Moviedrome Mondays: Excalibur (1981) and Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday is yet another double-bill of two very different films.

Excalibur (1981)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director John Boorman’s 1981 medieval fantasy Excalibur. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 21, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except my two cents – as brief as my thoughts are. A majority of Excalibur is undeniably flawed, but at the same time, it does have great actors and Alex Thomson’s cinematography makes it atmospheric.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Excalibur

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to former SNL (Saturday Night Live) writer Tom Schiller’s 1984 directorial feature debut Nothing Lasts Forever. Readers can also read Cox’s intro here. The episode’s original airdate was August 22, 1994 (read here). Can’t really add much here since I have not seen the film – it has reportedly never got an American theatrical or home video release. I read that it has been uploaded on youtube a few times and then taken down.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Nothing Lasts Forever

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer

11 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Excalibur (1981) and Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

  1. I hated Excalibur. I thought it was terrible. The good points to it are the visuals and the soundtrack. Helen Mirren is also great as Alex stated in his intro. She’s only capable of being great as she’s a great actress. One of the best infact. The film tells it’s story fairly well.

    What kills Excalibur for me is the acting from the cast bar Helen Mirren which I think is absolutely atrocious. The acting besides Helen Mirren’s is laughably ridiculous. The actors scream their dialogue in ridiculous voices. It’s almost a joke. I can honestly say it’s the worst acting I’ve ever seen in anything and that isn’t an exaggeration. What the hell was John Boorman thinking? He’s also responsible for one of the worst and most ridiculous films ever made Exorcist II: The Heretic and the also ridiculous Zardoz. The ridiculously terrible acting is the reason why I don’t like Excalibur. If it had decent acting then it might have been a good film. I’d much rather watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail than Excalibur.

    I’m not much of a fan of John Boorman’s films. Point Blank is quite good but Deliverance isn’t as good as it’s reputation. The first hour or so is very good but then the film from when Voight begins climbing the rock to the end is only decent so I think Deliverance is an uneven film. I don’t really rate Boorman as a director. I think he’s an erratic director. I haven’t seen Hope and Glory though.

    Alex’s intro to Excalibur is great though. Another top notch intro by him.

    The second film of this double bill is one of the rarest films shown on Moviedrome. It was shelved by the studio and never got a theatrical release. It’s almost impossible to find thus I haven’t seen it so I can’t say anything about it. It’s interesting that Bill Murray is in the film though.

    Alex’s intro to it is one of the strangest he did on Moviedrome as it’s a load of baloney but still fun nonetheless. I have no idea why Alex didn’t talk about the actual film and instead went on this tangent of nonsense.

  2. I haven’t seen either film, John, though I do like several John Boorman films (I even have a soft spot for Zardoz, it’s one of those films that are so bad their good.) I haven’t heard of Nothing Lasts Forever.

  3. Like Steve, I thought the acting (and casting) in Excalibur was atrocious. However, unlike Steve, I was blown away by the film at the cinema, and I thought the visuals and soundtrack were amazing. (At the time) I ended up loving the film, despite all of its faults.
    (I haven’t heard of the other film.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Visually or at least to an extent, Excalibur is a masterpiece of form, but a complete travesty of content. I too agree that the dialogue is terrible and despite top acting talent, only Helen Mirren stood out as intriguing. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  5. Zardoz is a very good John Boorman film. As for what is Boorman’s great film, for me, that would be 1967’s Point Blank with Lee Marvin πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  6. Yes, I’ve grown to like Point Blank with repeated viewings. I’m a big Deliverance fan as well. It’s my favorite Boorman film. I also admire The General. Looking over his cannon, it appears he’s made some stinkers too.

  7. To an extent, Excalibur is a visually impressive film (notice I said “to an extent”), but yeah, with the exception of Helen Mirren, the acting (despite top talent) and it’s script is terrible. Now I actually thought that Zardoz was very good, but I totally agree with you that Exorcist II was terrible despite a great Ennio Morricone score. For my money, Point Blank ranks as Boorman’s greatest film. To date, my favorite film on the King Arthur legend is master French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s 1974 film Lancelot of the Lake – check it out πŸ™‚ And yes, the other one is 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail πŸ™‚ I too agree with you that Boorman’s whole filmography is uneven.

    I was aware that the second film (Nothing Lasts Forever) is rarely shown and I did know that it never got a theatrical release. The trailer looked interesting, but one wonders why it was shelved? Or at least, here in the US?

    I love both of Cox’s intros here, but I could see why the latter one is a little off for a lack of better word πŸ™‚

  8. Excalibur had moments of brilliance. Enough that I’ve it a few times. Of course it’s flawed to us because it’s one person’s vision of a Spiritual event and two people are of the same state of consciousness. The whole mythology has magical elements that are based in Spiritual Truth. That’s why it has such a powerful pull on us. We (Soul) inwardly relate with this.

  9. Excalibur being one person’s vision of a spiritual event is not the problem for me. The main problem is that (with the exception of Helen Mirren) the acting (despite top talent) is atrocious as is the dialogue. Visually, to an extent, Excalibur is a masterpiece – check out the cinematography, which for me, is the steals the entire film. That, along with some truly gritty moments as well as it’s occasional eroticism, elevates it to that of a good film. I do agree with you though in theory with your last two sentences though πŸ™‚ As to what is my favorite film on the subject of King Arthur, that would be Robert Bresson’s 1974 take on it entitled Lancelot of the Lake – check it out πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  10. I haven’t seen either of these John. I wonder why Nothing Lasts Forever has never had a theatrical release? From Alex Cox’s introTom Schiller certainly sounds an interesting character!

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