King Arthur, Merlin, a magic swordÂ and a young Helen Mirren what else could a man ask for in a film?
After the Roman legions were recalled to Rome to fight the hordes of Barbarians arriving at their gates, Britain was left to a few remaining Roman centurions to defend the country from Saxon, Pict and Irish Invaders as well as internal power struggles as old clan rivalries resurfaced.
Amidst this power struggle the greatest BritishÂ legend was born, a legend of a great King who defended Britain from all invaders and did so with magic and honour. This King had a name and that name still evokes a romantic ideal for a country and a leader that we can trust.
And that name is Arthur.
In 1981 a film was released about the Legend of Arthur baring the name of hisÂ magical sword "Excalibur".
The film's Director was John Boorman and had an all star cast with Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Nigel Terry, Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart all looking very young and in fact I did not recognise the young Gabriel Byrne playing Uther Pendragon.
The Film managed to capture the charm and romanticism found in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and thankfully forgets the historical reality of the fortifications during the Dark Ages which were rather unimpressive wooden hill fort structures compared to the grand castles of the Norman period which this film uses to dramatic effect in recreating Camelot.
It is a great story of destiny, love and betrayal which I will not go into because if you do not know the story of King Arthur then shame on you and your parents for not reading up on our greatest legend.
The acting is second to none and Helen Mirren is rather enticing and became the inspiration for many a woman with Gothic or Wiccan tendencies. Get into any conversation about the film Excalibur and after the plotÂ and the impressive cinematographyÂ as been discussed it always comes back to men going "Whoar did you see Helen Mirren?".
Anyway get out there and buy it on whatever format you can and do not forget the once and future King, whose legend was around before your great great great great great great great grandfather was a twinkle in his great great great great great grandfather's eye.