Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Excalibur (1981) -Review

Last week, I had the chance to watch "Excalibur" for the first time. It was a decent movie, though nothing particularly special. It may have been a great film in its day, but after 30 years it could probably benefit from an updated remake. The special effects were kind of weak, and the dialog wasn't all it could be.

The story does a decent job of following the King Arthur legend, and the acting is quite good, though there are times it seems a bit stilted. Most of the actors fit their parts pretty well, though "Merlin" looked a bit too young, in my opinion. Nichol Williamson did a decent job of portraying him as a creepy manipulative wizard with good intentions at heart, but they could have at least made his hair white.

There are also a few interesting appearances from actors "before they were famous." Most notably, we see Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of Star Trek, The Next Generation), and Liam Neeson, both in supporting roles.

I'd say this is my second favorite movie based on the Arthur legend. First prize has to go to the more recent King Arthur,with Clive Owen in the lead role (though that is a totally different story, so it's a lot like comparing a Model-T to a 1965 Mustang). That one gets top marks for story, acting, and special effects.  I feel Excalibur's age has diminished its effectiveness, and thus it can't stand up to modern masterpieces.

Overall, I'll give Excalibur 3 stars. It's worth watching, but nothing really special.


  1. I love watching these old movie or TV programmes and playing spot-the-actor-before-they-were-famous.

    Great review!

    Ellie Garratt

  2. Interesting review. I love older movies (Just watched Adam's Rib with Spencer Tracey/Audrey Hepburn. Very special movie) so its always fun to be introduced to new ones.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  3. Old FX are hilarious! I love watching old movies, like Sinbad, and trying to figure out how they did it. Good luck with the challenge!

  4. Classic and good post. I don't remember if I've seen this one or not but I'll have to check it out to make sure.

    Dawn's Writing Blog