Sword and Sorcery

Movie Review: Excalibur


Written by Rospo Pallenberg and John Boorman. Directed by John Boorman. 1981.

"On second thought," the Pythons tell us, "Camelot is a silly place. Let's not go there." To the Pythons I answer: but John Boorman's vision of it is absolutely extraordinary! Like a knight struck by a mace and whirling in circles upon the field, I'm dazzled by the costumes, cinematography, and acting. Performances momentous, among them Nicol Williamson's Merlin and Helen Mirren's Morgana. Yes, there is a goofy, sexed-up vibe to the production, but it's so in-check by the director's steady hand that Excalibur becomes much more than a sword-and-sorcery epic. It's a story of forgiveness set against the backdrop of memory. Simply incredible.

"...it is the doom of men that they forget." -- Merlin