Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur is set to release next year as one of six projected franchise films based on the old famous legend. As viewers, we’re no stranger to the world of Camelot, as it seems every year this story is being retold in some form of a new movie or TV show. But even with about a hundred adaptations, the story of King Arthur is so complex that we can never seem to get bored of it — especially with all of the sorcery, romance, and sword-fighting action that occurs! For those of you who just can’t wait for Guy Ritchie’s new film, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of the best movies and TV shows surrounding King Arthur that you should watch (or rewatch) right now in the mean time:
- King Arthur (2004 Film)
This is one of the more unique adaptations of the King Arthur Legend. The film is set after the fall of the Roman empire and focuses more on the politics during which King Arthur ruled. While most other King Arthur films are created with mystical elements in mind, this film offers a more realistic approach by omitting the magic and adding historical context (don’t worry, Merlin is still in the film, he’s just not casting any spells). Don’t knock the film until you watch it though, King Arthur definitely gives viewers a fresh and different take on the story.
- The Sword in the Stone (1963 Film)
A top list would be incomplete without a Disney title. The Sword in the Stone is an absolute classic not just for King Arthur and Lancelot fans, but also for Disney fans in general. This animated adaptation narrows in on the friendship between Merlin the sorcerer and Arthur (who’s known as Wart in the movie) and the adventures they set out upon to help Arthur become King. Next time you have a family movie night, you must check out The Sword in the Stone.
- Camelot (2011 TV Show)
Camelot brings brother-sister rivalry to a whole new level. When King Uther is poisoned to death, Merlin seeks his unknown son Arthur to help him become King. Morgana, Arthur’s half sister, believes she is the rightful heir and forms an alliance with King Lot to try and gain control of the throne. Who doesn’t like a series full of backstabbing and medieval family drama involving a treacherous female villain?
- Merlin (2008 TV Show)
In this British original TV series, Prince Arthur is the heir to the throne (unfortunately, there’s no magic sword being pulled out of a stone here), while Merlin is a young sorcerer who is trying to master his gift of magic. Merlin arrives in Camelot only to find out that King Uther has banned the use of magic. Without anyone finding out about his powers, he must fulfill his destiny to protect Arthur and restore magic in Camelot. If you like coming-of-age stories, you will enjoy watching Merlin.
- Excalibur (1981 Film)
Excalibur is one of the most highly rated King Arthur films to date. The film begins with King Uther burying his magical sword, Excalibur, in a stone before dying in battle. Excalibur brings to life the story of the famous sword and how its magic helps Arthur defeat opposers to eventually establish Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Perhaps what makes Excalibur so special is that the director, John Boorman, took risks and purposely set out to create a film so graphically violent that everyone watching could never forget it. (P.S. Did you know Liam Neeson is also in this film?)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975 Film)
“King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.” Synopsis from IMDB.
First Knight (1995 Film)
“Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere, who is due to be married to King Arthur. Meanwhile, a violent warlord tries to seize power from Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.” Synopsis from IMDB.
Merlin (1998 TV Mini Series)
“The legendary wizard tells his story of his war against Queen Mab of the Sidhe and his creation of Camelot.” Synopsis from IMDB.
You can watch the critically acclaimed series, Camelot, produced by Starz, here on Tubi TV. The original series, produced by Starz, lasted 10 episodes and starred Joseph Fiennes and former Bond girl, Eva Green. If you like Game of Thrones, you should definitely check out Camelot. Watch it for free on Tubi TV right here!