Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984)

Posted: 04/04/2013 in Trash movies
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After a slew of Chuck Norris movies, Ninja movies and a Ninja movie with Chuck Norris Cannon Inc. bravely decided to experiment with a wining formula and produce a lush fantasy epic set in the Arthurian times with no one else but Sir Sean Connery himself as he main antagonist. Now, Sean is a fascinating human being- that man doesn’t do anything half-way, it’s always win or lose, brilliant or terrible when he is concerned!  The mere fact that you’re here proves in which column this one goes to.

Story is interestingly enough based on 14th Century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” Based in the sense that it has the same name and nothing else.

Sir Gawain book

Shame on you Tolkien, shame on you…

Movie starts with the He- Man music and a young blacksmith showing of his chiseled physic and homosexual haircut (so it’s He- Man all the way I guess). The grand feast starts in the court but King Arthur is not amused. Even though he is old as a bible he demands some action!Prolonged time of peace left his knights obese and useless. But fear not- sound of storm approaching and a strange green light promise something of a challenge.

None other but Sir Sean Connery rides into the hall, with a black face, glitter, green plastic armor and fuzzy hair. Strangely King doesn’t seem to be amused by that. Sean aka The Green Knight demands the good sport(?) He takes his axe and after demonstrating the incredible sharpness of the blade he seeks a man brave enough to try to hack his head off with it. If he survives he demands a chance to return the favor. All fair, right?

At this point all those brave knights decided they have something else to do, mostly concentrate on the same spot on the floor and be really, really quiet. Knowing that it’s now or never young blond blacksmith decides to take a chance and make his king proud. King is overjoyed that he has at least one champion to represent him among the fat slobs he is surrounded with and hastily proclaims the boy Sir Gawain. Unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that the boy looks like he’s going to piss himself any moment so let’s say he’s got a long way to go in the heroing department.

Gawain successfully beheads Connery but he completely fails at shutting him up. With immortal words “My body… come to me my body” Sean calls forth his remaining parts and after easily reattaching his head start laughing like a maniac.




…and the body came.

Gawain realizes that he made the biggest mistake of his (presumingly short) life. Seeing how pathetic Gawain is Knight spares his life, at least for a year- giving him time to grow beard and answer the mysterious riddle. After that he disappears and King finally amused decides to finally continue the feast.

Next thing you know Gawain, now a knight in a (literally) shining armor with his (ironically) bearded assistant starts his epic quest. Quickly he find out that it’s not easy to pee when you have a ton of armor on but the assistant hands him the can opener (I kid you not!) and all problems are solved. Then he sees a pony unicorn and decides to do what any valiant knight would do in that situation- TO FREAKIN’ KILL IT WITH A CROSSBOW! Thankfully the animal escapes never to be seen again.

Bit disappointed they keep going and end up in a tent of a sexy witch! She offers many pleasurable things to the knight but he seems more interested his quest thingie so she sends him to fight the evil black knight (who makes robot-like noises for reasons unknown). After defeating the evil robo- knight in a sloppy battle in the swamp he heads to his city the mysterious and beautiful city of Lioness.  Showing (finally) some signs of chivalry he brings the wounded guardian inside the city walls he returns the black knight to the city too, but the guardian (in fact not the robot!) felt a bit leas chivalrously and commanded soldiers to kill the young knight where he stands. No good deed goes unpunished, right? He tries to run for it but it seems they seal the city walls and our young knight fate seems doomed. But NO, young princess, also possessing a magical powers instantly falls in love with him and saves him by rendering him invisible!!! Didn’t see that one coming!




Another fine example of medieval fighting arts!

She tries to hide her new found love but her old witch queen- mother finds him and decides to marry him ASAP after depositing of her last husband. He again runs for it, now with the princess but they end up separated. Meanwhile The Green Knight found out the Sexy Witches  scheming and punishes her, not in the usual Sean Connery back-fist slap manner but rather with a green beam from his finger- that transforms her into a small red porcelain frog, the kind you can maybe find in a Chinese Shop or somewhere like that.

Green Knight01

Happens all the time!

Then he blows a terrible wind which takes our hero miles and miles away just in time to meet a ex thief- now a priest and a mighty wizard that’s also a dwarf.


Connery blows,  not the way you think so though…

Dwarf wizard summons a mummy knight (hmmm, first time I’ve seen one of those too) from the sarcophagus but Gawain destroys it easily. He continues down the wizard’s cave and exists into the City of Lioness- again! It’s just that all the kingdom have grown old, crumbling and covered in  cobweb (including his love). He takes her into his arms, moves her to some small shack in the woods and she comes to life again! Oh, the good forest air truly does miracles for the health!

Now it’s obviasly time for gratitude sex scene. No, it seems not! Gawain looses himself in the woods for a moment- just long enough for a procession of knights to appear out of thin air lead by *The Evil Fat Ginger and his king Peter Cushing (Dr. Van Helsing himself)!


Gingers now & then

Gawain seems slightly disappointed to lose the love of his life and organizes the heist of his darling soon afterwords. Unfortunately he fails and Lady of Lioness seemingly dies in the fire? Heartbroken he finds a way to the neighboring kingdom who are of course in conflict with those that held his lady captive. He looses conciseness and is nursed to health by… Lady of Lioness! We can safely assume that his whole noble quest was a bad mushroom trip at this point.



After regaining his strength he realizes that his borrowed year is over and that he must finally confront The Green Knight. His lady awards him with a sash (?) and he rides out to meet his fate. His bearded squire joins him out of nowhere ’cause “he knew the day”. On the battlefield he is surprised by the evil redheaded dude who want’s to settle the score with him and they engage in a duel. Duel somehow escalates into a full on battle between the two kingdoms and Gawain finally menages to stab the annoying bastard thru the heart. Evil Peter Cushing is disappointed and heads back to this castle. And then out of nowhere- The Green Knight appears! He invites him to the Green Chapel( sounds like an offer you can not refuse). He says goodbye to his friends and fallows the Green Knight.

Once in the Chapel he trembles before the blade (fallowed by terrible synth sound effects) but finally finds the courage to meet his maker. But then the mysterious scarf that his Lady gave him saves him his life and he joyfully engages in a short and bloody battle in which he stabs Sean to death. “The full circle of the year is done…” he proclaims boldly and then dies by drying away like a plant left without the sunlight and water for way too long. We almost catch a glimpse of the message that the director tried to get across here, almost… He returns to the battlefield and finds Lady of Lioness waiting for him there. Lady being joyful as she is instead of giving him a kiss, a hand or anything – turns into a dove and flies away thus trying to let us know she symbolizes the force of nature like the Green Knights himself. A Passable idea yes, but catastrophically realized to the point of idiocy.

Verdict: He went from one kingdom to the next, traveled, fought, fell in love and lost his love, fought some more and experienced many things in life. That (at least in theory) provided him with tools to survive the final confrontation with  the Green Knight aka solve his riddle. Yet, after all those things he was still incapable to grow a beard and looked  absolutely the same- as a pathetic gay ass He- Man ( not really the most straight character) ripoff and for that alone he deserves to be slain!

To be truthful The most impressive thing about this movie is how manly Sean Connery managed  to look despite the fact that he was  painted in brown, scattered with glitter, wearing plastic green horns on his head and wore a costume that had a something of a man’s boob window on the chest! But in the end we shouldn’t’ really be all that surprised- that man managed even to look manly in a wedding dress as this completely unrelated photo shows.

Manlier in a dress than you’ll ever be in your regular clothes… ’nuff said!

A (nice) bit of Trivia: Miles O’Keeffe (Gawain) continued his string of long haired, barbarian looking characters with the incredible Ator, the Flying Eagle franchise(more on that at later date), as well as a mute version of Tarzan, you know the version that has Bo Derek as Jane getting naked and captured as the main selling point of the film.

Director Stephen Weeks actually made this film two times!!! First one  in 1978, and of course both version failed financially as well as critically.

Sir Sean Connery was incredibly dedicated in his involvement in this film even though he had to make another one, a Bond film at the same time (Never Say Never Again)! Still he found the role of Green Knight so intriguing he spent free time from the Bond shoot filming his scenes in The Sword of the Valiant.

Director was originally adamant in having Mark Hammil (of Star Wars fame) as Gawain, far FAR superior actor for the role but in their infinite wisdom the gods of Cannon Films Yoram and Globus decided that Miles is the right man for the job and quite possibly killed any chance of success that this film had with this simple decision.

  1. […] awful scenes of fight, low budget, ugly women, Miles  O’Keeffe being even more gay than in Sword of the Valiant, static camera, boring and repeating choreography… The fact is, women do like Miles, but […]


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