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Sword of the Valiant (1984)

aka Sword of the Valiant

Directed By: 
Details: 102 mins · English · PG (USA)

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Cast:

Small Sir Gawain
No_movie_poster Humphrey
Small The King
Small The Green Knight
No_movie_poster Morgan La Fay
No_movie_poster Linet (as Cyrielle Claire)
Small Seneschal
No_movie_poster Oswald
Small Lady of Lyonesse
Small Baron Fortinbras
No_movie_poster Sage
No_movie_poster Porter
No_movie_poster The Black Knight
No_movie_poster Armourer

Crew:

No_movie_poster Stephen Weeks Director
No_movie_poster Stephen Weeks Screenplay
No_movie_poster Howard C. Pen Screenplay
No_movie_poster Yoram Globus Production
Small Menahem Golan Production
No_movie_poster Rosemary Sutcliff Writer
No_movie_poster Stephen Weeks Writer
No_movie_poster Philip M. Breen Writer

Plot:

The film begins with a feast in a great hall during winter. A knight on horseback storms through the door and the crowd falls silent as the knight, all in green and carrying a large axe, walks up to the throne. He asks if any man has enough courage to challenge him to a game and finally a young squire named Gawain accepts. The knight tells Gawain that he has one chance to behead him, but then the knight gets to return the favor. Gawain beheads the knight but then the knight's torso walks up and grabs the head and puts it back on his body. The crowd is stunned and the knight tells Gawain to kneel so he can make his blow. The king stops the knight, saying Gawain is only a boy. The knight agrees and says he will return in one year, unless Gawain solves one riddle, which consists of four lines:


Where life is emptyness, gladness.


Where life is darkness, fire.


Where life is golden, sorrow.


Where life is lost, wisdom.


Gawain is then knighted by King Arthur and is given King Arthur's blessing and ceremonial armour to accomplish a seemingly chivalrous task. He heads out with a loyal servant in search of the answer to the Green Knight's riddle. When asked which way they should be heading, his servant suggests due west, as that is the direction the wind is blowing.


Sir Gawain then meets another knight, in black armor, claiming to defend a lost and hidden city. After a short duel (in which Sir Gawain's thin armor is revealed by the servant to him) the knight in black armor concedes to the challenger and shows the whereabouts of a secret city. However, upon arriving there, the knight in black armor, close to death, lies about his wounds and calls the victorious Sir Gawain a murderer, setting the city and her guards upon him. He manages to escape the guards, thanks to the aid of a beautiful lady in the castle, who gives him a ring with which to escape.


Upon escaping he is told by the Green Knight that the game he has accepted as a challenge has rules, rules of which have been broken.


Later, Gawain returns to the secret city, only to find it deserted, with the denizens old and covered in cob webs, frozen in time. However he is able to revive and bring back the youth of the lady that helped him escape by giving her the magic ring he used to escape the city (that previously broke the rules). Unfortunately, in his hours of peace and love, the lady is kidnapped by a lustful prince.


Gawain is convinced that saving her is his only option and rediscovers his friend and servant along with a band of men willing to assist. Whilst the rescue mission is under way, a rival Baron of the captors arrives and threatens war if certain demands are not met. The rival Baron has accepted the beautiful lady as a tribute to avert war. The rescue mission fails, with Sir Gawain under the false impression that the beautiful lady has been killed in a fire thanks to the acts of the lustful prince.


Later Gawain asks his comrades to disband, including the men that followed him to raid the castle in an attempt to save the lady. He then discovers to his joy that the lady has in fact been saved by the rival Baron who accepted her as tribute and even gave her her freedom at no cost. Eternally grateful, Sir Gawain once more gathers his men and his servant and encounters the forces of the prince who kidnapped the lady. Despite being outnumbered and lacking archers, Sir Gawain and his men triumph over the forces of the lustful prince. Whilst in single combat, Sir Gawain has the upper hand when the prince calls for assistance from an archer nearby. The archer is about to fire into Gawain's back when the seneschal of the Prince's father orders the archer to stop, preferring to see his son die in honorable combat then let him cheat. The Seneschal then orders his men to withdraw, leaving Gawain to take the field.


Following his finale with the lustful prince, Gawain is approached by the Green Knight. Gawain has failed to solve the final line of the riddle within the time limit, and must therefore allow the Green Knight one swing at his neck with an axe.


Gawain rides out to meet the Knight. He has around his neck a piece of magical cloth from the lady, showing her favor. The Green knight takes aim with his axe at Gawain's neck and strikes a blow. To his dismay, Gawain survives thanks to the cloth given to him by the lady. Gawain then tells the Green Knight that the game is over since he has struck his single blow. The Green Knight and Sir Gawain then do battle, with Sir Gawain triumphing. As the Green Knight suffers a mortal wound, he asks Sir Gawain to stop battle, realizing that he has already lost.


Sir Gawain returns to the beautiful lady. Near the sea, he talks with her and she tells him: "I too live a borrowed year. It began with your act of valor before the Green Knight and now is at an end." As he touches her on the cheek, she flies away as a dove, returning to Lyonesse.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2004-04-06