“Then may He give me the strength to unhorse you. And send you with one blow, back across the sea.”

Synopsis: All the elements of Sir Thomas Malory’s classic ‘Le Morte Darthur’ are here: Arthur (Nigel Terry) removing the sword Excalibur from the stone; the Round Table’s noble birth and tragic decline; the heroic attempts to recover the Holy Grail; and the shifting balance of power between wily wizard Merlin (Nicol Williamson) and evil sorceress Morgana (Helen Mirren). With Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson in notable early screen roles, ‘Excalibur’ serves up, ‘The New Yorker’s’ Pauline Kael wrote, “one lush, enraptured scene after another.”

My Thoughts: I’ve seen “Excalibur” more times than any other movie, at least 50. My brother and I watched it often when we were children because it was one of the few video tapes we owned. We got to the point where we could recite the entire movie word for word to each other. Our copy was brought back by our mother who taught a medeval epic class at her college. It was my first real exposure to the Authurian legend and I was hooked from then on.

This movie has everything guys love in movies: chivalry, adventure, knights, combat, friendship, honor, intrigue, love, betrayal, wizards, battles, castles, jousting… “Excalibur” holds a special place in my heart because of the memories it conjures up. It made me want to be a knight. Though I couldn’t ever be an Authurian knight, I could in the sense of upholding ideals such as honor and courage. Even the music from Wagner stirs the blood. This is the movie that made me love movies. There are so many memorable quotes and images which I will try to convey.

“I have walked my way since the beginning of time. Sometimes I give, sometimes I take, it is mine to know which and when!”

“Talk. Talk is for lovers, Merlin. I need the sword to be king.”

“Show the sword! Behold! The Sword of Power! Excalibur! Forged when the world was young, and bird and beast and flower were one with man, and death was but a dream!”

“He who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king. Arthur, you’re the one.”

“Good and evil, there never is one without the other.”

“Swear faith to me, and you shall have mercy! I need battle lords such as you!”

“I am Lancelot of the Lake, from across the sea. And I have yet to find a King worthy of my sword.”

“Not a boast, sir. But a curse. For I have never met my match in joust or duel.”

“Move aside! This is the king’s road - and the knights you joined arms against were his very own.”

“Lancelot: Your rage has unbalanced you. You sir, would fight to the death, against a knight who is not your enemy. Over a stretch of road you could easily ride around.
Arthur: So be it. To the death!”

“My pride broke it. My rage broke it! This excellent knight, who fought with fairness and grace, was meant to win. I used Excalibur to change that verdict. I’ve lost, for all time. The ancient sword of my fathers, whose power was meant to unite all men… not to serve the vanity of a single man. I am… nothing.”

“The Lady of the Lake!”

“STAND BACK! Be silent! Be still! That’s it… and look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then… this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, ‘I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!’ For it is the doom of men that they forget.”

“Looking at the cake is like looking at the future, until you’ve tasted it what do you really know? And then, of course, it’s too late.”

“Knights, of The Round Table!”

“We are innocent, but not in our hearts.”

“When a man lies, he murders some part of the world.”

“That’s the one thing of yours I don’t want! The quest knights have failed. They’re all dead. And YOU… are dead, too. I shall come back and take Camelot by force!”

“Any man who would be a knight and follow a king… follow me.”

“Now, once more, I must ride with my knights to defend what was, and the dream of what could be.”

“Come father. Let us embrace at last.”

“I cannot give you the land. Only my love.”

“DO… as I command! One day, a King will come, and the Sword will rise… again.”

“I have often thought that in the hereafter of our lives, when I owe no more to the future and can be just a man, that we may meet, and you will come to me and claim me as yours, and know that I am your husband. It is a dream I have…”

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