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Best King Arthur film? (1 Viewer)

Richard_D_Ramirez

Second Unit
Joined
May 21, 2001
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439

Not overtures, but Excalibur is replete with Wagner's work, which is one of the reasons why I love this film. excerpts from Wagner's Siegfried and Gotterdammerung from his Ring cyle, Parsifal, and Tristan and Isolde dominate the film.

8^B
 

michael_mo

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 29, 2003
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Ernest, as in the above post.. there is plenty of Wagner in Excalibre. The one I am alluding to, that is repeated many times, is from 'the ring' opera... it appears as the music when the sword comes out of the lake the first time. Been about a year since I've watched it, thus I cant give more details and to the other places where it is cued.

Also, I kinda chuckled to myself reading your reply... (and this is not an attack on you, just made me chuckle).... I dont think I could mistake Wagner's music for the "bubble gum" music of Orff. Carmina Burana has about 5 minutes of memorable music to start it off... then about 40 minutes of 'blah'. (but that is another topic of debate, as musical tastes will vary...)
 

Ernest Rister

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"Ernest, as in the above post.. there is plenty of Wagner in Excalibre. The one I am alluding to, that is repeated many times, is from 'the ring' opera... it appears as the music when the sword comes out of the lake the first time. Been about a year since I've watched it, thus I cant give more details and to the other places where it is cued."

Surely it isn't cued "19 times", and surely it isn't cued from a Wagner "overture". I question your memory of this film, and I'm still waiting for you to explain your statement that Gladiator and LOTR make Excalibur look "horrible".

"Also, I kinda chuckled to myself reading your reply..."

Which is ironic, because I'm laughing at how you've misspelled the movie title three times now.

"I dont think I could mistake Wagner's music for the "bubble gum" music of Orff. Carmina Burana has about 5 minutes of memorable music to start it off... then about 40 minutes of 'blah'. (but that is another topic of debate, as musical tastes will vary...)"

I love Orff's Carmina Burnana. All of it. Howard Shore apparently loves it, too.
 

Richard_D_Ramirez

Second Unit
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The reason why a certain cue is often repeated in Excalibur (or in any film, really) is because of the very nature in which Wagner utilized the leitmotif in his Ring cycle to identify characters or themes. Boorman even chose to have the sword Excalibur itself become a character in his film by attaching a leitmotif onto it. Here are other cues Boorman used as lietmotifs:

- A cue from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde is played whenever Lancelot and Gueneviere look lovingly in each other's eyes. The theme is finally played full bore when Gueneviere rides off to Lancelot.

- Cues from Wagner's Siegfried's Funeral Scene represents Excalibur. It is played when it retrieved from the lake, tossed into the lake, driven into the stone, etc. It is also played during the opening and closing of the film (the film is called Excalibur afterall...).

- Actually, Orff's Carmina Burana is not played twice, but actually three times; Whenever a charge is needed. First when Arthur assembles his faithful knights for the final battle, a second time when they charge into Mordred's army, and finally a third time when Lancelot charges into the fray.

- Whenever Percival has an encounter with the Grail, a cue from Wagner's Parsifal is played (well, duh...)

BTW, the leitmotif is nothing new in film scores. Most film score writers utilize this method. John Williams uses "Yoda's theme" for any time the Force is explained. Howard Shore uses the "Gondor theme" whenever Minas Tirith is discussed.

Did I take this thread off on a tangent? :D

8^B
 

Rob Bartlett

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Mar 1, 2003
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I wouldn't say Lord of the Rings makes Excalibur look horrible, but it trumps it in every conceivable manner. You know, I've always liked the movie, but even before Jackson's trilogy 've noticed it ahd a lot of holes in it. The acting is a little too affected, and a lot of the philosophy is mumbo jumbo. I'd say it's on par with Gladiator.
 

Eric Samonte

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Mar 31, 1999
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1,318
Excalibur is a the best King Arthur movie to date, now..is there any news of it getting redone? At least with 5.1 sound?
 
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Am I the only one that read the Mary Stewart books? I thought that was an interesting take on the Merlin/magic angle.
 

Citizen87645

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Cameron Yee
I wrote about them in Post #24 of this thread.

Finally, someone else!!!
 

Ernest Rister

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"Actually, Orff's Carmina Burana is not played twice, but actually three times; Whenever a charge is needed. First when Arthur assembles his faithful knights for the final battle, a second time when they charge into Mordred's army, and finally a third time when Lancelot charges into the fray."

Actually.

1) Actually Young Arthur assembles the Knights loyal to him and leads then against

2) Actually Arthur drinks from the grail and assembles his knights and leads them to battle

3) Actually Arthur's knights charge through the fog.

4) Actusally Lancelot reappears, bashing heads.

Actually.

So...Gladiator and LOTR making Excalibur look "horrible". Any takers?
 

Ben JH

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Oct 14, 2002
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.
Boorman also used music that really fits with the film, by choosing grandiose heroic stuff like Carmina Burana and a shedload of Wagner music (the Gotterdamerung music fits perfectly with the last scenees of the film). It's an underrated score that should be up there with the likes of the SW OT, Indiana Jones, and Jaws scores.
And long before the LOTR films were even a glint in Peter Jackson's eye, Boorman was using landscapes to striking effect. Go back and look at the way he uses the Irish landscape, particularly when showing Percival searching for the Grail.

So to sum up, it had it's weaknesses, but it also still has a huge amount going for it and should really get more credit than it does.
 

BrianMagog

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Apr 2, 2003
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Cameron,
I agree with your assessment of the Mary Stewart books. Very cool how Merlin's character is presented, which really could work well in a motion picture. I thought the Crystal Cave was fantastic.
 

Citizen87645

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Cameron Yee


Yes, it surprises me this has not been done yet.

Wicked Day, which examines the relationship of Mordred and Arthur, isn't bad either.
 

doug zdanivsky

Supporting Actor
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Aug 19, 1998
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doug zdanivsky
I was dissapointed by the Merlin mini-series..

Not bad, for TV, anyways.. But not good.

I love the J. Whyte novels (Uther, Clothar the Frank)..

Those would make good movies..
 

Rob Gardiner

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 15, 2002
Messages
2,950
Thanks everyone.

I now have one film (Excalibur) and many many books to check out. I'm assuming anything older than 100 years will be in the public domain, and therefore available electronically? I like loading books into my palm pilot as opposed to carrying around little bricks of bleached wood pulp.
 

derek

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 20, 1998
Messages
494
Well count me in as one who enjoyed First Knight. A fun adventure romp in the vein of Zorro. Connery has the Arthurian screen presence and Ormond is a pleasure to watch. Ben Cross nails the vengeful villain. Gere...well not too crazy about his acting abilities. The movie is 'Arthurian legend lite', has some pretty cheesy moments, but it's still a good dvd and great 5.1 soundtrack.
 

Chris Roberts

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 7, 2004
Messages
223
Chalk up another vote for Excalibur. I watched it last year after not seeing it for a long time and I think it held up well. Sure by today's standards it should have tons more CGI and the women should be younger and wear less, but the story it tells is still just as good as it was when it came out.
The fight scenes aren't lightning fast with a shaky camera, but they're more realistic to what guys wearing heavy armor fighting looks like if you've actually seen it (or done it). The acting is more akin to stage acting than theatrical acting, but that's probably a by-product of so many of the actors coming from the stage and that being their first movie. But as I said the story is told well and they fit a lot more in without going off on tangents then I think anyone else could do.
My main annoyance with the movie though is the same as it was when I fist saw it. What's with that stupid-looking shiny metal cap that Merlin wears?
 

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