John Boorman (1981)

AA Certificate


Our Score
This vivid and passionate telling of the Arthurian legend from director John Boorman is a thoroughly convincing visualisation of the Knights of the Round Table myth within Dark Ages history. Masterfully intermingling fable and magic with a gritty reality, Boorman explores the cosmic duality of good versus evil, paganism versus Christianity, mighty Merlin versus malevolent Morgana, with eccentric élan. The search for the Holy Grail and the final battle are simply stunning sequences, and, while the dizzying pace leaves scant time for proper characterisation, Nicol Williamson, Nigel Terry and Helen Mirren make their mark.


The wizard Merlin schemes to bring about the reign of a great king, resulting in the rise to power of Arthur, who unites the people and strives to achieve peace for his subjects. However, Arthur's rule is plunged into chaos by a secret affair between his wife and the mightiest of his knights, while his evil half-sister plots to destroy him. Fantasy adventure, starring Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson.

Cast & Crew

King Arthur Nigel Terry
Morgana Helen Mirren
Merlin Nicol Williamson
Lancelot Nicholas Clay
Guenevere Cherie Lunghi
Perceval Paul Geoffrey
Mordred Robert Addie
Uther Pendragon Gabriel Byrne
Uryens Keith Buckley
Igrayne Katrine Boorman
Gawain Liam Neeson
Duke of Cornwall Corin Redgrave
Kay Niall O'Brien
Leondegrance Patrick Stewart
Director John Boorman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia-Emi-Warner Dists LtdGuidance: Contains violence and brief nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray