Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Sword Of The Valiant: The Legend Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight (1984)

by  |  June 30th, 2011  |  Fantasy

Sword Of The Valiant: The Legend Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. This movie is an interesting movie… I discovered this movie a few months ago when I was looking for my latest Fantasy movie to watch.

Now there are a lot of reasons why this movie is fun and interesting (and we will get in to that in a bit.) But in this case I thought I would mention the fact that this movie, seems to me to be a pretty low brow independent film…

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Why is he belittling a movie he is recommending?” First off let me say that I am not. I rather do like quite a bit, those low brow style movies… Some times they can be very important, and one can learn a lesson from it… In some cases they can be just simply a mindless good time, with out much expectation except entertainment!

The reason that I thought I would mention it here is because of some of the actors they got for this movie! Such actors as:

1. Sean Connery (Zardoz)

2. John Rhys Davies (The Indiana Jones series)

3. Peter Cushing (Dracula A.D. 1972)

These people, along with the rest of the cast help compliment this movie and also are one of the reasons why this movie is so great!

Written by: Phillip M. Breen (Gawain And The Green Knight), Howard C. Pen and written and directed by: Stephen Weeks (Ghost Story). Starring: Miles O'Keeffe (The Blade Master), Sean Connery (Outland), Cyrielle Clair (Les Misérables)

I'll give you a riddle, mark it well.  For if by the time we meet again, you have fully understood every line, your life will be restored.  It has, four lines, mark them all well. Where life is emptiness, gladness.  Where life is darkness, fire.  Where life is golden, sorrow.  Where life is lost, wisdom.

– The Green Knight

This movie takes place in a time of myth and wonder. When Magic and Knights still reigned supreme!

Such is the legend of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight!

The Green Knight (Connery) and Sir Gwain (Keeffe)

You see the movie starts off with Gawain being apart of the working class squires of a decedent and decaying, formerly once great kingdom…

This is until one night when during one of the many great feasts of the nobles and their King, and the King (Played by: Trevor Howard) has finally gotten fed up, and refuses to let the nobles eat until they have proven their worth. Now this challenge comes in the form of the Green Knight (Connery)

The Green Knight has come to this royal court with a proposed game in mind.  After showing off his prowess and the power of his axe. He makes the proposition that he will let some one cut off his head (A pretty easy game right?)  Well so it may seem, because this game basically has it that

if you cut off the Green Knight's head you win, but if he survives, then he gets to do the same damage to the person who cut his head off…

Now no one seems to be all that interested in accepting the challenge, except for the lowly peasant servant, Gawain, who had gone to the castle to deliver to the king his newest set of armor…

The King is so impressed by this, that he immediately knights Gawain.  So with confidence, Gawain chops off the Green Knights head…

Of course this doesn't kill the Green Knight, and after re-attaching his head to his body, proceeds to taunt Sir Gawain, who prepares for his death by kneeling down to receive his death blow (which never comes.)

You see, the next phase of the game has begun.  The Green Knight gives Sir Gawain a riddle to solve, and that he has a year to go out in to the world to solve it! If Gawain solves it, then he will live… If not though, then the Green Knight gets to cut his head off!

Gawain preparing to meet his maker.

So with vigor, the King hands Gawain his armor and sword, and sends him and his faithful servant/friend Humphrey (Played by: Leigh Lawson) off in to the world to win the game!

Sir Gawain excepting his responsibilities and his obligation to begins his quest.

With that said, what I liked about this movie, and what I do truly think makes this an awesome b movie is a couple of things:

1. I do like that this movie seems to be some what based on Arthurian legend.  What I mean by this is that even though it is not expressly stated in the movie.  The characters of people like Gwain and Morgan Le Fay (This name actually does appear in the credits.) But these names are both taken from the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of Camelot.  Also I did some research on this movie, and according to what I have been able to find.  This movie does seem to be loosely based on Arthurian legend, but not just the regular tales of King Arthur, or Lancelot.  But the lesser known, Gwain!  And being a fan of history, and of classic literature myself.  I gotta say that I really enjoyed this side of the classic tale!

2. I also found out during my research, that while Sean Connery was making this film, he was also making the 007 movie, Never Say Never Again (1983)

3. I also found out that this film was the last film for both Wilfrid Brambell (whom I personally enjoyed watching in, Witchfinder General, with Vincent Price) and actor Douglas Wilmer (another 007 alumni).

4. Also I am sure that you have noticed that Trevor Howard (Hennessy) is credited as 'The King' in the movie, but don't worry, it was meant to say, King Arthur.

With that said folks, if your looking for a fun Arthurian tale, then I highly recommend this one. It is a fun one!


Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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