Gawain and the Green Knight (1973)

35mm film, filmed in Panavision, Technicolor
mono, English

A British fantasy film directed by Stephen Weeks. It was the director's first version of the same story – he would remake it as Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1983).

Plot Summary

The Green Knight arrives at Camelot and issues a challenge to a duel with axes. The brave young Sir Gawain is the only one to accept the challenge and he beheads the Green Knight only to see his opponent survive and regain his severed head. The Knight warns Gawain that he has one year to find his home or submit to a single blow from his axe. Gawain sets out on his quest…


Directed by: Stephen Weeks
United Artist present a Sancrest production
Produced by: Philip Breen
Associate Producer: Charles Athey
Production Manager: George Mills
Screenplay by: Philip Breen and Stephen Weeks
With Additional Dialogue by: Rosemary Sutcliff
Based on the medieval poem *
Continuity: Ann Skinner
Director of Photography: Ian Wilson
Camera Operator: Kelvin Pike
Editor: John Shirley
Music: Ron Goodwin
Costume Designer: Shura Cohen
Make-up Supervisor: Basil Newell
Hairdresser: Susie Hill
Special Effects: Les Hilman
Art Director: Anthony Woollard

Murray Head (Gawain)
Ciaran Madden (Linet)
Nigel Green (the Green Knight)
Anthony Sharp (The King)
Robert Hardy (Sir Bertilac)
Ronald Lacey (Oswald)
Murray Melvin (The Seneschal)
Tony Steedman (Fortinbras)
Willoughby Goddard (knight)
George Merritt (old knight)
Geoffrey Bayldon (the fool)
Richard Hurndall (bearded man)
Pauline Letts (Lady of Lyonesse)
Peter Copley (pilgrim)
Jerold Wells (sergeant)
Jack Woolgar (porter)
Peter Forbes-Robertson (young knight)
Michael Crane (the giant)
Sue Ellis Jones (Ermyntrude)
David Leland as Humphrey

Alternative Titles

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1983)


Boxoffice 13 November 1972 p.20 – advertisement
Film no.37 (May 1976) pp.6-7 – article (Stephen Weeks by Dave Berry)
The Hollywood Reporter vol.221 no.11 (5 May 1972) p.10 – credits, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.40 no.475 (August 1973) pp.168-69 – credits, synopsis, review
Sight & Sound no.40 (Spring 1971) pp.73-75 – article (New Blood by David Pirie)
Variety 3 May 1972 pp.26 – 27 – review
Variety 3 January 1973 p.10 – advertisement

The British Film Catalogue, 1971-1981 by Linda Woods (ed.) – credits
Cinema Arthuriana, Essays on Film by Kevin J. Harty (ed.) – article (Gawain on Film by Robert J. Blanch and Julian N. Wasserman)
English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.206
The Epic Film by Derek Elley – note
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.151 – credits, review
The Motion Picture Guide, E-G, 1927-1983 by Jay Robert Nash and Stanley Ralph Ross – credits, review
by Walt Lee p.157 – credits
Swordsmen of the Screen from Douglas Fairbanks to Michael York by Jeffrey Richards – note
Wales and Cinema, the First Hundred Years by David Berry – article