving it from the Lady of the Lake, so Uther may unite the land. The Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network ( MERLIN) is an Interferometer array of Radio telescopes spread across England and the Excalibur is the legendary Sword of King Arthur sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful Sovereignty of Great After seeing Uther wielding Excalibur, Cornwall yields to him with Uther's promise that Cornwall will retain control of his lands. Uther is proclaimed king and the men celebrate their newfound peace. Uther then encounters Cornwall's beautiful wife Igrayne and, in his lust for her, breaks the truce. In Arthurian legend, Igraine is the mother of King Arthur. (She is also known in Latin as Igerna, in Welsh as Eigyr, in French as Igerne He lays siege to Cornwall's castle.
Desperate to bed Igrayne, Uther begs Merlin for help. Merlin, furious at Uther's actions, nevertheless agrees to use his magic so Uther can consummate his lust for Igrayne, with the condition that Uther must relinquish to Merlin whatever results from his lust. Uther agrees. Merlin summons the dragon who lies beneath the land, and Uther, in Cornwall's guise, rides to Cornwall's castle across the sky on the dragon's breath. Once inside, Uther immediately and forcefully takes Igrayne. Meanwhile, the real Duke of Cornwall is killed attacking Uther's camp. Cornwall and Igrayne's daughter Morgana sees through Uther's disguise and senses her father's death. Morgan le Fay, alternatively known as Morgane, Morgain, Morgana and other variants is a powerful sorceress and Antagonist of
Igrayne bears Uther a son, Arthur. King Arthur is a legendary British leader who according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders Upon seeing the boy, Uther speaks of creating peace and staying with Igrayne, but Merlin arrives to take the boy, as promised. Uther's attempts to dissuade Merlin are unsuccessful and he ultimately relinquishes the boy to Merlin, to Igrayne's despair. Uther then pursues Merlin to retrieve Arthur but is ambushed and killed in the forest by knights still loyal to Cornwall. The ambushers attempt to seize Excalibur, but Uther thrusts it into a large stone before he dies, and Merlin exclaims that "he who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king. The Sword in the Stone is a novel by T H White, published in 1938, initially a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy The Once "
Years later, Sir Ector and his sons Kay and Arthur attend a jousting tournament to win the chance to draw Excalibur from the stone. Sir Ector (sometimes Hector, Antor, or Ectorius) is the father of Sir Kay and the foster father of King Arthur in the Arthurian The best knights in the land gather to compete for the chance, but none are able to draw the sword. Arthur, Kay's squire, forgets Kay's sword in a tent and returns to retrieve it, only to discover that it has been stolen. While pursuing the thief, Arthur pauses by the Sword in the Stone. On a whim, Arthur attempts to draw it and, to his astonishment, easily does so. The crowd from the tournament gathers around him, and Arthur easily draws the sword again. Merlin appears, revealing to Arthur that he is the son of Uther and Igrayne and therefore the rightful king of the land.
Not all accept Arthur's kingship, however, and a schism forms amongst the knights. As they argue, Arthur flees into the forest, terrified at what has transpired. Merlin follows and explains Arthur's destiny to him, telling the boy that he and the land are, in fact, one. As one thrives, so does the other, and vice versa. Overwhelmed, Arthur slips off into sleep. The next morning, Merlin tells him that the knights who stood against the boy king are laying siege to the castle of one of Arthur's main supporters, Leondegrance. King Leodegrance (sometimes Leondegrance or some other minor variation is the father of Queen Guinevere in Arthurian legend. Rallying the other knights loyal to him, Arthur leads a counter-assault and repels the attackers. The battle ends when Arthur asks his main antagonist, Sir Uriens, to take Excalibur and use it to proclaim Arthur a knight. This act, together with Arthur's courage in the battle, earns him widespread respect and fealty, and he is no longer doubted.
Much later, the now-adult Arthur encounters Lancelot, a brilliant and heretofore undefeated knight. In the Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot ( Lancelot du Lac, also Launcelot) is one of the Knights of the Round Table. In search of a king worthy of his sword, Lancelot will allow none to pass a bridge until he is defeated in single combat. Lancelot bests Arthur in a joust, but the enraged king refuses to accept this, and challenges Lancelot to a duel to the death. Lancelot attempts to calm Arthur but continues beating him in the fight until the king summons Excalibur's power. The indestructible blade pierces Lancelot's armor, seemingly killing him, but is broken in half. A devastated Arthur admits his wrongdoing and speaks his repentance to Merlin, who arrives upon the scene. Arthur throws what is left of the sword into a body of water but, upon his words of contrition, the Lady of the Lake rises to deliver a restored Excalibur to the king. Lancelot then awakens and, alive and well and believing that his quest is now complete, swears fealty to Arthur.
After a series of battles, Arthur unifies the land, and he creates the fellowship of the Round Table, and builds Camelot, his castle. Knights of the Round Table were those men awarded the highest order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur in the literary cycle the Matter of Britain Camelot is the most famous Castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Arthur then marries Leondegrance's daughter Guenevere. Guinevere was the legendary Queen consort of King Arthur. She was most famous for her love affair with Arthur's chief knight Sir Lancelot, which first As the king's fortunes improve, the land thrives. Peace and harmony reign and Arthur himself is led to believe that evil has been vanquished. However, his half-sister, Morgana, a budding sorceress, becomes apprenticed to Merlin, hoping to learn the dark arts from him. Meanwhile, Lancelot, the greatest of the knights, is often inexplicably absent from the Round Table, seeking refuge deep in the forest in order to brood. While meditating there one day, Lancelot encounters a peasant boy named Percival, who becomes Lancelot's squire. Percival or Perceval is one of King Arthur 's legendary Knights of the Round Table.
It is clear from their first meeting that Lancelot and Guenevere feel a powerful mutual attraction, and this is what keeps the knight away from Camelot. One evening, Sir Gawain, after being provoked by Morgana, openly accuses them at the Round Table. Gawain (ˈgɔːwɪn or /gəˈweɪn/ also called Gwalchmei Gawan Gauvain Walewein etc Arthur decrees Lancelot must fight Gawain in a duel to defend Guenevere's honor. In a nightmare duel with himself, Lancelot pierces his own side with his sword in order to purge himself of his love for Guenevere. Lancelot's wound make him late for the duel and Arthur requests that one of his other knights defend the queen. None of them step forward to do so. Percival volunteers, and he is hastily knighted by Arthur so that he can fight for Guenevere. At that moment, Lancelot arrives and Percival stands down. Lancelot manages to defeat Gawain despite his injury, and Gawain recants his accusation. Lancelot collapses, however, bleeding profusely from his self-inflicted wound and devoid any will to live. Arthur implores Merlin to bring him back, whatever the cost, and the wizard does so.
Ultimately, Lancelot and Guenevere consummate their lust, and Arthur later finds them asleep together in the forest. Meanwhile, Merlin attempts to trick Morgana and cast a spell to destroy her after she showed signs she wanted to poison Arthur's reign. Arthur is seen thrusting Excalibur toward the sleeping couple, and Merlin is momentarily impaled by the sword because of his magical link with it. Morgana takes advantage of his weakness to trap him in crystal with the Charm of Making, then tricks Arthur into making love to her, and bears a son, Mordred. Mordred or Modred ( Welsh: Medraut, Medrod, etc is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought
On awakening, Lancelot sees Excalibur and flees in shame and self-loathing, knowing Arthur saw him with Guenevere. Awakening alone, Guenevere realizes what has happened and surrenders herself to a nunnery.
After these horrific events, the land is stricken with famine and sickness, and a broken Arthur sends his knights on a quest for the Grail, which will heal him and the land. According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish plate or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers Years pass and many knights die on the quest, while others are bewitched by Morgana to serve her and her son.
In the end, Perceval is the only knight left to search for the Grail. Narrowly escaping death at the hands of Mordred and Morgana, he has a vision of the Grail and a mysterious figure who asks "who am I?" and "what is my secret?" After further hardship Perceval realizes that the figure is King Arthur, and his secret is that he and the land are one. Answering the riddle, he attains the Grail. Arthur drinks from it and is revitalized.
Arthur and his few remaining knights ride to war against Mordred and Morgana. The barren land blooms with life as they pass, reborn with its King. He goes to Guenevere's convent, where they are reconciled. She returns Excalibur to him, having kept it safe since the day she fled.
Most of the land's nobles have rallied to Mordred and Morgana. Arthur calls to Merlin in despair and unwittingly awakens him from his enchanted slumber when he strikes a monolith with his armored fist. Though still imprisoned in Morgana's crystal, Merlin appears to her in dream and tricks her into uttering the Charm of Making, creating a thick fog. Her magically-endowed youth dissolves and she becomes a hag. She tries to embrace Mordred, who strangles her to death in disgust.
Arthur and his small army survive by hiding in the fog, but they are soon overwhelmed. A grey-haired, bearded Lancelot joins the fray and turns the tide of the battle. Lancelot dies after reconciling with Arthur, but not from the wounds of battle, rather the old wound from fighting himself which has never healed. Still hoping to defeat Arthur and become king, Mordred runs Arthur through with his spear, but Arthur presses forward and pierces Mordred's enchanted armor with Excalibur, killing him.
At Arthur's behest, Perceval throws Excalibur in a pool of calm water, where it is caught by the Lady of the Lake. The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play integral parts in the Arthurian legend. When Perceval returns, he sees Arthur's body on a ship, attended by three formally posed ladies clad in white, sailing into the setting sun toward the Isle of Avalon. Avalon (probably from the Celtic word abal: apple see Etymology below is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend, famous for its beautiful
Several members of the Boorman family also appeared in the picture. Dame Helen Mirren, DBE (born 26 July 1945 is an English stage, Film and Television actress. Morgan le Fay, alternatively known as Morgane, Morgain, Morgana and other variants is a powerful sorceress and Antagonist of Nicol Williamson (born 14 September 1938) is a Scottish Actor who was described by English Playwright John Osborne The Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network ( MERLIN) is an Interferometer array of Radio telescopes spread across England and the Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay ( September 18, 1946 - May 25, 2000) was a British Actor. In the Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot ( Lancelot du Lac, also Launcelot) is one of the Knights of the Round Table. Cherie Lunghi (born 4 April, 1952) is a British actress Biography Lunghi was born in London. Guinevere was the legendary Queen consort of King Arthur. She was most famous for her love affair with Arthur's chief knight Sir Lancelot, which first William John "Liam" Neeson OBE (born June 7, 1952) is an Irish Actor. Gawain (ˈgɔːwɪn or /gəˈweɪn/ also called Gwalchmei Gawan Gauvain Walewein etc Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE (born 13 July 1940 is an English Film, Television and stage Actor. King Leodegrance (sometimes Leondegrance or some other minor variation is the father of Queen Guinevere in Arthurian legend. Clive Walter Swift (born 9 February 1936, Liverpool) is an English Actor who is best known for his starring role as Richard Bucket Sir Ector (sometimes Hector, Antor, or Ectorius) is the father of Sir Kay and the foster father of King Arthur in the Arthurian Gabriel James Byrne ( Irish: Gabriel Séamas Ó Broin; born 12 May, 1950) is an Emmy - and Tony -nominated Irish Robert Alastair Addie ( 10 February 1960 &ndash 20 November 2003) was an English Actor who was best known for playing Mordred or Modred ( Welsh: Medraut, Medrod, etc is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought Igrayne (Arthur's mother), the Lady of the Lake, Mordred as a boy, and the infant Arthur were all played by Boorman's children. In Arthurian legend, Igraine is the mother of King Arthur. (She is also known in Latin as Igerna, in Welsh as Eigyr, in French as Igerne The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play integral parts in the Arthurian legend. Mordred or Modred ( Welsh: Medraut, Medrod, etc is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought Because of the number of Boormans involved with the film, it is sometimes called "The Boorman Family Project. "
The movie was originally put into theatrical release simultaneously in both its PG and R-rated formats in the USA. The original R-rated cut is 140 minutes. Most home video versions are the R-rated one, but TV and movie channels show the PG version, making the movie 119 minutes. The R-rated version features about 21 more minutes of graphic sex and violence.
John Boorman cast Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren opposite each other as Merlin and Morgana, knowing that the two were at the time on less than friendly terms, due to personal issues that arose during a production of Macbeth seven years earlier. John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point Nicol Williamson (born 14 September 1938) is a Scottish Actor who was described by English Playwright John Osborne Dame Helen Mirren, DBE (born 26 July 1945 is an English stage, Film and Television actress. Macbeth is among the best-known of William Shakespeare 's plays, and is his shortest tragedy, believed to have been written some time between Boorman felt that the tension on set would come through in the actors' performances. This is stated by John Boorman himself in the audio commentary track of the Excalibur DVD.
Excalibur was filmed in Irish locations in Wicklow, Tipperary, and County Kerry. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world Wicklow ( is the County seat of County Wicklow in Ireland. Located south of the capital Dublin on the east coast of the island it has a population Tipperary ( Irish: Tiobraid Árann, lit "The well of Arra" is the name of a town (pop 4546 in the south-west of County Tipperary, Ireland County Kerry ( Contae Chiarraí in Irish) is a southwestern county of Ireland. The early critical battle scene around a castle, in which Arthur is made a knight by Uryens, while kneeling in a moat, was filmed in Cahir Castle, in Cahir County Tipperary, Ireland . Cahir Castle (Caisleán na Cathrach one of the largest Castles in Ireland, was built in County Tipperary in 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of County Tipperary (Contae Thiobraid Árann is a County in Ireland situated in the Province of Munster. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. It is a genuine Norman castle, one of the best preserved anywhere and the moat is the River Suir which flows around the castle. For other buildings in Normandy see Architecture of Normandy. The River Suir (ʃuːr Irish An tSiúr or Abhainn na Siúire) is a river in Ireland that flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Waterford Easily visited, you can still park your car in the car park from where the filming was done.
The original cut of the film was three hours long. Following a reduction in length, several shots were lost, among them a scene of Lancelot rescuing Guinevere from a forest bandit.
According to director John Boorman, the love scene between Lancelot and Guinevere in the forest was filmed on a very cold night, but Nicholas Clay and Cherie Lunghi did the scene in the nude anyway. John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay ( September 18, 1946 - May 25, 2000) was a British Actor. Cherie Lunghi (born 4 April, 1952) is a British actress Biography Lunghi was born in London.
The costumes were designed by Bob Ringwood. The armour was designed by Terry English. Armour (or armor) is protective covering most commonly manufactured from metals to prevent damage from being inflicted to an individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact It is notable that the armor worn during the period before Arthur and the earlier part of his reign (the "Dark Ages") is black of varying styles, reflecting the turmoil and strife of a divided land. Soon after Lancelot arrives and during the height of Arthur's reign, the Round Table knights adopt Lancelot's style of a glittering, shiny silver armor with the same type of helmet, representing a strong, united kingdom. When the kingdom decays and strife returns with the rebellion of Mordred, knights in the varied, dark armor return, as the ones who fight for Morgana and her son against Arthur. The final battle between Arthur and Mordred's forces highlights the contrast between the silver and dark armor.
The screenplay was written by Rospo Pallenberg with assistance from John Boorman. See also Pre-production Screenwriting A screenplay or script is a written plan authored by a Screenwriter, for a Film or Television John Boorman (born January 18, 1933) is an English filmmaker currently based in Ireland best known for his feature films such as Point
The film is primarily an adaptation of Malory's Morte d'Arthur (1485). Sir Thomas Malory (c 1405 – 14 March 1471 was an English writer the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur. Le Morte d'Arthur (spelled Le Morte Darthur in the first printing and also in some modern editions Middle French for la mort d'Arthur In order to recast the Arthurian legends as an allegory of the cycle of birth, life and decay, the text was stripped of decorative or insignificant details, as well as of Malory's Christian piety. The resulting film is reminiscent of mythographic works such as Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough and Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance; Arthur is presented as the "Wounded King" whose realm becomes a wasteland to be reborn thanks to the Grail, and may be compared to the Fisher (or Sinner) King, whose land also became a wasteland, and was also healed by Perceval. A mythographer, or a mythologist, according to a strict dictionary definition is a compiler of myths Mythography (from Greek μυθογραφία The Golden Bough A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of Mythology and Religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir Jessie Laidlay Weston (1850-1928 was an Independent scholar and Folklorist, working mainly on Mediaeval Arthurian texts From Ritual to Romance is a 1921 book written by Jessie L Weston. The Fisher King or the Wounded King figures in Arthurian legend as the latest in a line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Notably, the Grail is not the Christian "Holy Grail"; rather, it may be inspired by magic cauldrons in Celtic pagan myths. According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish plate or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers "The film has to do with mythical truth, not historical truth," Boorman remarked to a journalist during filming. 
In keeping with this approach, the film is intentionally ahistorical.  For example, the opening titles state the setting to be the Dark Ages, even though the knights wear full plate armor, which was invented much later. This article is about the phrase "Dark Age(s" as a characterization of the Early Middle Ages in Western Europe Knights, knighthood and the code of chivalry also did not exist during the period. Furthermore, Britain is never mentioned by name, only as "the land". See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands
In addition to Malory, the writers incorporated elements from other Arthurian stories, sometimes altering them. For example, the sword between the sleeping lovers' bodies comes from the tales of Tristan and Iseult; the knight who returns Excalibur to the water is changed from Bedivere to Perceval; and Morgause and Morgan Le Fay are merged. The legend of Tristan and Iseult is an influential romance and tragedy retold in numerous sources with as many variations In Arthurian legend, Sir Bedivere ( Welsh: Bedwyr French: Bédoier also spelt Bedevere) is the Knight of the Round Table who returns Morgause, known in earlier works as Anna, is the sister or half-sister of King Arthur in the Arthurian legend. Morgan le Fay, alternatively known as Morgane, Morgain, Morgana and other variants is a powerful sorceress and Antagonist of The sword Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone are presented as the same thing; in the legends they are separate. The Sword in the Stone is a novel by T H White, published in 1938, initially a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy The Once In the legend of Arthur, Sir Galahad, the illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine of Carbonek, is actually the Knight who is worthy of the Holy Grail. Boorman's version of the tale leaves Galahad out completely.
Some new elements were added, such as Uther wielding Excalibur before Arthur (repeated in Merlin), Merlin's 'Charm of Making' (written in Old Irish), and the concept of the world as "the dragon". Excalibur is the legendary Sword of King Arthur sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful Sovereignty of Great Merlin is a 3 hour made-for-television movie released in 1998 that retells the famous legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the wizard Old Irish is the name given to the oldest form of the Irish language, or rather the Goidelic languages, for which extensive written texts are possessed
The soundtrack is by Trevor Jones, with sound bites and samples drawn from Orff's Carmina Burana and Wagnerian motifs, of fate (Ring) and fatal attraction (Tristan und Isolde). Trevor Alfred Charles Jones (born March 23, 1949 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a South African Orchestral Film score A sound bite is an audiolinguistic and social communications phenomenon whose nature was recognized in the late 20th century helped by people such as Marshall McLuhan. Carl Orff ( &ndash) was a 20th-century German Composer, most famous for Carmina Burana (1937 Carmina Burana is a scenic Cantata composed by Carl Orff between 1935 and 1936 Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) is a cycle of four epic Music dramas by the German composer Tristan und Isolde ( Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda) is an Opera, or Music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner A portion of the Siegfried Funeral March from Götterdämmerung was used as the main theme music of the film over the opening and closing credits. ("Twilight of the Gods" – see Notes) is the last of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung
Alex Thomson, the film's cinematographer, was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 1982 Academy Awards, but lost to Vittorio Storaro for Reds. Alexander Thomson ( 12 January 1929 - 14 June 2007) was a British Cinematographer. The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a Cinematographer for work in one particular Motion picture. "The Oscar" redirects here for the film see The Oscar (film. Vittorio Storaro, ASC AIC (born 24 June, 1940 in Rome) is a three-time Academy Award winning Italian Cinematographer Reds is a 1981 film starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton. It centers on the life of John Reed, the Communist, journalist
Merlin states the film's central theme, reflecting an ancient Celtic belief about kingship:
Later, he states the allegory of the Dragon:
Pallenberg and Boorman's screenplay touches on the heroic themes with directness. As Arthur declares: