Film, Action and adventure
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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Visually impressive but generally muddled and uneven adaptation of Malory's Morte d'Arthur, both overlong and incoherent as it follows the quest for the Holy Grail and the climactic battle between Arthur and Mordred. Almost determinedly bizarre (or stupid?) in some of its characterisation - most notably Williamson's eccentric Merlin - it also adds a dash of gore and a touch of sex for good modernist measure. Nothing, however, can counter the film's inability to sway the emotions. For all its audacity, a misguided folly.

By: GA

Release details

Duration: 140 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Boorman
Screenwriter: John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg
Cast: Robert Addie
Nigel Terry
Gabriel Byrne
Paul Geoffrey
Cherie Lunghi
Nicholas Clay
Nicol Williamson
Helen Mirren
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Simply superb and wonderful adapation of Malory's works. Gamy, gory but breaths life and has, simply put, the best adaptation of Merlin ever done.


This is great film. It tries to mix the best bits if Arthurian Legend together, admittedly it doesn't always get it right. Nicol Williamson's eccentric Merlin is a joy and adds some light humour to the movie without taking away any of the characters worldly wise status. The casting is perfect with a noteable Helen Mirren performance as Morgana. Unfortunately the tight budget shows, some of the battle scenes suffer from a lack of extras. Visually stunning and worthy of it's solitary oscar. This film is a worthy addition to anyones collection.