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Film / The Magic Sword

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Sir George (Gary Lockwoodnote ) is the foster son of Sybil (Estelle Winwood), an elderly witch. Not much is said about his background, other than that his parents are dead and he is of Royal Blood. He is secretly in love with Princess Helene (Anne Helmnote ), who is kidnapped early in the film by the evil wizard Lodac (Basil Rathbone).

George wants to go on a quest to liberate his lady love, but Sybil believes he is too young. She comforts the youth by showing him a magic sword, a steed, a suit of armour, and a group of magically frozen knights — all his to command when he turns 21. But the impatient George tricks Sybil into a locked underground cellar and immediately takes off with his magical implements and the revived company of knights.

Sir George and his party then appear before the king, who looks like Grady from Sanford and Son, and insist on journeying to Lodac's castle to rescue his daughter, even though this angers the knight who had previously been given the task. To save the princess Helene, George and his companions must go through Lodac's seven curses.

This 1962 fantasy adventure film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and very loosely based on the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, later had some of its footage reused in The Man Who Saves the World.

Not to be confused with the Warner Bros. animated film Quest for Camelot, which was released as The Magic Sword in some territories.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here. RiffTrax released their own version on August 14, 2015.

The film contains examples of:

  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Subverted; the French knight is probably the bravest out of the crew (except perhaps for Patrick). He almost gets done in by way of a different French stereotype, however: the horny Frenchman.
  • Credits Gag: The person who worked the dragon puppet is listed in the credits as a "dragon trainer".
  • Death Is Cheap: The party of knights drop like flies throughout the film, then are resurrected at the end.
  • Disposable Woman: The two princesses before Princess Helena.
  • Dwindling Party: George revives six knights from all parts of Europe to aid him on his quest, (Spain, France, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Italy), two of them die when facing the first of the seven deadly challenges between them and the wizard's castle.
  • Engineered Heroics: The entire kidnap plot is all a plan between Sir Branton and Lodac so Branton can "rescue" the Princess. Too bad for him that A) George and his knights join the party and B) Lodac has no intention of honoring the deal.
  • Evil Plan: Lodac kidnaps Princess Helene and holds her for ransom as vengeance for the King killing his sister.
  • Forced Transformation: Lodac turned the Hag into a spider.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Sybil v Lodac. Notably, there never is an actual "magic duel", as Sybil states early on that she would be no match for Lodac. She defeats him in the end only after pilfering his magic ring during a moment of distraction.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Patrick, already dying from the fifth Curse, sacrifices himself to help George escape.
  • Invincible Hero: George. His armor protects him from anything, his horse can run at super speed, and his enchanted sword can kill an ogre and a dragon in a single stab. In fact, it takes Sybil depowering him by accident to introduce anything resembling danger to the guy.
  • Flat Character: George's companions, whose characterization ends at "loyal and brave". Most only have enough dialogue to introduce themselves to the King. Even Patrick and Dennis, the only knights with an appreciable role, get only rudimentary traits beyond their courage and loyalty (Dennis is a horny Frenchman who can't pass up a pretty girl to save his life, and Patrick is said to be the most devout).
  • The Lancer: Sir Patrick is the closest of the Knights to George. He's always by his side, among the first (and most frequent) to voice his dislike and distrust of Branton, and is the last of the Knights to fall while aiding George on his quest.
  • Mauve Shirt: George's team of knights all exist to be taken out by Lodac's curses. Sir Branton even lampshades it, commenting to himself how there's "seven swords" accompanying him to take on "seven curses".
  • Multinational Team: George's band of knights. We have Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and Italy represented. It is probably not coincidence that the seven knights are named for the patron saints of said nations. George himself, and the general story, are loosely based upon Saint George of England.
  • Named Weapons: The titular sword is named Ascalon.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sybil mentions most of the items' magical powers, but a few just come out of nowhere, such as the sword being able to move on its own to rescue George, or the Hag-banishing shield.
  • Obviously Evil: Lodac. Pitch black sorcerer robes? Check. Blood red turban? Check. Unbelievable sadism and zero empathy for others? Check!
  • Redshirt Army: George's knightly companions are mainly there to be cannon fodder to show how dangerous the journey is.
  • Religion is Magic: When he dies, Sir Patrick is able to save George from the current curse through the power of his faith.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: After returning Lodac's ring, Sir Branton gets turned into a hunting trophy by Lodac.
  • Ring of Power: Lodac's, which he lost. Branton found it, and it's how he's getting Lodac to help in the princess kidnapping gambit. In the end, Sybil gets it.
  • Rule of Seven: Lodac possesses seven curses to face all challengers to his power, including himself. Sir George and his entourage of knights make up a party of seven, as well. Sir Branton assumes that these numbers will cancel each other out and leave him the sole victor with Princess Helene, but his pride prevents this outcome.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The titular "Magic Sword" and George's horse. As well as Lodac's ring, which turns him from one of the strongest wizards to THE strongest, and puts Sybil on his level when she gets it.
  • The Vamp: The Hag, when she's putting on the Fanservice.
  • Virgin Sacrifice:
    Lodac: My little pet will be hungry again in six days' time.
    (Dragon roars)
    Crow: Er, five days time.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Lodac and Sybil have the ability to change into birds, and Sybil can also change into a black panther. She uses the latter to kill Lodac at the end of the film.
  • We Are "Team Cannon Fodder": George's knights exist to get wiped out by the curses.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Ulrich and Pedro are the first of the knights to die.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive: Lodac's final lines are spent monologing about how George and Helene are about to be destroyed by the seventh and final curse — Lodac, himself.