UC Berkeley Library

Knights & Medieval Adventurers

A Knight's Tale (2003)

Director, Brian Helgeland. Cast: Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon, Alan Tudyk, Laura Fraser, Christopher Cazenove, Berenice Bejo, James Purefoy. A peasant squire breaks all the rules when he passes himself off as a nobleman and takes the jousting world by storm. The only thing that stands between him and his dream of becoming the world champion is the bad boy of the sport Count Adhemar. The two rivals go lance to head at the world finals to determine who will be named the ultimate champion. 132 min.

Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (Ring of the Nibelungs)(Germany / Italy / UK / USA, TV, 2004)

Directed by Uli Edel. Cast: Benno Furmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, Julian Sands, Samuel West. The son of a simple swordsmith, Siegfried, is actually an orphaned prince and an heir to the throne. To save his kingdom, Siegfried engages in battle and slays an evil dragon that is guarding a cursed ancient and deadly ring. 132 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

El Cid (Italy / USA / UK, 1961)

Directed by Anthony Mann. Cast: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Genevieve Page, John Fraser, Gary Raymond, Hurd Hatfield, Massimo Serato, Herbert Lom, Ralph Truman. Eleventh-century Spain is divided into Christian kingdoms and Moorish strongholds. The young Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, a Castillian knight who has been dubbed El Cid [El Cid Campeador "The Lord Champion"] by his followers, vows to free his country from the invader. This epic tale romanticizes the years of love, warfare, revenge, rivalries, as El Cid becomes a revered warrior.

Excalibur (1981)

Directed by John Boorman. Cast: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nichol Williamson. A lush retelling of the legend of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table and the tale of the mythical sword Excalibur, and its passing from the wizard Merlin to the future king of England. A visually stunning film unflinching in its scenes of combat and black magic. 141 min.

First Knight(1995)

Directed by Jerry Zucker. Cast: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross. This is a new vision of King Arthur's Camelot. A vision of battles, courage, and of the undeniable love that brought an entire kingdom to its knees ... and the undying passion that made it live forever. 133 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:

Ivanhoe (UK / USA, 1952)

Directed by Richard Thorpe. Cast: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Emlyn Williams. A vivid adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's classic tale set in England in the Middle Ages. The story follows one brave knight's attempt to restore Richard The Lion-Hearted to the throne stolen by his evil brother, Prince John. The action is full scale and vigorous, boasting some of the most spectacular fighting sequences ever filmed with authentic jousting scenes. 107 min.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Directed by Ridley Scott. Cast: Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green, Martin Hancock, Michael Sheen, Nathalie Cox, Eriq Ebouaney, Jouko Ahola, David Thewlis. Orlando Bloom stars as Balian, a young Frenchman in Medieval Jerusalem during the Crusades, who, having lost everything, finds redemption in a heroic fight against overwhelming forces to save his people and fulfill his destiny as a knight. 144 min.

Knives of the avenger (I coltelli del vendicatore) (Italy, 1966)

Directed by Mario Bava. Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Elissa Pichelli, Fausto Tozzi, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Luciano Pollentin, Amedeo Trilli. Described as an Italian Viking film, or a Viking Western, this is a story of a mysterious knife-throwing viking warrior who protects a young peasant woman and her young son from the clutches of a evil regent bent on claiming the title of king and the woman for himself. 85 min.

Lancelot of the Lake (Lancelot du Lac) (1974)

Directed by Robert Bresson. Set in the last days of the doomed quest by Lancelot and the rest of King Arthur's knights for the Holy Grail, this is a tale of the end of the age of chivalry and the death of a dream. 80 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database See bibliography of reviews and articles about this film

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)

Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. The quest for the Holy Grail by King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is retold in this hysterical, historical tour-de-farce. Watch as the knights wage battle against the fierce Killer Rabbit. Can they pass the test of valor and cut down yon tree with herring? Or will they blow themselves to smithereens with the Holy Hand Grenade? 92 min.

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