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Willow (1988)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
A young farmer is chosen to undertake a perilous journey in order to protect a special baby from an evil queen.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

George Lucas (story by), Bob Dolman (screenplay by)
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Popularity
649 ( 51)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Madmartigan
Joanne Whalley ... Sorsha
Warwick Davis ... Willow Ufgood
Jean Marsh ... Queen Bavmorda
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Fin Raziel
Billy Barty ... High Aldwin
Pat Roach ... Gen. Kael
Gavan O'Herlihy ... Airk Thaughbaer
David Steinberg ... Meegosh
Phil Fondacaro ... Vohnkar
Tony Cox ... Vohnkar Warrior
Robert Gillibrand Robert Gillibrand ... Vohnkar Warrior
Mark Northover ... Burglekutt
Kevin Pollak ... Rool
Rick Overton ... Franjean
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Storyline

A baby girl is discovered in a river by Ranon and Mims, the children of Willow Ufgood, a dwarf farmer and magician and the baby girl is taken into the care of Willow's family. But when a terrifying dog-like creature attacks Willow's village, whilst tracking down the baby. Willow consults the village council and the wizard The High Aldwin. The High Aldwin gives Willow a task and Willow leaves the village and embarks on the task to give the baby girl to a responsible person. But Willow soon learns the baby is Elora Danan, the baby girl destined to bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Joined by his allies: swordsman Madmartigan, sorceress Fin Raziel and the Brownies Franjean and Rool, Willow takes it upon himself to protect Elora from Queen Bavmorda, who intends to kill Elora and prevent Elora from fulfilling her destiny. And Willow and his allies are pursued by Queen Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha and the evil commander of Queen Bavmorda's army General Kael, whom ... Written by Dan Williams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forget all you know, or think you know. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Kilmer has first billing instead of Warwick Davis. Writer/producer George Lucas felt that wasn't fair since Davis plays the title role and has the most screen time. See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning of the movie, Willow orders that no one in the family shall fall in love with that baby next to the stream's bank. A nearby tree stump has a classic modern chainsaw cut not from a medieval woodsman felling ax. See more »

Quotes

High Aldwin: [throws an apple into the air which turns into a bird] Go in the direction the bird is flying!
Burgelcutt: He's going back to village!
High Aldwin: Ignore the bird. Follow the river.
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Crazy Credits

Although he played the title role, Warwick Davis took just third billing. Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley took first and second billing respectively. See more »

Alternate Versions

In order to obtain a PG certificate by the BBFC in the UK, 34 seconds were edited for the theatrical version.
  • The boars killing the midwife early in the film was cut entirely.
  • The scene of Bavmorda turning people into pigs was toned down. One shot of Madmartigan's transformation was cut, and a shot of Sorsha collapsing to the ground was cut.
  • Also, during the fight at the castle towards the end, Willow zaps the troll with his wand, and 2 creatures emerge from its skin. In the UK version of this film, the bit where the creatures quickly rip the skin off of the troll is missing.
  • General Kael's stabbing of Airk was shortened.
  • Some of the bloodiest moments in the fight between Madmartigan and Kasel were cut. Also, cut was the second sword thrust into General Kael when Madmartigan steps on the sword and drives it through him.
  • Shots of Raziel punching Bavmorda in the face was cut and Bavmorda strangling Raziel was shortened.
  • The distributors also reduced the redness of the blood in some fight scenes and toned down certain sound effects. The film was only available in the UK in this censored form until 2002, when the BBFC passed the film uncut with a PG rating.
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Connections

Referenced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) See more »

User Reviews

 
Wow. The most fun I've had with a movie, probably ever ...
25 October 2006 | by shizaquawnSee all my reviews

I attended a screen writing class once, and the teacher said that the worst movie ever made was "Willow" ... he also defended "White Chicks" (in the same class) as being some sort of underrated theatrical gem.

What an idiot. Obviously, this man has no soul.

Anyway, it must have been this sort of "I'm too good for that" attitude that killed "Willow" in the theaters. I remember seeing previews for it when I was a kid, and there was nothing more in the world that I had wanted to watch. I was raised on "The Neverending Story," "Legend," "Krull," "The Beastmaster," and "The Dark Crystal." So, sure, I loved fantasy. It was my favorite genre. And even though many will say that "Lord of the Rings" is better, I have to disagree. "The Lord of the Rings" is a good melding of drama, real-life struggle and fantasy, but's it not fun to watch. "Willow," on the other hand, is a blast to watch.

The music from Horner's great ... I can still whistle the adventure theme song, and often do sometimes. Val Kilmer as Madmartigan was a great rogue hero, who had plenty of great lines, laughs. Sorcia was by Joanne Whalley, was hot as hell ... a fiery redhead who just refused to be ordered or commanded. General Kael (who was supposedly based on one of Lucas' critics) is awesome. His look spawned an entire decade of me thinking that people with skull masks were horribly cool. The woman who played Fin Razel (sp?) was great. The Brownies were hysterical. And last but not least, give it up for Billy Barty and Warwick Davis, little people with big roles. I think little people probably thank Mr. Lucas and Ron Howard for making them stars for once, for giving them a showcase piece. Davis really had no better role in his life than this one. And he shined in it.

Well, if that particular teacher is reading this by any chance, I hope you go back and re-watch this as a kid. For me, and obviously many others on this website, the movie was more than a fun, little escape ... it was almost a genre-leading film. If there's one thing that pre-prequel George Lucas was good at, it was at giving the audience a good time ... Indiana Jones, Willow, Star Wars ... the best adventure/fantasy films ever to come out. Each of them with charming heroes, obvious bad guys, magic, swords, and humor.

"Pirates of the Carribbean" resurrected this sort of cinema, I think, and the American public responded to it with verve. I still remember hard-nosed critic Lisa Schwarzbaum giving "Pirates" a D rating in Entertainment Weekly. I bet she about choked on her own vomit when she saw how much fun everyone had with the film.

And "Willow" is the same thing. It's pure magic. Pure escape. Especially good for children, but good for the adults, too. If you can't have fun with this one, than you better go get your laughs from movies like "White Chicks" ... just don't be surprised when the kids come out making jokes about d*cks and p*ssies afterward.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Willow See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,300,169, 22 May 1988

Gross USA:

$57,269,863

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,269,863
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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