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A Knight's Tale (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 11 May 2001 (USA)
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After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.



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4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christiana (as Berenice Bejo)
Leagh Conwell ...
Simon the Summoner (as Steve O'Donnell)
Sir Ector


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He didn't make the rules. He was born to break them. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence, some nudity and brief sex-related dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazón de caballero  »


Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,511,391, 13 May 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Chaucer first introduces "Sir Ulrich" in his speech, the crowd doesn't react at first because the Czech extras didn't understand the speech. Mark Addy's loud prompt was what tipped them off to start cheering. The awkward moment was left in because it made the scene more funny. See more »


In William's final joust with Adhemar, when his horse starts charging, Kate, Roland, and Wat run along behind his horse for a short period of time. As the shot changes you can see Wat standing still in the background. Then the shot changes back to the three running. See more »


[first lines]
William: Should we help him?
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Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in The Legend of Zorro (2005) See more »


We Will Rock You
Written by Brian May
Performed by Queen
Courtesy of Hollywood Records and Courtesy of EMI Records UK Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

More accurate than you might think
15 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

The first time I saw A Knight's Tale (on cable, missed it in theater), I had the same reaction as many of you - Queen? David Bowie? In a movie set in the middle ages?

But I stayed with it, and I'm glad I did. Once you get past the glaring anachronisms (put in the film on purpose, of course), you find the movie is actually quite true to its period.

The presence of Chaucer in the film, combined with some of its details, leads me to suspect that Brian Helgeland has read "Chaucer's Knight" by fellow filmmaker Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame). The book deconstructs the knight in Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale" in a totally unique way -- he is seen NOT as the flower of medieval chivalry (as most scholars have interpreted him), but as a mercenary out for nothing but money and blood. The character in the film Chaucer would have written about, then, is not Sir William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), but Count Adhemar of Anjou (Rufus Sewell).

The part of the film in which this connection "clicked" for me was the scene where Count Adhemar is called away to his command in a "Free Company" -- a particular stain on the reputation of knighthood which Jones talks extensively about in his book.

Jones' book made use of extensive research into medieval history, and Helgeland's film obviously does, too.

Chaucer was a master of satire in his day. Helgeland's use of modern conventions in a period film is a conceit of which - I believe - Chaucer would definitely have approved.

I gave "A Knight's Tale" 9 out of 10 - it's not perfect, but I like it so much, I try to watch it every time it comes on (it's been on HBO and Cinemax pretty regularly for the past several months). Check it out!

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