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First Knight

This expensive, star-heavy retake on the Arthurian legend works well enough as Hollywood Gothic hokum: Connery is his usual reliable self as the renowned first among equals; Ormond is quite excellent as a thoroughly modern maiden torn between love and duty; and Gere's fearless Lancelot may be about as medieval as a roller disco but still has charm and athleticism (less Lancelot du Lac than Lancelot du Lacquer). William Nicholson's script produces a few dud lines, but the big scenes are spaciously put together and the final sequence in which Arthur is launched towards Avalon on a raft ignited by a lone arrow is genuinely touching. There's even a cameo by Gielgud and the semblance of a happy ending to a story that is usually shrouded in mist and tears. No Merlin, no Holy Grail, and no Lady of the Lake. Lots of lovely torches though and some really neat crossbows.

Release details

Duration: 134 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jerry Zucker
Screenwriter: William Nicholson
Cast: Richard Gere
Sean Connery
Julia Ormond
Ben Cross
Liam Cunningham
Christopher Villiers
Valentine Pelka
Colin McCormack
John Gielgud
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