Excalibur: Behind the Movie, the documentary film about the making of John Boorman’s Arthurian fantasy, aired on RTÉ One in Ireland on Monday evening, July 31. It was so exciting to see the film finally become available and the audience could not have been more appropriate. The original film was shot in Ireland, after all, so it seems only fitting that the Irish should see the documentary first. And now that it has debuted on television, perhaps this lovely documentary will be made available to more viewers, in the United States, the UK, and other countries as well.

Official Poster

Written and directed by Mark Wright, the documentary includes comments by many of its principals, including Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, and the director himself, John Boorman. It is a revealing look at the behind-the-scenes activities involved in bringing fantasy to the screen: it might be a fantasy, but the fire and the horses and even the arrows are real, and the energy required and the dangers endured are not for the faint-hearted. As the documentary explains, the special effects for Excalibur were created “in camera,” which adds depth and realism to the images on the screen. And you learn more about the daily grind of film-making as many of these young stage actors undergo a trial by fire before the camera.

It is a lovely film and I hope, as one of its executive producers, that everyone will have an opportunity to see it someday!

Here are some comments from Twitter:

Gabriel Byrne with director Mark Wright
Gabriel Byrne and Excalibur


  1. Sounds like a fascinating journey into this legendary film. Congratulations to documentary filmmaker Mark Wright and one of the executive producers, our own Stella. I’m really pleased that we will be able to see it soon. The photos are just stunning.

    Angelle from Canada

  2. Stella: thank you so much for being such an intregal part of this fascinating film about EXCALIBUR! I am looking forward to viewing it. All of the byrneholics are lucky to have you as our founder. I appreciate all that you do.

  3. Mick Burke

    Is this the same film that was originally ‘Behind the sword in the stone’? Where can I see or buy this film? I’m in the US and have LOVED Excalibur since it came out! Saw it on RTI, but I can’t watch it form here on their site.

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