|A Knight's Tale|
|Directed by||Brian Helgeland|
|Written by||Brian Helgeland|
|Based on||"The Knight's Tale"|
by Geoffrey Chaucer
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Edited by||Kevin Stitt|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$117.5 million|
A Knight's Tale is a 2001 American quasi-medieval adventure comedy-romance film. It was written, produced, and directed by Brian Helgeland; it stars Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Laura Fraser, Paul Bettany (as Geoffrey Chaucer), and James Purefoy (as Sir Thomas Colville / Edward the Black Prince).
The story is presented in an anachronistic style, with many modern references and background music. It follows a peasant named William Thatcher, a squire who poses as a knight and competes in tournaments, winning accolades and acquiring friendships with such historical figures as Edward the Black Prince and Geoffrey Chaucer.
The film takes its name from Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale" in his The Canterbury Tales , but the two plots are un-related. It received mixed reviews, and grossed $117.5 million against a budget of $65 million.
At a jousting tournament in 14th century Europe, several years after the Black Plague, squires William, Roland, and Wat discover that their master, Sir Ector, has died. With just one more pass, he could have won the tournament. Destitute, William wears Sir Ector's armour to impersonate him, taking the prize.
Although only nobles are allowed in tournaments, William is inspired to compete and win more prizes. Roland and Wat would rather take their winnings and leave, but William convinces them to stay and help him train. While traveling, the trio encounters a young Geoffrey Chaucer, who is also destitute and agrees to forge a patent of nobility so William can enter, assuming the name of "Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein" from Gelderland. But William is brought before Simon the Summoner and Peter the Pardoner: Chaucer has a gambling problem and is in their debt. William demands Chaucer be released and promises payment.
During the competition, William's armor is damaged very badly; he goads Kate, a female blacksmith, into repairing it without payment. He wins the tournament's sword event, enabling him to pay Chaucer's debt. In the joust, he faces Sir Thomas Colville, who withdraws from the tournament after being injured by William, though they exchange a ceremonial pass so that Colville can retain the honor of never having failed to complete a match. The proceedings are observed by Jocelyn, a noblewoman with whom William has become infatuated, and Count Adhemar of Anjou, a rival both in the joust and for Jocelyn's heart. In the final joust, Adhemar defeats William. At the prize ceremony, William vows revenge on Adhemar, who then taunts William, "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting."
Kate joins William's party and forges new lightweight armor. In the following tournament, Adhemar and William are both assigned to tilt against Sir Thomas Colville, but they learn that he is actually Prince Edward. Unwilling to risk harming the future King of England, Adhemar immediately withdraws prior to their match. William, despite his friends' objections, chooses to joust against Edward anyway and then addresses him by name, further earning his respect.
Adhemar is called away to the Battle of Poitiers, and William achieves several victories in his absence. William proves his love for Jocelyn by complying when she first asks him to deliberately lose (in contrast to knights who promise to win "in her name"), and then, just before he would be eliminated, to win the tournament after all.
The group travels to London for the World Championship. William recalls leaving his father to squire for Sir Ector and learn to become a knight, hoping to "change his stars". Adhemar has also arrived in London and announces that he is in negotiations with Jocelyn's father for her hand in marriage. William dominates at the tournament, but when he visits and is seen patching his now-blind father's leaky roof, Adhemar discovers his true identity and alerts the authorities.
William is arrested and placed in the pillory, but is defended from the hostile crowd by his friends. Just as the mob reaches its frenzy, Prince Edward reveals himself. He acknowledges William's honor and an ability to inspire his friends' dedication that is in the best traditions of knighthood. Edward then announces that William is in fact descended from an ancient noble family, and knights him "Sir William". He asserts that as Prince-royal, his declaration is "beyond contestation".
William returns to the tournament to face Adhemar in the final match, but Adhemar cheats with an illegally sharpened lance, seriously injuring William. Entering the final pass, William is losing by two lances and must unhorse Adhemar to win. He demands to be stripped of his armor while Chaucer buys time by performing the introduction of William that he omitted earlier. William, unable to hold the lance due to his injuries, asks Wat to strap it to his arm. Finally, he tilts against Adhemar, with his father and Jocelyn in attendance. Bellowing his true name as he charges, he knocks Adhemar to the ground with a crushing blow. On the ground, Adhemar experiences a vision of William and his friends mockingly telling him that he has been "weighed, measured, and found wanting". With this final blow, William wins the world championship tournament. In the ensuing celebration, as Jocelyn and William embrace, Chaucer remarks that he should write an account of these events.
The film was shot at the Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czechia.
Lances were created that would convincingly explode upon impact without injuring the stunt riders. The body of each lance was scored so it would break easily, and the tips were made of balsa wood. Each was also hollowed out, with the holes filled with balsa splinters and uncooked linguine.
In the DVD commentary, director Helgeland, commentating with Bettany, states that the film was intended to have occurred sometime in the 1370s during a six-month period in which Chaucer seems to have gone missing, and show what he might have done during this time, which Helgeland says later on in the commentary inspired Chaucer to write The Canterbury Tales .
Heath Ledger's principal suit of armour was made in steel by UK-based Armordillo Ltd. They also created several stunt replicas of this armour, Count Adhemar's armour, and all the jousting armours for men and horses in lightweight, flexible, and nearly unbreakable polyurethane resin.
The film, which notionally took place during the Middle Ages, is notable for its deliberate use of classic rock songs in its soundtrack. The ten that were credited in the film are listed in order of appearance:
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 58% based on reviews from 148 critics. "Once you get past the anachronism," according to the site, "A Knight's Tale becomes a predictable, if spirited, Rocky on horseback." reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 54 out of 100, sampled from 32
Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4 and argued that the anachronisms made little difference, writing that the director himself "pointed out that an orchestral score would be equally anachronistic, since orchestras hadn't been invented in the 1400s." In an obituary for David Bowie, culture critic Anthony Lane referred to the film's use of the song "Golden Years" as "the best and most honest use of anachronism that I know of."
Newsweek revealed in June 2001 that print ads contained glowing comments from a film reviewer who did not exist for at least four films released by Columbia Pictures, including A Knight's Tale and The Animal (2001). The fake critic was named David Manning and was created by a Columbia employee who worked in the advertising department. "Manning" was fraudulently presented as a reviewer for The Ridgefield Press , a small Connecticut weekly.
The film earned $56.6 million at the North American box office and an additional $60.9 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $117.5 million.
The film was nominated for three awards at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Shannyn Sossamon was nominated for Breakthrough Female performance, losing to Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember.The film was also nominated for Best Kiss, and Best Musical Sequence, losing to American Pie 2 and Moulin Rouge! , respectively.
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400. In 1386, Chaucer became Controller of Customs and Justice of the Peace and, in 1389, Clerk of the King's Works. It was during these years that Chaucer began working on his most famous text, The Canterbury Tales. The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state or representative for service to the monarch, the church or the country, especially in a military capacity.
The Sword in the Stone is a novel by British writer T. H. White, published in 1938 as a stand-alone work, but later became the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King. A fantasy of the boyhood of King Arthur, it is a sui generis work which combines elements of legend, history, fantasy and comedy. Walt Disney Productions adapted the story to an animated film, and the BBC adapted it to radio. Time included the novel in its list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time.
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horseriders wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament. The primary aim was to replicate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each participant trying hard to strike the opponent while riding towards him at high speed, breaking the lance on the opponent's shield or jousting armour if possible, or unhorsing him. The joust became an iconic characteristic of the knight in Romantic medievalism. The participants experience close to three and a quarter times their body weight in G-forces when the lances collide with their armour.
A visor was an armored covering for the face often used in conjunction with Late Medieval war helmets such as the bascinet or sallet. The visor usually consisted of a hinged piece of steel that contained openings for breathing and vision. Appropriately, breaths refers to the holes in the metal of the visor. Visors protected the face during battle and could be remarkably durable. One surviving artifact was found to be "equivalent in hardness to cold worked high speed steel."
The Order, also known as The Sin Eater, is a 2003 mystery horror film written and directed by Brian Helgeland, starring Heath Ledger, Benno Fürmann, Mark Addy, and Shannyn Sossamon. Helgeland directed Ledger, Addy and Sossamon in the 2001 film A Knight's Tale.
Starting in the Middle Ages, a squire was the shield- or armour-bearer of a knight.
Shannon Marie Kahololani "Shannyn" Sossamon, is an American actress, director, and musician. She has appeared in the films A Knight's Tale (2001), 40 Days and 40 Nights, The Rules of Attraction, The Order (2003), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), The Holiday (2006), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), Road to Nowhere (2009), The End of Love (2012), and Sinister 2 (2015).
Jabberwocky is a 1977 British fantasy comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Michael Palin as Dennis, a cooper's apprentice, who is forced through clumsy, often slapstick misfortunes to hunt a terrible dragon after the death of his father. The film's title is taken from the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass (1871).
The 2002 MTV Movie Awards were presented on June 6, 2002, hosted by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jack Black, and featured performances by The White Stripes, Kelly Osbourne and Eminem. It was the 11th Annual MTV Movie Awards. This year, MTV added four new award categories, but their winners didn't appear in the TV Show: "Favorite Line", "Best Cameo", "Best Dressed" and "Best Music Moment". The "Best Song" category disappeared, and the "Best Dance Sequence" category returned. "Best On-Screen Duo" became "Best On-Screen Team".
The General Prologue is the first part of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.
The White Company is a historical adventure by British writer Arthur Conan Doyle, set during the Hundred Years' War. The story is set in England, France, and Spain, in the years 1366 and 1367, against the background of the campaign of Edward, the Black Prince, to restore Peter of Castile to the throne of the Kingdom of Castile. The climax of the book occurs before the Battle of Nájera. Doyle became inspired to write the novel after attending a lecture on the Middle Ages in 1889. After extensive research, The White Company was published in serialized form in 1891 in Cornhill Magazine. Additionally, the book is considered a companion to Doyle's 1905-06 Sir Nigel, which explores the early campaigns of Sir Nigel Loring and Samkin Aylward.
Ulrich von Liechtenstein was a German minnesinger and poet of the Middle Ages. He wrote poetry in Middle High German and was author of noted works about how knights and nobles may lead more virtuous lives. Ulrich was a member of a wealthy and influential ministerialis family from Liechtenstein in Styria. He was born about 1200 at Murau in the Duchy of Styria, located in the present-day country of Austria.
A pauldron is a component of plate armor that evolved from spaulders in the 15th century. As with spaulders, pauldrons cover the shoulder area. Pauldrons tend to be larger than spaulders, covering the armpit, and sometimes parts of the back and chest. A pauldron typically consists of a single large dome-shaped piece to cover the shoulder with multiple lames attached to it to defend the arm and upper shoulder. On some suits of armour, especially those of Italian design, the pauldrons would usually be asymmetrical, with one pauldron covering less and sporting a cut-away to make room for a lance rest.
The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical-fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt Disney and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The 18th Disney animated feature film, it is based on T. H. White's novel of the same name, published in 1938 as a single novel, then republished in 1958 as the first book of the Arthurian tetralogy The Once and Future King. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, the film features the voices of Rickie Sorensen, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews, Sebastian Cabot, Norman Alden, and Martha Wentworth.
The Eglinton Tournament of 1839 was a reenactment of a medieval joust and revel held in North Ayrshire, Scotland between 28 and 30 August. It was funded and organized by Archibald, Earl of Eglinton, and took place at Eglinton Castle in Ayrshire. The Queen of Beauty was Georgiana, Duchess of Somerset. Many distinguished visitors took part, including Prince Louis Napoleon, the future Emperor of the French.
Bérénice Bejo is a French-Argentine actress best known for playing Christiana in A Knight's Tale (2001) and Peppy Miller in The Artist (2011). Her work in the latter earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won her the César Award for Best Actress. For her performance in The Past, she won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and was nominated for a César.
The Anglo-Norman romance Ipomedon by Hue de Rotelande, composed near Hereford around 1180, survives in three separate Middle English versions, a long poem Ipomadon composed in tail-rhyme verse, possibly in the last decade of the fourteenth century, a shorter poem The Lyfe of Ipomydon, dating to the fifteenth century and a prose version, Ipomedon, also of the fifteenth century. In each case, the story is taken independently from the Anglo-Norman romance Ipomedon, written in Old French by Hue de Rotelande "not long after 1180", possibly in Herefordshire, England. It is included in a list of the popular English romances by Richard Hyrde in the 1520s.
Sir Perceval of Galles is a Middle English Arthurian verse romance whose protagonist, Sir Perceval (Percival), first appeared in medieval literature in Chrétien de Troyes' final poem, the 12th-century Old French Conte del Graal, well over one hundred years before the composition of this work. Sir Perceval of Galles was probably written in the northeast Midlands of England in the early 14th century, and tells a markedly different story to either Chretien's tale or to Robert de Boron's early 13th-century Perceval. Told with a comic liveliness, it omits any mention of a graal or a Grail.
The Squire from the Ellesmere Manuscript of the Canterbury The Squire is a fictional character in the framing narrative of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He is squire to the Knight and is the narrator of The Squire's Tale or Cambuscan. The Squire is one of the secular pilgrims, of the military group. The Knight and the Squire are the pilgrims with the highest social status. However his tale, interrupted as it is, is paired with that of the Franklin. The Squire is a candidate for the interrupter of The Host in the epilogue of the Man of Law's Tale.
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