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The Last Unicorn (1982)

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1:28 | Trailer
A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil King who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world's unicorns.

Writers:

Peter S. Beagle (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Schmendrick (voice)
Jeff Bridges ... Prince Lir (voice)
Mia Farrow ... Unicorn / Amalthea (voice)
Tammy Grimes ... Molly Grue (voice)
Robert Klein ... The Butterfly (voice)
Angela Lansbury ... Mommy Fortuna (voice)
Christopher Lee ... King Haggard (voice)
Keenan Wynn ... Captain Cully / Harpy (voice)
Paul Frees ... Mabruk / The Tree / The Cat (voice)
Rene Auberjonois ... The Skull (voice)
Brother Theodore ... Ruhk (voice)
Don Messick ... The Cat (voice)
Jack Lester Jack Lester ... Hunter #1 / Old Farmer / Cully's Men (voice)
Nellie Bellflower ... (voice) (scenes deleted)
Ed Peck ... Jack Jingley / Cully's Men (voice) (as Edward Peck)
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Storyline

From a riddle-speaking butterfly, a unicorn learns that she is supposedly the last of her kind, all the others having been herded away by the Red Bull. The unicorn sets out to discover the truth behind the butterfly's words. She is eventually joined on her quest by Schmendrick, a second-rate magician, and Molly Grue, a now middle-aged woman who dreamed all her life of seeing a unicorn. Their journey leads them far from home, all the way to the castle of King Haggard... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Magical Fantasy Adventure Based on the Bestselling Book. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | France | West Germany | Japan | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

19 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Unicorn See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,250,000, 21 November 1982

Gross USA:

$6,455,330

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,455,330
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The riddle that befuddles Ruhk (Brother Theodore), "Why is a raven like a writing desk?", is the famous unanswered riddle asked by The Mad Hatter in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll. Carroll wrote the riddle as nonsense. It has no answer. This has not stopped people, despite being repeatedly told that there is not, nor should there be, any answer, from trying to contrive one. Among the suggestions are, "because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both" and "because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes" (the second of which is very similar to a solution that Lewis Carroll wearily suggested when he grew tired of people asking him about it). See more »

Goofs

The horn that Mommy Fortuna created for the Unicorn glows and was located in front of the Unicorn's authentic horn. However, when when the Unicorn says "hurry!" to Schmendrick as he is unlocking her cage, we see that her authentic horn, not Mommy Fortuna's horn, is the one that's glowing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hunter #2: I dislike the feel of this woods. Creatures that live in a unicorn's forest learn a little magic of their own in time. Mainly concerned with disappearing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two different versions of the film. One is found the VHS/DVD edition (which is found on both the initial 2004 DVD release and the 2007 25th Anniversary DVD release), the other is the theatrical version which is the same as the 1983 HBO version. There are numerous differences between the two:
  • In the theatrical/HBO version, after Prince Lir fights the dragon, the film cuts to the scene where King Haggard confronts Amalthea on the tower and tells her he knows she is a unicorn. The film then cuts back to when Prince Lir tries to give Amalthea the dragon hide. In the VHS/DVD version, after Lir fights the dragon the film cuts back to Lir trying to give Amalthea the dragon hide. The Amalthea/King Haggard tower scene occurs much later.
  • The theatrical/HBO version omits the song "Now That I'm a Woman," although the song does appear in reprise form in "That's All I've Got To Say".
  • In the theatrical/HBO version, the dragon has a much louder roar than in the VHS/DVD version.
  • The VHS/DVD version omits several words. The first word missing is the word "Damn", which is heard during Molly Grue's exclamation to the Unicorn upon meeting her. In the theatrical version, she says, "Damn you! Where have you been?", but in the VHS/DVD version, she says, "Where have you been?" The word "damn" is also missing from the scene where Prince Lir is struggling to compose a poem to Amalthea in a stairwell. Additionally, the word " hell" is absent from the scene where Mommy Fortuna pulls the caravan over to look at the Unicorn and then calls Ruhk. In the theatrical version he replies with "Now just what in hell was that stop for?" The VHS/DVD version has "Now just what was that stop for?"
  • In the VHS/DVD version, the Unicorn's attempts to see if the Butterfly can identify her are more drawn out. For instance, the Unicorn asks, "Do you know who I am?" and the butterfly blithely replies, "Excellent! Well, you're a fishmonger!" He also surfs on a leaf singing, "Take the A-Train".
  • In the VHS/DVD version, Ruhk goes into deeper description of the Satyr and the Midgard Serpent. He also yells at Schmendrick to stay away from the Unicorn's cage.
  • In the VHS/DVD version, Mommy Fortuna has an extra line, explaining her need to prove to herself a competent witch: "I quit show-business first! Do you think I don't know what the true witchery is, just because I do what I do? There's not a witch in the world hasn't laughed at Mommy Fortuna and her homemade horrors! But there's not one of them who would have dared..."
  • In the VHS/DVD version, Schmendrick cast an additional spell in which he burns his hands after trying to turn the bars "into old cheese which I crumble in my hands!" This spell is only hinted at in the original version, in Amalthea's nightmare.
  • In the VHS/DVD version, Schmendrick's scene with the amorous female tree is extended, with the tree spouting, "Always! Always! Faithfulness beyond any man's deserving! I will keep the color of your eyes when no other in the world remembers your name! There is no immortality, but a tree's love!"
  • In the VHS/DVD version, King Haggard's line is extended to "I can see no reason at all to replace him with some vagrant, nameless, clownish..." Originally, the line had ended at "replace him."
  • In the VHS/DVD version, a scene is added with Schmendrick is in the clock room, pondering the riddle, cracking a joke, "I wonder what time it is?" He hides from Lir and Amalthea walking in, when Lir comments, "Well, of course you're of noble birth. Anybody can see that. I mean, you really can't be, heh, that ridiculous magician's niece. It's out of the question."
  • In the VHS/DVD version, there are more shots of Haggard spying on Amalthea and Lir from a higher tower location.
  • In the VHS/DVD version, the scene with the Skull is extended as well. It also takes more time to describe how to pass through the clock, with Schmendrick cracking, "Walk through a clock? What do I look like, a magician?" The Skull also gets drunk, slurring, "You're more of a magician than I took you for!"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: To Boldly Flee: Part VIII (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

That's All I've Got To Say
Written by Jimmy Webb
Performed by Jeff Bridges and Mia Farrow (dubbed by Katie Irving (uncredited))
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fantasy classic!
14 April 2005 | by coopnyrmSee all my reviews

I remember watching this movie as a child and wearing out the old VHS tape. The music provided by the 70s music group, America, provides a wonderful folk mood to the piece. I recently discovered this movie on DVD and immediately bought the movie. I watched the movie and read the book. I love how the animators were able to bring forward the essence of Peter Beagle's masterpiece of fantasy fiction.

The Last Unicorn is story about friendship and love. The Unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world. Searching for a sense of identity, she starts a quest to find the other unicorns. That quest introduces her to Schmendrick and Molly Grue. The Unicorn, Schmendrick and Molly are each searching to fill a void, and as an audience member, I vicariously find a way to fill my void through their experiences.


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