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      Sword of the Valiant

      PG Released Aug 17, 1984 1 hr. 41 min. Fantasy List
      Reviews 29% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score The Green Knight (Sean Connery) tricks Gawain (Miles O'Keeffe) of the Round Table, then gives him a year to solve a riddle or die. Read More Read Less

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      Sword of the Valiant

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      Audience Reviews

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      robert p A totally unrealistic movie with cheap everything, makes me give this film a .5 rating. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review antonis k Trying to understand the plot of this film? is harder than even explaining it and the fact that Sean Connery and Peter Cushing were in it? makes it even more confusing. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Such nostalgia cannot rot even the least desirable of tomatoes, sir Gewain. A must watch for Sean Connery completists. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Another 80's flick that I had never heard of but was drawn in by the quite amazingly hokey looking movie poster. I mean look at it, a huge sword emblazoned across the middle with various character images hand-drawn to either side. And is that Sean Connery I see on the right? Why yes it is! The only well-drawn (recognisable) face on the poster I might add. Connery's casting elevated my interest...along with the glorious cheesiness on display. This film is loosely based on the 14th-century poem [i]Sir Gawain and the Green Knight[/i] and is also the second adaptation of the poem by director Stephen Weeks. Interestingly Weeks also recast Ronald Lacey in exactly the same role in this version. The plot revolves around a mysterious knight clad in green armour (Sean Connery) presenting himself within King Arthur's court one winters night. The knight offers a challenge to any brave willing knight, one attempt to behead him. After that the Green Knight would have his chance. Naturally nobody steps forward...until the young squire Gawain (Miles O'Keeffe) accepts the challenge. Gawain beheads the Green Knight only to find it has no effect as the decapitated body merely picks up the head and puts it back upon its shoulders. The Green Knight then decides (after recognising Gawain is still very young) to allow Gawain one year to solve a riddle in order to save his life. And that's it! Gawain must then set off on his somewhat random quest of solving the Green Knights curious riddle in order to avoid getting his head cut off in one year. So yes the plot is rather odd and with little explanation to anything. Alas one must expect this seeing as it's based on a 14th-century poem, albeit loosely. The most obvious question is who or what is the Green Knight? Clearly this knight is some kind of supernatural being. A messenger or tester of men from another world or beyond the grave. He presumably goes around offering these challenges or tests to men in order to see who is worthy of life...or something like that. Why was his armour green? Well after some minor research it seems in old English folklore green represented nature, mythical creatures and witchcraft. So you can see how that would match with the mysterious Green Knight. In this film the knight also has some kind of stag horns on his head which points towards Paganism and Celtic culture, I think. Again all supernatural elements. Then you have to question the 'beheading game'. I mean seriously, what kind of game is that?! Surely it wouldn't last too long after the first bloke has a hack at the other. Admittedly after some more minor research, it appears that this insane act is merely a trope of medieval romance and not an actual leading sport from the time of yore (I think). This film is packed with oddities and various mythical easter eggs as it were. Sir Gawain's first trial is a battle with the infamous Black Knight, a character that has popped up in all manner of material. His reward for defeating the dark knight is to be led to the hidden city/realm of Lyonesse (a mythical stretch of land between Lands' End and the Isles of Scilly consumed by the sea). There Gawain meets with another mysterious character, the Lady Linet, who gives him a magical ring allowing him to disappear. She is later kidnapped by a lustful Prince and it falls upon Gawain to rescue her etc... Problems do abound with this feature unfortunately. The casting is in places impressive and twas clearly a coup to land actors like Connery and Peter Cushing, both of which do fit their roles pretty well. Cushing as the regal Senechal to the lustful Prince and Connery as the towering Green Knight. Both his Scottish lisp and bushy facial hair a big plus factor here. His clearly sexualised suit of armour has to be seen to be believed. On the other hand the casting of O'Keeffe as Sir Gawain felt awkward and wooden. Sure he had the bod but he definitely couldn't act too well and that blonde wig was terrible! He looked like a Ken doll. Wilfrid Brambell pops up in his last onscreen role looking every bit the scruffy medieval peasant type. And then there's the poor man's Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies, as a Baron. To be honest, the film doesn't really look that good either. Whilst filming took place in various locations with actual castles used (France and Ireland) which definitely looked great, overall the film looked fake. It seemed to differ from scene to scene. There are some scenes inside castle walls which looked really authentic with old period looking wooden storefronts, flags, banners, candlelit halls, and whatnot. There are some scenes where knight armour looked pretty decent and genuinely metallic, and there were some costumes that looked realistic. But overall much of the production looks a bit tinny and plastic with stupid wigs and glittery makeup. The less said about the score the better methinks, talk about B-movie. And then there's the ending, it just ends, just like that. Sir Gawain rescues Lady Linet, she turns into a dove and flies away back to Lyonesse. We then get a lingering facial shot of Gawain as he looks sad, and in mid-head movement, the film stops and ends. So what happens? Dunno, but can't Gawain just go back to Lyonesse to see Linet again? The original poem is completely different here. So overall the plot has been tinkered with to make a relatively cohesive plot but unfortunately it simply comes across as generic whimsical fluff. It seems much of the original poem's themes have been jettisoned for a more simplified, trope-laden fantasy. Whilst not a bad film, it's not particularly engaging either. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member another take on the oft told king arthur myth Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member One of Sean Connery's worst... Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Tim Brayton Alternate Ending A pretty feisty blend of chintzy kitsch and the cheery energy of little children racing around the back yard using sticks as broadswords. Rated: 1.5/5 Aug 3, 2021 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com ...the episodic structure is true to the material, and there are dashes of humour that indicate that the ridiculousness of the project was not lost on the creative team... Rated: 3/5 Jul 18, 2021 Full Review Walter Chaw Film Freak Central The special effects are a notch above scratching the negative and pretending. Rated: 0/4 May 10, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis The Green Knight (Sean Connery) tricks Gawain (Miles O'Keeffe) of the Round Table, then gives him a year to solve a riddle or die.
      Director
      Stephen Weeks
      Executive Producer
      Philip M. Breen, Michael Kagan
      Distributor
      The Cannon Group
      Production Co
      Golan-Globus Productions
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Fantasy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Aug 17, 1984, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 5, 2019
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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