Perceval le Gallois

Perceval le Gallois is a 1978 French period drama film directed by Éric Rohmer. It was inspired by Chrétien de Troyes's 12th-century Arthurian romance Perceval, the Story of the Grail.

Perceval le Gallois
Directed byÉric Rohmer
Produced byMargaret Ménégoz
Barbet Schroeder
Written byÉric Rohmer
Chrétien de Troyes (poem)
StarringFabrice Luchini
André Dussollier
CinematographyNéstor Almendros
Edited byCécile Decugis
Release date
  • 8 October 1978 (1978-10-08) (USA limited)
  • 7 February 1979 (1979-02-07) (France)
  • 6 November 1979 (1979-11-06) (West Germany)
Running time
140 minutes
CountryFrance/Italy/West Germany


The film chronicles Perceval's knighthood, maturation and eventual peerage amongst the Knights of the Round Table, and also contains brief episodes from the story of Gawain and the crucifixion of Christ.


Unlike other screen adaptations of Arthurian legend, the film makes no attempt at situating the characters in a natural or supernatural world. Instead, Perceval and his cohorts inhabit a colorful theatrical realm replete with rudimentary props, stylized backdrops, and a singing chorus that participates in the drama. At many points, characters narrate their own actions and thoughts rather than expressing them manifestly, and dialog is frequently spoken lyrically in rhyming couplets taken directly from the original text. The film's deliberate artificiality, ironic vision of youthful valor, and frequently shifting narrative modes prevent emotional attachment to the story while leaving space for a more cerebral engagement with the elements of storytelling Rohmer has interpreted from 12th-century literature.


The film features Fabrice Luchini as Perceval, André Dussolier as Gauvain, Arielle Dombasle as Blanchefleur, Marie Rivière as Garin's daughter and Pascale de Boysson as La Veuve Dame.


  • Lacy, Norris J.(1991). "Eric Rohmer". In Norris J. Lacy (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, p. 389. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  • Paden, William D. "I Learned it at the Movies: Teaching Medieval Film." In: Postmodern Medievalisms, ed. Richard Utz and Jesse G. Swan (Cambridge: Brewer, 2004), pp. 79–98.

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