A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son. As the plague and warfare cut a swathe of destruction... See full summary »
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A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son. As the plague and warfare cut a swathe of destruction throughout the land, the mercenaries hole up in a castle and await their fate. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paul Verhoeven wanted to explore the idea of a confrontation between two allies who had become enemies, stating that he had always been a bit disappointed that the two enemies in The Wild Bunch (1969) never really met face to face. One of the scenes he had in mind for this movie showed Martin and Hawkwood having a calm conversation in a bathtub, while both conceal a knife. The characters would have a final showdown at the end of the movie. However, the studio wanted a bigger part for the character of Agnes and more focus on the love story, so the audience could better identify with the main characters. The bathtub scene therefore became a love scene, and the feud between Martin and Hawkwood was pushed to the background, much to Verhoeven's later regret. See more »
Sir John Hawkwood is depicted as being alive in 1501. However, he died in 1394, 107 years earlier. See more »
Gloriously over the top middle ages saga from Verhoeven,who certainly makes sure the film lives up to its title!This is an exraordinarily bloody film,and apart from the gore we get dead babies,brain damaged nuns,plague infected flesh,raping,pillaging,and some terrible table manners.This is hugely enjoyable stuff,with some terrific black humour.Verhoeven also stages some excellent action sequences.The opening battle to take back the city is good,as is the amazing contraption to scale the castle that gets destroyed,and the final battle inside the castle is gripping.Rutger Hauer is reliably excellent in this,not so much a loveable rogue as a steely eyed psycho.Even better is Jennifer Jason Leigh as the kidnapped princess,who turns out to be a cunning,scheming,bitch.Witness the scene where she turns the tables on Hauer,who is attempting to rape her.There's good support also from Susan Tyrrell as a revolting whore,and Ronald Lacey as a demented priest who seems to have stepped straight out of the film 'The Devils'.This is miles better than all the other sword and sorcery films that were around at the time,because Verhoeven pulls no punches,and instills the film with a savage wit.Great music as well from 'Conan' composer,Bazil Poleduris.This film deserves a sequel!
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