May 20th, 1988

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Still of Kevin Pollak and Rick Overton in WillowStill of Warwick Davis in WillowWillowStill of Jean Marsh in WillowStill of Val Kilmer in Willow

A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.1/10 (43,304 voted)

Director: Ron Howard

Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis

Willow, a small farmer/apprentice magician, meets Madmartigan, a great swordsman, and together they journey through a war-torn land of magic and monsters, to save a baby princess from death at the hands of an evil queen.

Writers: George Lucas, Bob Dolman

Val Kilmer - Madmartigan
Joanne Whalley - Sorsha
Warwick Davis - Willow Ufgood
Jean Marsh - Queen Bavmorda
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 - Vohnkar Warrior
Mark Northover - Burglekutt
Kevin Pollak - Rool
Rick Overton - Franjean

Taglines: A world where heroes come in all sizes and adventure is the greatest magic of all


Official Website: 20th Century Fox [Belgium] | 20th Century Fox [Spain] |

Release Date: 20 May 1988

Filming Locations: Black Park, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $8,300,169 (USA) (20 May 1988) (1024 Screens)

Gross: $57,269,863 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The six-month-old twins playing Elora Danan were too young to have a full head of hair. They wear a wig, which was applied using syrup, as normal wig adhesive would be too harsh for the babies' skin.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Willow gives Elora to Madmartigan, what is heard is, "Goodbye, little one," when originally, he said, "Goodbye, Elora." It was after the scene was shot that the people realized that Willow didn't know Elora's name at this point.

Cherlindrea: Elora Danan must survive. She must fulfill her destiny and bring about the downfall of Queen Bavmorda. Her powers are growing like an evil plague. Unless she is stopped, Bavmorda will control the lives of your village, your children, everyone. All creatures of good heart need your help, Willow. The choice is yours.

User Review

Wow. The most fun I've had with a movie, probably ever ...

Rating: 10/10

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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