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Knight's Tale

A movie directed by Brian Helgeland

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An awesome coming-of-age, rags-to-riches fantasy tale!

  • Aug 19, 2010
Rating:
+5

This is my favorite Heath Ledger movie he ever did. It is similar to a standard fantasy tale involving a boy growing up poor, and dreaming big -- until they turn things on their head every now and then (but not in a Mel Brooks sort of way). For instance, having the herald leading the crowd at the joust in a rousing rendition of Queen's "We Will Rock You" was just inspired genius. They don't break the fantasy illusion too much, and they don't break the 4th wall (as Mel Brooks likes to do), they just sprinkle in a bit of surreal every now and then, to keep you surprised.

The basic story is based loosely on "The Canterbury Tales," and "the story of Ulrich von Lichtenstein" (according to IMDB). In it, William (Heath), a poor thatcher's son whose father sacrificed as much as he could to get his son apprenticed to a knight as a squire, in the hopes that the boy could rise above the station he was born into and "change his stars." William, unfortunately faces the death of his knight in the middle of a tournament, which means the end of his days pursuing higher station, respect, money and glory. He decides to impersonate his dead master at the first event -- and he wins. He then convinces his friends to help him continue to compete. To do so, he creates a false identity for subsequent events (to prove he is a noble, since only nobles are allowed to compete), with the help of the charming (and often nude due to literally losing everything gambling) Chaucer, played by Paul Bettany (yes, THAT Chaucer is implied who he is). With the help of his female friend who wants to be taken as a serious blacksmith (Laura Fraser as Kate) and his fellow squires who are in on the deal, Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk), they end up going on a grand adventure.

Rufus Sewell plays a delicious bad guy by the name of Count Adhemar whom we love to hate, and Shannyn Sossamon plays a believable love interest for William named Jocelyn. Her interactions with Wat are comedy gold, as well. Spawning such famous lines as, "it's called a lance, hellooooo" and, "betray us, and I will fong you, until your insides are out, your outsides are in, your entrails will become your entrails I will w-rip... all the p... ung. Pain, lots of pain. " (quotes from IMDB)

The ending is poignant and moving with the Black Prince Edward helping to set the stage for the final showdown between William and Count Adhemar. Watch it. You'll like it if you like good movies.

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November 18, 2010
I loved this flick more than I thought I ever would. I really liked how they seamlessly added a modern soundtrack and the casting was incredibly well done.
 
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More A Knight's Tale reviews
review by . October 19, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I didn't have much interest in this when it first arrived in theaters. Back then Heath Ledger was, to my mind, just another young handsome face and this seemed like a sappy star vehicle designed to further his career. Of course, he turned out to be much more than a handsome face and if I'd bothered to see this film I would have known it then. Not only does he give a charismatic and compelling early performance, the film itself is a lot of fun: a very clever and entertaining update of the old knight …
review by . September 04, 2004
A Knight's Tale really works. It's eye candy, not brain candy, but it worked a treat for me. I thought the potential love triangle was left sadly unexplored (especially as there wasn't really any chemistry between Will and Jocelyn), but otherwise, full marks: Sewell was a great villain, the father/son bit was done nicely (you should see Cheapside nowadays, by the way), and I thought the rock music worked extremely well. Finishing with Ackadacka was just inpired (so much so that School of Rock took …
review by . February 16, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Yes, our young hero trains to be a great jousting knight to the sounds of "Takin' Care of Business" in "A Knight's Tale." That scene, along with the "We Will Rock You" opening, among others, definitely sets this period piece apart from the pack. "A Knight's Tale" is fun. It has that "poor kid does good" theme running throughout and can be very heroic and sentimental at times. But don't expect this flick to blow you away. It is very good, and quite unique, but the overall story is rather standard …
review by . November 28, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: An interesting twist on historical themes as light entertainment, and some great comedic moments.      Cons: Poor characterization, simplistic, and predictable      The Bottom Line: All the friends I have recommended this to either attend our local Renaissance Festival and are avid jousting fans, or can't resist a man in armor.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Something nearly …
review by . March 05, 2002
Pros: i didn't pay for it     Cons: the anachronisms and cliches made me ill     The Bottom Line: Made me angry for hours after having seen it. I'm sure that there are a million better scripts out there. Why did this get produced?     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. I am a very enthusiastic person and I tend to overuse superlatives. At least once a day (my friends can attest to this) I will say something …
review by . July 23, 2001
Pros: Exciting, sometimes predictable, creative, funny, excellent casting, deep yet light     Cons: back view male nudity, sexual allusions, not historically accurate      The Bottom Line: Like encountering a gleaming sapphire in sooty soil, this movie was a pleasant surprise. Light and funny-it has a deeper side. One of the best movies released in years.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. …
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R. McAdams ()
Ranked #422
Computer programmer and information security and computer forensics professional. Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Information Security and Computer Forensics.      … more
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Wiki

In the Middle Ages, before television or professional sports, there is only one form of competition to separate the men from the boys: jousting tournaments. William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), a poor and humble squire, has always dreamed of proving himself worthy as a knight. When he gets a lucky chance--seeing an opportunity to disguise himself in the identity of a knight--William decides to maintain the illusion for as long as possible. He is aided by his friends Wat, Roland, and Geoffrey Chaucer--a writer with a knack for forging official papers. Under his new title, Sir Ulrich of Liechtenstein, William wins tournaments and receives monetary awards. However, the only way for William to prove himself as truly noble is to beat out all of his enemies, including the arrogant and undefeated Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), in a series of jousts. Once he does so, William will reveal his his true identity. Writer-director Brian Helgeland creates a unique blend of rousing adventure, comedy, and modern sensibility i...
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Details

Director: Brian Helgeland
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 11, 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
Runtime: 2hr 12min
Studio: Sony Pictures
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