- Merlyn, why have you never taught me love and marriage?
- Proposition: It's far better to be alive than to be dead.
- [singing] And -what of teaching me by turning me to animal and bird,
From beaver to the smallest bobolink!
I should have had a -whirl
At changing to a girl,
To learn the way the creatures think!
- Merlyn told me once: Never be too disturbed if you don't understand what a woman is thinking. They don't do it often.
- I dreamed ... I dreamed.
- All we've been through, for nothing but an idea! Something that you cannot taste, smell, or feel; without substance, life, reality, memory.
- I love them and they answer me with pain and torment. Be it sin or not sin, they betray me in their hearts and that's far sin enough. I can feel it in their eyes, I can feel it when they speak, and they must pay for it and be punished. I shall not be wounded and not return it in kind! I'm through with feeble hoping! I demand a man's vengeance! [Calming down] Proposition: I'm a king, not a man. And a civilized king. Could it possibly be civilized to destroy what I love? Could it possibly be civilized to love myself above all? What of their pain and their torment? Did they ask for this calamity? Can passion be selected?
- The adage, "Blood is thicker than water," was invented by undeserving relatives.
- Merlyn! Merlyn, make me a hawk. Let me fly away from here!
- [singing] Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story;
And tell it strong and clear if he has not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
- [to Mordred] Far more seasoned rascals than you have polished their souls, I advise you, get out the wax. Better to be rubbed clean than rubbed out.
- [angrily] Mordred, I must remind you that I am a civilized man. With occasional lapses.
- Just when I reach the golden age of eligibility and wooability. Is my fate determined by love and courtship? Oh, no. [Bitterly] Clause one: fix the border; Clause two: establish trade; Clause three: deliver me; Clause four: stop the war; five, six: pick up sticks. How cruel! How unjust! Am I never to know the joys of maidenhood? The conventional, ordinary, garden variety joys of maidenhood?
- [about Mordred] The one thing I can say for him is that he's bound to marry well. Everybody is above him.
- Must we talk about Mordred? This is the first time in a month that he's not coming to dinner and not having him makes it seem like a party!
- C'est moi!
- I am irritating. I always will be. All fanatics are bores, Pellinore, and I'm a fanatic. Even when I was a child I irritated the other children. I wanted to play their games, but I knew I could not. Even then I was filled with a sense of divine purpose. I'm not saying I enjoy it. All my life I've locked the world out. And, you know, when you lock the world out, you're locked in.
- Pellinore: Forgive the interruption. Anyone here seen a beast with the head of a serpent, the body of a boar and the tail of a lion, baying like forty hounds?
- Mordred: [to Arthur about Guenevere] What a magnificent dilemma! Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be, Arthur? Do you kill the Queen or kill the law?
- Company: [singing] Guinevere, Guinevere.
In that dim, mournful year
Saw the men she held so dear
Go to war for Guinevere.
- Company: [singing] Guinevere, Guinevere
Oh, they found Guinevere
In the dying candle's gleam
Came the sundown of a dream.
- Arthur: But even the thought, "I'm not thinking a thought" is thinking, isn't it?
- Merlyn: Yes, and thinking is the sort of thing you should get into the habit of doing as often as possible.
- Arthur: A thousand pardons, Milady. Wait! Don't run. [She stops and looks at him coweringly] Please! I won't harm you.
- Guenevere: You lie! You'll leap at me and throw me to the ground.
- Arthur: I won't do any such thing. [He takes a step toward her. She takes a step backwards. He stops]
- Guenevere: Then you'll twist my arm and tie me to a tree.
- Arthur: But I won't.
- Guinevere: Then you'll sling me over your shoulder and carry me off.
- Arthur: No, no, no! I swear it! By the Sword Excalibur! I swear I won't touch you.
- Guinevere: [Hurt] Why not? [Sudden rage] How dare you insult me in this fashion. Do my looks repel you?
- Arthur: No. You're beautiful.
- Guinevere: Well, then? We're alone. I'm completely defenseless. What kind of a cad are you? Apologize at once.
- Lancelot: The next time you traffic with me, remember... you challenge the right hand of King Arthur!
- Arthur: I am King Arthur!
- Lancelot: What? You... are the king?
- Arthur: Almost the late king...
- Arthur: But for what purpose? Might isn't always right, Jenny.
- Guinevere: Nonsense, dear, of course it is. To be right and lose couldn't possibly be right.
- Lancelot: Dap, you are older than I. You know this Earth better than I. I only fell upon it a few hours ago.
- Dap: What are you talking about?
- Lancelot: Guenevere!
- Arthur: We must arrange for your knighthood.
- Lancelot: No, sire! Invest me because of deeds, not words! Give me an order!
- Arthur: Now?
- Lancelot: This moment! Is there some wrong I can right, some peril I can face, some quest I can undertake?
- Arthur: Well... actually... there's not much going on today. The Queen and some of her court have gone a-maying.
- Lancelot: Gone... a-maying?
- Arthur: Well, it's a sort of... um... picnic? They pick flowers and chase young...
- Lancelot: Picnic?
- Arthur: It's a custom we have here. This is England, you know. And this is the season for gathering flowers.
- Lancelot: Knights? Gathering FLOWERS?
- Arthur: Well, SOMEONE has to do it!
- Arthur: Wrong or right, they have the might, so wrong or right, they're always right, and that's wrong... right?
- Guinevere: Absolutely.
- Lancelot: If the king grants you clemency, you shall be banished. If not, you hang.
- Arthur: Clemency is granted.
- Lancelot: Jenny, I - I love you. God forgive me, but I do.
- Guinevere: Then God forgive us both, Lance.
[Arthur is trying to teach Pellinore about his new court system]
- Arthur: Let us say you are accused of burning down a farm.
- Pellinore: Whose?
- Arthur: Er...let us say, a farmer named...William?
- Pellinore: Well, can't see it happening, but get along.
- Arthur: Now, Pelly, you claim you haven't. What does he do then?
- Pellinore: Well, he keeps his mouth shut if he knows what's good for him!
- Arthur: No, Pellinore. He takes you to court.
- Pellinore: Ah! And we fight there!
- Arthur: No, Pellinore. Look, in the court, there is a prosecutor for Farmer William and a defendant for you.
- Pellinore: Oh, I see! I see! And they fight!
- Arthur: No. In the court there is also a jury, who decides whether you are guilty or not guilty.
- Pellinore: Well, what's the jury got to do with it? None of their damn business in the first place! Any jury finds me guilty, I'll have a whack at every last one of 'em!
- Arthur: Then you'd be charged with murder, Pelly!
- Pellinore: Well, the ruddy thing's endless! Another jury finds me guilty, and I'll have to have a whack at them! And so on and so on, and whacking and whacking--
- Arthur: Oh, Pellinore, forget it! You will never burn down a barn, you will never know a farmer named William and you will never, ever be found in a court!
- Pellinore: Not while I've still got my sword I won't!
- Pellinore: Who is that, Arthur?
- Arthur: One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle! Run, boy!
- The Most Beautiful Love Story Ever!
- A whole new world of magnificent musical entertainment.
- Richard Harris - Arthur
- Vanessa Redgrave - Guinevere
- Franco Nero - Lancelot
- David Hemmings - Mordred
- Lionel Jeffries - King Pellinore
- Laurence Naismith - Merlyn
- Pierre Olaf - Dap