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A Knight's Tale (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 11 May 2001 (USA)
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2:22 | Trailer
After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.

Director:

Brian Helgeland

Writer:

Brian Helgeland
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Popularity
1,278 ( 82)
4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Heath Ledger ... William Thatcher
Rufus Sewell ... Count Adhemar
Shannyn Sossamon ... Jocelyn
Paul Bettany ... Geoffrey Chaucer
Laura Fraser ... Kate
Mark Addy ... Roland
Alan Tudyk ... Wat
Bérénice Bejo ... Christiana (as Berenice Bejo)
Scott Handy ... Germaine
James Purefoy ... Colville
Leagh Conwell ... Young William Thatcher
Christopher Cazenove ... John Thatcher
Steven O'Donnell ... Simon the Summoner (as Steve O'Donnell)
Jonathan Slinger ... Peter the Pardoner
Nick Brimble ... Sir Ector
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

From peasant to knight; one man can change his stars See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

11 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Knight's Tale See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,511,391, 13 May 2001

Gross USA:

$56,569,702

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$117,487,473
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Chaucer first introduced Sir Ulrich at the joust, he makes a point of including the lower classes, saying "And everyone else here not sitting on a cushion". This is a reference to The Beatles' Royal Command performance in 1963 when John Lennon introduced the last song by saying "For the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewellery". See more »

Goofs

When the starter waves the flag before the first lance in the final joust, his hands reverse positions between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William: Should we help him?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits finish, Roland, Wat, Kate, and Geoffrey Chaucer have a flatulence contest/drinking game. Wat loses, but Kate is the obvious winner. See more »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Marquee Event (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Pieces
By Dan Powell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
This film was weighed measured and not found wanting at all
4 August 2013 | by HelenMarySee all my reviews

This film shows without any quibbling just how bright the star of Heath Ledger was. He is luminous in this; beautiful, funny, physical and engaging. He plays excellently against the stunning Shannyn Sossamon, who fits perfectly into the modern medieval setting of this film. Set in the C14th a man of poor birth but sharp intellect rises through the ranks of page-dom with the desire to become a nobleman for food, fame, glory and love.

An impressive ensemble cast including the superior Paul Bettany (Chaucer - you can see he had fun with this rather exposing (!) role), Rufus Sewell, Mark Addy, Christopher Cazenove, James Purefoy and Alan Tudyk provides a film that is nigh-on flawless for cinematography that is exciting and gripping, the screenplay - the script - is amazing, laugh out loud funny all the way through. It's one of those films which require certain intelligence to get all the asides and witticisms, or numerous viewings to pick up on all of them, otherwise its still a funny and enjoyable film. With something for everyone this film is a joy to watch again and again, it's also attractive visually - many points to the costumers who mixed historical fashion with a modern edgy almost punk twist. Ditto the soundtrack - mixing in modern music was a clever touch, similar to Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann), and also an interesting look at fame and the cult of celebrity.

A great viewing experience which sometimes even brings a tear to my eye. If you don't enjoy this film, there's something wrong with you. Ignore the haters, it's not supposed to be historically accurate or high-brow! Sometimes a feel-good, comfortable, Disney-esque story arc is just what you want.


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