Inspired by "The Canterbury Tales," as well as the early life of William Marshall (later First Earl of Pembroke), this is the story of William, a young squire with a gift for jousting. After his master dies suddenly, the squire hits the road with his cohorts Roland and Wat. On the journey, they stumble across an unknown writer, Chaucer. William, lacking a proper pedigree, convinces Chaucer to forge genealogy documents that will pass him off as a knight. With his newly-minted history in hand, the young man sets out to prove himself a worthy knight at the country's jousting competition, and finds romance along the way.Written by
Shortly after our heroes meet Jeffrey Chaucer on the way to Rouen for a tournament, Wat explains to Chaucer that if he betrays them he will fong him until "... your insides are out and your outsides are in" which can be found in the Beatles song "Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey" from the White Album. See more »
No mention is made on exactly how an English peasant manages to fool everyone into believing he is a nobleman from a very German-Dutch region of Europe. See more »
As the first credits appear, the camera swings to show a constellation behind William and Jocelyn. The constellation is Orion, the Hunter. Jocelyn refers to William as the Hunter before she learns his name. See more »
The DVD includes six extended/deleted scenes:
A scene of Will, Roland and Wat around a campfire during the training, where Will comes up with the idea for sir Ulrich's crest: a phoenix. Wat and Roland say there should be three phoenixes, since there's three of them.
Lord Adhemar's original introduction scene, where he slaps around one of his servants while having his armor fitted, and reference is made to the "triple phoenix" design of Sir Ulrich's crest.
Chaucer giving another substantial introduction for Sir Ulrich, similar to the first one, right before his match with Lord Adhemar. He berates Adhemar's herald before the speech; after the speech, Adhemar's herald appears impressed, which leads to his imitation of Chaucer's style later in the film.
When Adhemar leaves the dance, we find out the reason for his pained expression; in a deleted scene, he reveals to a monk that he is tone-deaf, and has never been able to hear music as anything more than noise. Adhemar then strides out into the midst of the poor, waiting outside the castle for handouts, and starts a riot by throwing food and money into the crowd.
Another deleted scene has Will, Roland, Wat, and Kate seeing Chaucer walking back to their quarters naked again. They follow him, but it turns that he was fetching food for his wife, Phillipa (who is also naked), and had not lost his clothes gambling like they thought. They leave, laughing, and run into Jocelyn and Christiana. Christiana and Roland leave together (with a suggestion of romance), William and Jocelyn leave together, but when Wat holds out his hand for Kate, she just hands him a pastry and walks off. Wat says "Hey, Beautiful" to the pastry and walks off happy anyway.
The original version of the scene with William in the stocks is considerably longer, and has an extensive speech by Chaucer (which is probably his best in the film). Rather than having the crowd calmed by the appearance of Prince Edward, the crowd is converted by Chaucer's speech, and has already begun chanting "William, William!" by the time the Prince reveals himself. A much stronger version of the scene, but cut down in favor of having the Prince's role expanded.
I first saw "A Knight's Tale" by chance. A few of us had decided on an ad hoc visit to the local cinema and selected "A Knight's Tale" simply because it sounded the least "teen" movie on the bill. We slapped down our cash and took our seats.
The movie began...
A crowd of peasants are assembled to watch the jousting. And they're singing "We Will Rock You."
My initial response was "God, this is going to be bad."
But as the movie continued, it suddenly dawned on me - I wasn't hating the movie at all! On an intellectual level, I should have been booing and throwing stuff at the screen but there's something about the sheer verve and energy of "A Knight's Tale" that just drags you in on an emotional level.
A clever script with many modern references, a good cast of likeable characters and a fantastic soundtrack (the reveal of "Golden Years" is particularly good) all add up to make "A Knight's Tale" one of the most entertaining mainstream movies I've seen in a long time.
Normally I hate "popcorn" movies - not because I consider them "low brow" or an insult to the intelligence, but because they're shallow, tired and lack soul. Yet "A Knight's Tale" is different. No, it won't change your life and it won't make you ponder your place in the universe. But it will entertain you.
If you're looking for an "old fashioned" good vs. evil movie with a twist, or your copy of "The Princess Bride" is wearing thin, check out "A Knight's Tale."
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