Delving into Uncle Ira’s Basement once again, Frank Dietz and Frank Woodward also take a trip back in history to examine and enjoy fond memories of EXCALIBUR, John Boorman’s 1981 glorious, violent, sexy vision of the King Arthur legends.

Uncle Ira's Basement: EXCALIBUR

by Damn Dirty Geeks

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Starring Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Willamson and a round table of upcoming film stars including Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart, EXCALIBUR imagines the tale of Arthur’s Camelot as a bloody, down-in-the-dirt fantasy epic that forever raised the bar of expectations on the Sword and Sorcery film genre.

Quad poster design for EXCALIBURWoodward and Dietz relate seeing the film in 1981 as a highlight of their young moviegoing lives and libidos in its “Brian Blessed-level of acting” style during the new age of cable television. EXCALIBUR still holds a strong spell on audiences imaginations, and Boorman’s armor-clad epic is very worth viewing today so check it out. One day, a King will come, and the Sword will rise… again!

Watch the 1981 EXCALIBUR theatrical trailer on YouTube.


Trivia: EXCALIBUR marked the feature film debuts of Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds’ and Cherie Lunghi. Director John Boorman reported wanted to make a feature adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings but failed to obtain the rights, so he made EXCALIBUR instead. Swedish actor Max von Sydow was originally cast to play Merlin.

EXCALIBUR – watch the 1981 theatrical trailer on YouTube.
EXCALIBUR on Blu-Ray – purchase the HD disc of the film at


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You can find further info and episode show notes on our Damn Dirty Geeks Facebook page. Artwork is © 2001 Frank Dietz.