The Last Unicorn is a 1982 American feature film based on a book by Peter S. Beagle who also wrote the screenplay for the film. In the film, a lone Unicorn- after hearing some humans speak of her as the last of her kind- leaves the forest she is sworn to protect to find out if she truly is the last. The film has a run time of 92 minutes.
After hearing herself referred to as the last of her kind, and hearing word from a butterfly that the rest of her kind had been chased by a Red Bull to the edges of the world- the Unicorn after much thought leaves her enchanted forest, and her friends with in to discover if she truly is the last of her kind. After being captured by a witch, freed by an incompetent wizard, and encountering a band of rebels lead by a Captain Cully- the Unicorn- now joined by a wizard, and one Molly Grue- finally arrives at the land where the Red Bull is said to dwell- a barren place of little beauty. A land of one King Haggard- however before she can approach this King night falls, and the Red Bull spots her. The Wizard, Schmendrick, in his hast to help in some way listens to Molly's urgent plea for him to turn the Unicorn into something else- turns her into a human Woman. A deed that Molly finds most evil for the body is mortal. The Unicorn awakens in this form, and feels a panic for she can feel the body dying. Schmendricks magic however isn't in his full command- it takes what ever form it sees fit- and thus he knows not how to restore her.
Regardless of this, nay, because they can now approach the castle with out being stalked by the Red Bull they arrive at the castle of King Haggard. There they learn that it seems nothing can make the King Happy- and they use this to gain employment at the castle. Schemdrick's magic being used for ineffective entertainment, Molly became a cook, and the mysterious woman -the Unicorn- they have called Amalthea offers a mystery to the King.
Prince Lir, the King's adopted son, fancies Amalthea, and attempts to impress her with violent deeds such as the slaying of a dragon, or giant- but Amalthea is saddened by these acts- and Prince Lir finds himself overcome with a guilt for his deeds even while he doesn't understand why he should feel sorry for a dragon's death. Molly suggests Lir attempt poetry to win Amalthea- and gradually they begin to grow close.
However the more they do the more Amalthea begins to forget her true self- and become more Human. Eventually she looses all memory save dreams of what she once was. One evening while watching Prince Lir from afar Amalthea is approached by the King who confronts her- saying that he knows her to be a Unicorn. He explains how long ago the only thing that would bring him joy was the Unicorns of his Kingdom, and thus he made a deal with the Red Bull to acquire them all. Amalthea- having forgotten that she is a Unicorn denies that she is, and believes Haggard to be insane. It's only when Schmendrick comes to comfort her that she begins to remember.
Knowing the urgency Schmendrick and Molly solve a riddle that keeps them from the Red Bull causing the King to come after them- but the two and Amalthea enter the dwelling as the King destroy's it's entrance. However Prince Lir is with them, and accepts what Amalthea is, and that she must be restored. Amalthea tells him that she will not love him as a Unicorn- and this begins much banter as the group tries to focus on the task at hand.
They encounter the Red Bull, and Schemdrick restores Amalthea's true form- despite Molly's objection. The Red Bull chases the Unicorn to the sea and nearly drives her in. However Prince Lir leaps in to save Amalthea and is killed. Amalthea witnesses this and charges the bull, and in her courage intimidates the bull for the other Unicorns had fled- Amalthea is the first to resist- in that moment the other Unicorns, seeing the bull's fear- join her, and repel the beast. Their gallops towards freedom causes the ground the castle is on to shake, and crumble.
Prince Lir's body lays upon the beach, and with out a word Amalthea restores his life, and begins to leave; she tells him that he'll always remain in her memory. Time passes, and Lir, with out a kingdom to rule sets out into the world- hoping to again catch sight of Amalthea. Molly, and Schmendrick stick together- and one night, while Molly sleeps the Unicorn comes to Schemndrick. She tells him that a part of her self must still be human, for she feels things she's never felt before- things no unicorn is born able to feel. She grants him the ability to be a true Wizard, and parts.
- Alan Arkin as Schmendrick
- Jeff Bridges as Prince Lir
- Mia Farrow as the Unicorn/Amalthea
- Robert Klein as Butterfly
- Sir Christopher Lee as King Haggard
- Tammy Grimes as Molly Grue
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