King Arthur on Screen: Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is hardly the first time that the Arthurian legend has been adapted for movies or TV. From straightforward takes to modern interpretations, we run down the highlights of King Arthur on screen.

King Arthur (2004)

Antoine Fuqua directs this battle-scene-driven movie. Top billing goes to Clive Owen as Arthur, Ioan Gruffudd as Lancelot, and Keira Knightley as Guinevere. However, we’re most excited by Mads Mikkelsen as Tristan.

King Arthur on Screen: Camelot

Camelot (2011)

One of the sexier adaptations, this Starz series packed a lot of action into its 10 episodes. Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, and Jamie Campbell Bower star.

Watch Camelot, free on Tubi TV. 

Excalibur (1981)

This epic take from director John Boorman features Nigel Terry, Patrick Stewart, and Helen Mirren. Music from Wagner heightens its grand tone.

The Legend of Prince Valiant (1991-1994)

Based on the comic strip, this Family Channel animated series finds Prince Valiant trying to become one of the Knights of the Round Table. Ace voice talent includes Robby Benson, Tim Curry, Wil Wheaton, and Ron Perlman.

Watch The Legend of Prince Valiant free on Tubi TV. 

King Arthur on Screen: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Certainly the silliest of King Arthur on screen, the source serves as an opportunity for the comedy troupe to bring their trademark irreverence to the screen. It remains one of the most quotable movies ever.

The Fisher King (1991)

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam directs this Oscar winner set in modern day New York. Jeff Bridges stars as a man in need of redemption, while Robin Williams plays a homeless man convinced that the Holy Grail is Manhattan.

Camelot (1967)

This classic movie musical sets the love triangle between Arthur (Richard Harris), Guinevere (Vanessa Redgrave), and Lancelot (Franco Nero) to Lerner and Lowe’s songs.

King Arthur on Screen: Colin Morgan in Merlin

Merlin (2009-2012)

This BBC series focuses on young Merlin, imagining him as a contemporary of the future king.  Colin Morgan plays the sorcerer, with Bradley James, Anthony Head, Katie McGrath, and John Hurt as costars.

The Mists of Avalon (2001)

Based on Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novel, this TNT miniseries tells the story of King Arthur from the female perspective. Angelica Huston, Julianna Margulies, and Joan Allen star.

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

This Disney animated film focuses mostly on Arthur as a child. However, our favorite character is the owl Archimedes.

Did we miss your favorite version of King Arthur on screen? Tell us in the comments.