27 January 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
‘Excalibur: Behind the Movie’ airs tonight at 21:35 on RTÉ One
31 Jul 2017 : Katie McNeice
Still, 'Excalibur'
The fifty-two minute documentary explores the making of John Boorman’s fantasy adventure film, which was shot in counties Kerry, Wicklow and Tipperary in 1981.

‘Excalibur’ stars Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Nicholas Clay and more alongside Irish talents Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, with Ciarán Hinds also featuring.

It earned cinematographer Alex Thomson an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography and Boorman his second Palme d’Or nomination at Cannes, the first being for ‘Leo the Last’ in 1970.

Mark Wright wrote and directed the title which features interviews with Neeson, Byrne, Mirren and Stewart.

‘Excalibur’ which tells the story of King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone is said by Boorman to have been the most challenging film he ever made, and is credited as a catalyst for careers in many of its key cast becoming as well-known as they are today.

The film is also noted for its influence on the Irish industry, putting Irish crew, locations and talent on the international stage.

Through retrospective interviews, those involved recall Boorman’s meticulous casting process with its emphasis on national theatres and shooting gruelling scenes repeatedly to ensure the perfect performances were captured.

The documentary is produced by Alec Moore and Lawrence Fee with Craig McCall as executive producer.

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