John Boorman's Excalibur Isn't Just Another King Arthur Movie

Jim Knipfel Apr 17, 2019

The legend of King Arthur has never been more stylized or strange than it was in John Boorman's Excalibur.

After so many centuries as an inescapable figure in literature, art, poetry, comics, movies, cartoons, and on TV, it still seemed in 1975 Monty Python had offered the final word on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I mean, after the holy hand grenade, what more was there to say?

Then six years later along came Excalibur.

As directors go, John Boorman has always been a weirdie, and a tough one to pin down. In the late ’60s he gave us two of the most fundamental pictures of Lee Marvin’s career with Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific. He then moved onto the unforgettable backwoods savagery of 1972’s Deliverance. Throughout the rest of
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