A young knight sets out to join King Richard's crusaders. Along the way, he encounters The Black Prince who captures children and sells them as slaves to the Muslims. It is Robert Narra's ... See full summary »
Lila Green is an insecure and aging showgirl for Madame Olga's stage shows. When her boyfriend, Rick, runs off with the shows money, Madame Olga and Ronny let Lila go. Lila goes to stay ... See full summary »
Franklin J. Schaffner
Two ideologically-disparate terrorists (one from the PLO, one from the IRA) meet up in London to assassinate a visiting Israeli nuclear scientist. An alcoholic ex-government agent (Anthony ... See full summary »
A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »
Franklin J. Schaffner
Sawdust Tales is a whimsical and timeless parable on survival in hard times and the force of a first love against all odds. In a timeless no-mans land scarred by social decay and imminent ... See full summary »
A young knight sets out to join King Richard's crusaders. Along the way, he encounters The Black Prince who captures children and sells them as slaves to the Muslims. It is Robert Narra's sworn duty to protect the children and lead them to safety. Written by
Kevin Michael Papineau <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Inspired loosely on an event that took place in 1212 called "The Children's Crusade", when a French boy tried to lead a large group of children to the Holy Land. However, most either died on the way or were sold into slavery when they reached North Africa on the way to Jerusalem. Similar events are said to have occurred at the same time around Germany. See more »
Interesting failure undone by bad casting and editing
Lionheart - The Children's Crusade was an interesting find in a bargain bin at a video shop - a medieval epic that I'd never even heard of from the director of Patton, produced by Coppola and with music by Jerry Goldsmith. Looking it up on the IMDb, not many others have either: it only seems to have played a week in Detroit! Why? Well, the obvious reason is it's not very good.
Its got a solid script about a disgraced young French knight who finds himself leading a bunch of abandoned children to the Holy Land to join King Richard's crusade and coming up against Gabriel Byrne's disillusioned crusader turned child-slave-trader. But it often looks like chunks are missing, and the kids are pretty awful: Eric Stoltz very effeminate and uncharismatic as the lead, Dexter Fletcher irritating as the lovable Artful Dodger type and Nicola Cowper a one-woman petrified forest as the love interest - I've never, ever seen an actress stay as rigidly immobile or as impervious to emotion as this gal. It's like watching a beautifully made up corpse in early rigor mortis for 105 minutes. Only Deborah Moore seems to give it a bit of wellie as a tomboyish female whose far more manly than the hero.
Bits of it do work, and Byrne's dark knight character is genuinely interesting and gets all the best dialogue, but the main interest is Jerry Goldsmith's astonishingly good score, one of the best I've ever heard for an epic even if it disappears towards the end. Worth a look but set expectations on low.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?