6.7/10
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Dragonslayer (1981)

A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.

Director:

Matthew Robbins
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Popularity
4,634 ( 323)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter MacNicol ... Galen
Caitlin Clarke ... Valerian
Ralph Richardson ... Ulrich
John Hallam ... Tyrian
Peter Eyre ... Casiodorus Rex
Albert Salmi ... Greil
Sydney Bromley ... Hodge
Chloe Salaman ... Princess Elspeth
Emrys James Emrys James ... Valerian's Father
Roger Kemp Roger Kemp ... Horsrik
Ian McDiarmid ... Brother Jacopus
Ken Shorter Ken Shorter ... Henchman
Jason White Jason White ... Henchman
Yolande Palfrey Yolande Palfrey ... Victim
Douglas Cooper Douglas Cooper ... Urlander
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Storyline

A King has made a pact with a dragon where he sacrfices virgins to it, and the dragon leaves his kingdom alone. An old wizard, and his keen young apprentice volunteer to kill the dragon and attempt to save the next virgin in line, the King's own daughter. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Dark Ages, Magic was a weapon. Love was a mystery. Adventure was everywhere... And Dragons were real. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dragonslayer See more »

Filming Locations:

North Wales, Wales, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,407,939, 28 June 1981

Gross USA:

$14,110,013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,110,013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Vistasonic (some 35 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the completion of principal shooting, a special effects team of eighty people at ILM studios in northern California worked eight months in producing 160 composite shots of the dragon. Chris Walas sculpted and operated the dragon head used for close-up shots. The model was animated by a combination of radio controls, cable controls, air bladders, levers and by hand, thus giving the illusion of a fully coordinated face with a wide range of expression. See more »

Goofs

When the wizard teleports to the mountaintop for the final battle, thunder continually rumbles under a clear sky, even though the wizard hasn't yet magically summoned the electrical storm (which he will do in a few moments). See more »

Quotes

Tyrian: A toast... to the deed of the day!
Urlander: What would you have of us?
Tyrian: Not a thing.
[turns to Galen]
Tyrian: It's this one. The King would meet our newfound benefactor, and offer his gratitude to the one man who has succeeded where so many have failed.
Galen: What sort of 'gratitude'? A knife in the belly? An arrow in the chest?
Tyrian: My young friend... I would have soon dispatched you as I did the rest, for the same reason. But his Majesty would have a cozy little chat, and commands otherwise.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 12 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Spellbound Dragon picture with overwhelming fights and sensational scenarios
16 October 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This film blends witchcraft and wizardry , adventures , battles and is extremely fun and amusing . A sorcerer's apprentice (Peter MacNichol) is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom . An older magician (Ralph Richardson) is the mentor of the rockie sorcerer . The young boy dreams becoming a valiant sorcerer and join forces with a girl (Caitlin Clarke) to vanquish a horrible dragon . The young wizarding apprentice suddenly finds himself the only person who save the kingdom from a free-breathing dragon .

This fantasy movie packs action , witchery and and sorcery with impressive battles . Likable performance by a young Peter MacNichol , though is the first film released under the Disney name to have full frontal male nudity , as when Peter MacNicol jumps into the water, his legs swing wide giving the audience a quick shot of his genitals . Funny acting by the veteran Ralph Richardson and enjoyable support cast . The story has many familiar dragon motifs found throughout Western culture , in particular Saint George and the Dragon, in which maiden sacrifices were made to appease a harassing dragon. Saint George's tale also includes a sacrificial lottery resulting in the surprise condemnation of a princess , Saint George is also frequently depicted with a magic blessed lance or a sword . Smart screenplay by Hal Barwood dealing with fantasy medieval , dragons , necromancy , fantastic kingdoms and many other things . Entertaining and fun movie with acceptable special effects bringing the dragon to life . Work on dragons made by CG sometimes seem authentic , but is also noted its computer realization . First film to use go-motion, a variant of stop-motion animation in which parts of the dragon were mechanized and the movement programmed by computer . During shooting, the computer moves the model while the camera is shooting, resulting in motion blur, which makes the animation more convincing . The only thing that let it down from this perspective , was that some of the parts in between the dragons fighting were a little dull . Colorful cinematography , shot on location in Wales , though the final scene was shot in Skye, Scotland and many town locals were employed in the film as village extras. Thrilling as well as spectacular musical score by the classic Alex North , some of the score by Alex North was "recycled" from music he'd originally composed for 2001: A Space Odyssey that went unused . This co-production between Walt Disney Pictures and Paramount was efficiently directed by Matthew Robbins and it was more mature and realistic than most Disney films of the time .

The picture belongs to Fantasy/Dragon sub-genre ; other important films dealing with Dragons are the following : ¨Dragonheart¨ by Rob Cohen with Dennis Quaid , Dina Meyer , Jason Isaacs and Julie Christie ; ¨Dragonheart , a new beginning¨ with Chris Marterson , Figueroa and Harry Von Gorkum ; ¨Dragom Storm¨ (2004) by Stephen Furst with Maxwell Caufield , Angel Boris , Tony Amendola and John Rhys Davies ; and other latter day movies and belonging to this Dragons sub-genre are ¨Reign of fire¨ (2002) by Rob Bowman with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey , Izabella Scorupco , and Gerard Butler ; ¨Eragon¨ (2006) by Stephen Fangmeier with Edward Speleers , Robert Carlyle , Sienna Gullory and John Malkovich .


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