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Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

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Cast

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Storyline

It is the time of the Crusades during the Middle Ages - the world shaping 200-year collision between Europe and the East. A blacksmith named Balian has lost his family and nearly his faith. The religious wars raging in the far-off Holy Land seem remote to him, yet he is pulled into that immense drama. Amid the pageantry and intrigues of medieval Jerusalem he falls in love, grows into a leader, and ultimately uses all his courage and skill to defend the city against staggering odds. Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a great knight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France from fighting in the East. Revealing himself as Balian's father, Godfrey shows him the true meaning of knighthood and takes him on a journey across continents to the fabled Holy City. In Jerusalem at that moment--between the Second and Third Crusades--a fragile peace prevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king, Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and epic warfare | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crusades  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,530,445 (UK) (6 May 2005)

Gross:

$47,396,698 (USA) (26 August 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (director's cut roadshow)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Jon Finch. He died on December 28, 2012, at the age of 70. See more »

Goofs

Patriarch Eraclius is depicted as a coward who advocated abandoning Jerusalem and its inhabitants in order to save his and Balian's lives. In actuality, Balian wanted to leave the city, as he had come only to evacuate his wife and children and had sworn an oath to never take up arms against Saladin in order to cross the siege lines. Eraclius absolved him of his oath and encouraged him to fight Saladin long enough to negotiate a truce for the lives and freedom of Jerusalem's citizens. He then had all the churches' silver stripped down and melted into coins to pay the defenders. After the siege, Eraclius and Balian collected money from the city's wealthy to pay ransom for 18,000 inhabitants, and offered themselves (in vain) as hostages for the remaining 15,000 who couldn't pay. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gravedigger: Crusaders.
Squire: Clear the road, if you will.
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Crazy Credits

The opening 20th Century Fox logo has a ocher-yellow tint added to it. See more »

Connections

Featured in Production Design: Bringing an Old City to Life (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Vide Cor Meum
Music by Patrick Cassidy
Performed by Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti
Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Music Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Kingdom of Heaven
4 May 2005 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Kingdom of Heaven in 2005 will be what Gladiator was in 2000. Ridley Scott has delivered a worthy follow up to his Oscar winner, which is also based on medieval times, with a central heroic character, and supporting casts of characters based on history.

The sets are as spectacular, instead of just Rome and the Collesuem, we have the Middle East and Jerusalem. The costumes are beautiful, from intricately remade Knights armour, to the desert garb of the Muslim warriors. The soundtrack is a mixture of sounds with middle eastern influences, but somehow pales in comparison with Gladiator and lacks a central theme.

Much is said about how the film portrays religion, given the sensitive subject of the Crusades, but I feel that Ridley has achieved a wonderful balance between how Christianity and Islam are portrayed. Both are given fair airtime on their ideologies, and the film tries to preach (pardon the pun) about tolerance, yet highlights the dangers of fanatical followers of both religions, of misguidance from men in search of worldly power.

Which Christianity took a beating - where senseless battles are waged in the name of Christ, where insensitivity breed contempt. Preists are cast in negative light and given lines like "convert to Islam, repent later" when all around seems lost. It is emphasized in the show that what matters is in your head and in your heart - that noble actions speak louder than mere empty and repetitive "praise the Lord" chants, as if that will protect you during Judgement Day.

Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a blacksmith who became a fugitive, but inherited land and army from his father, Godfrey, played by Liam Neeson. The film can be broadly categorized into 3 acts - the first in which Balian searches for his identity and new life in Jerusalem, the second in which the focus is on religion and politics of the time, and the last, the spectacular siege and war.

Bloom puts up a commendable performance, so to his detractors out there, you're in for a big surprise. Edward Norton had the difficult task of acting through a mask as leper King Baldwin, and I applaud Ridley's decision of casting real Muslim actors to learn from them.

Fans of Eva Green might be disappointed that the relationship between Balian and Queen Sibylla was played down to focus on the battles, but I feel it's a fair trade off.

Firstly, some of you might not like the quick-cut-MTV style editing in Gladiator's fight scenes, especially the close ups. This is repeated here though, in a blood splattering manner. The pan-out and general landscape sweeps are mindblowing, and will leave you wanting more. Think about the battles that you see Lord of The Rings Two Towers and Return of the King - the siege on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith - Kingdom of Heaven delivers the equivalent, probably even better (without the fantasy elements). This is one medieval war movie whose battles will stick in your mind for some time.

The audience were the only disappointing experience for me - they were laughing at a dialogue near the end, where a "knight" asked who Balian was, and he answered "I'm the blacksmith", in which the "knight" answered "I'm the King". Laughter was abound in the theatre. I was like, HELL-O people! See that lion motif on his armour? That's Richard the Lionheart! D'uh! The Crusades didn't end there, it waged on...

What is Jerusalem worth? Nothing, everything. Watch this, and in my opinion, it has Oscar written all over it. Now to hit the library and research more on the subject!


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