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A Knight's Tale

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 2001
  • Brian Helgeland
  • 126 mins
  • PG

Summary

A poverty-stricken squire spies an opportunity to make his dreams come true when his employer dies. He takes his place as a knight, launching himself on the road to riches by competing in jousting tournaments, but his ruse is jeopardised by a dastardly nobleman. Comedy adventure, starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Mark Addy, Shannyn Sossamon and Rufus Sewell.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This irreverent medieval caper sets out its stall right at the start, when Queen's anthem-like We Will Rock You thuds on to the soundtrack at a joust. So far, so anachronistic. But the real twist is that the 14th-century spectators join in and clap in time. It's that kind of film, full of such cheeky flourishes - jousting fans sing rock songs, emcees talk up contestants like it's WWE wrestling, and dancers at a royal banquet groove to David Bowie's Golden Years. Writer/director Brian Helgeland certainly enjoys himself here, and so does his cast. Heath Ledger plays the commoner who dreams of being a knight, and so impersonates one with the help of sidekicks Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Alan Tudyk and Paul Bettany (who casually steals the film with his portrayal of writer Geoffrey Chaucer). It's tremendous, infectious fun, with a rocking soundtrack, and everyone concerned enters into the spirit of it (including Rufus Sewell as the evil Count Adhemar). If there's a downside, it's Helgeland's occasionally inexperienced handling of the action scenes, and the fact that, frankly, if you've seen one jousting match, you've seen 'em all.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
William Thatcher / Sir Ulric of LiechtensteinHeath Ledger
Count AdhemarRufus Sewell
RolandMark Addy
Geoffrey ChaucerPaul Bettany
Lady JocelynShannyn Sossamon
WatAlan Tudyk
KateLaura Fraser
John ThatcherChristopher Cazenove
ChristianaBérénice Bejo
Colville / Edward, the Black PrinceJames Purefoy

Crew

rolename
DirectorBrian Helgeland

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia TriStar
Released on
2001-08-31
Language
English
Guidance
Violence, swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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