5 Best King Arthur Movies

Monday, January 24 by Kali Winters

The 5 best King Arthur movies, inspired by the pagan tales handed down throughout centuries of story telling and books range from funny to romantic. In the beginning of the 1900's, the Arthurian tales started to show up in stage plays and later in movies. Since the first movie of the legend of King Arthur, countless adaptations found their way into movie cinemas. From dark imagery, romance and comedy, film viewers and Arthurian addicts have countless King Arthur movies to choose from. 

  1. "First Knight" Sean Connery, brings a sense of wisdom to the character of King Arthur. This telling of the betrayal of Guenevere and Sir Lancelot, told in countless movies seems fresh and compelling as Connery gives one of his best performances to date. The movie uses majestic scenes like when Guenevere first comes to Camelot to provide viewers with a sense that the tale of Arthur is larger than life. Every character and every actor in this motive work in perfect alliance with each other to provide a stunning cinematic achievement that makes this one of the 5 best King Arthur movies.

  2. "Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail" If you find British humor interesting, you will love "The Search for the Holy Grail." A comedic take on the legendary tail of King Arthur, this movie is one of the 5 best King Arthur movies simply due to the overwhelming amount of catch phrases that have survived since its filming in 197. From the Knights that go "neep" to the Knight with a flesh wound, Monty Python turned their telling of the grail into one of the funniest movies of all time. 

  3. "Merlin" A made for television mini-series, "Merlin" stands out as one of the best King Arthur movies of all time. It focuses more on the relationship between Merlin and Mab, Queen of the old ways as they struggle to raise King Arthur to be the bridge between the Pagan world and the Christian world. In "Merlin," director Steve Barron speaks to the true nature of Arthurian lore and stays away from the over indulgent romance between the king and his unfaithful wife. Gone are the tales of the round table and the search for the grail and here are the magical people whom bright King Arthur to the forefront of people's imaginations. 

  4. "Excalibur" Never were movies so flamboyant and bright as in the 1980's and Excalibur is no exception. Filmed in 1981, "Excalibur" chronicles the death of King Arthur's father and the upbringing of the boy king by Merlin. The beginning of the film focuses on the sword in stone and how Arthur is the only man with the virtues to remove the sword, Excalibur, from the stone. Once Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, the movie kicks into high gear and really cements itself as one of the 5 best King Arthur movies when it goes on to chronicle the romance between Arthur and Guenevere, the betrayal of King Arthur by his best friend and subsequently the death of the king. 

  5. "Parsifal" Filmed in 1984 by Hans Jurgen Syberberg in West Germany, this story of King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail is an adaptation of the stage play written by Richard Wagner in 1904. Performed almost entirely as a musical, the story follows the knight of the round table on their holy quest. Due to Syberberg's obsession with Germany's past, the film speaks more to the dark imagery of WWII and less about the charismatic personalities you find in later Arthurian tales. "Parsifal" might not appeal to every viewer but the age of the original stage play, the context in which it was adapted and its dark imagery make this an interesting film and certainly one of the 5 best King Arthur movies. 

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COMMENTS

  1. January 24, 2011 11:58 am

    DaveM

    This made me chuckle. “ legendary tail of King Arthur” 
    This is a nice list, I have seen the films mentioned here except Parsifal, I will try and get hold of it, I love the legend of King Arthur.