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A Knight's Tale (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 11 May 2001 (USA)
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.


Brian Helgeland


Brian Helgeland
565 ( 184)
4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





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


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 Will Rock You 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 »

Did You Know?


When William, Watt and Roland meet Geoffrey Chaucer, they are on the way to a tournament in Rouen France. Geoffrey asks them if they were going and they say "this is the road to Rouen" pronouncing it ruin. A double meaning, since if they got caught it would be the road to ruin. See more »


This is a satirical romance, not a historical documentary. While nominally set in the middle of the 14th century (when Edward the Black Prince and Geoffrey Chaucer were active), it freely amalgamates the costume, custom and slang of many different centuries to create a unique world. The Chaucer character (who mentions his signature Canterbury Tales) bears almost no resemblance to his historical counterpart. Matte replicas of the London Eye and the Eiffel Tower are included to drive home the anachronistic intentions. 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's nickname for William. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a slight difference between the UK cinema version and the UK DVD release. In the cinematic release, the queen/Robbie Williams version of We Are The Champions starts playing when William and Jocelyn kiss just before the credits, whereas the DVD release has a different song play. However, We Are The Champions still plays over the last half of the credits. See more »


Spoofed in Scary Movie 2 (2001) See more »


One of our Own
By Carter Burwell
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User Reviews

The most heart and fun of 2001
29 August 2003 | by lowercasegodsSee all my reviews

I'd read that Brian Helgeland had been soured by the movie industry due to his mistreatment on his film, "Payback." I use "his film" in the most liberal sense here, as star Mel Gibson wrestled control of the film from Helgeland and imposed his own view on the final editing process. With this situation in mind, I fully expected "A Knight's Tale" to be a creative response to that negative filmmaking experience, a fun and free film that thumbed its nose at tradition and set style and which allowed the director's true vision to shine through with no outside interference. And my friends, that's exactly what I got when I first sat down to watch in back in 2001. "A Knight's Tale" celebrates the classic and vastly misused/underused genre of medieval movies, while at the same time knocking the genre on its ear by instilling the film with modern themes, attitudes and a classic rock score. Sadly, it was these elements which repelled most viewers and led to "A Knight's Tale's" lackluster performance at the box office. Were these people just a little more open minded, they would have allowed themselves a wonderful movie-going experience that celebrates individuality, love, and above all else, friendship. Though the music is crucial to the uniqueness of this film (and a brilliant addition, I might add), it's the relationships amongst the characters that gives this film its heart. William and Jocelyn are the perfect couple: bickering, floundering, and absolutely in love with one another. Wat, Roland, Kate and Geoff, wonderful characters unwilling to be fopped off as simple comic reliefs, show genuine love and loyalty to William, and do as much to contribute and carry the story along as William and the other two leads accomplish. Count Adamar, the film's villain, is a wonderful foil for William. He is cunning and cruel, and even in his moments of defeat, a character to respect. In many cases, such a villain would be made to seem wimpy or, at his moment of defeat, clumsy. Not so here, as Adamar is, throughout the film, a force to be reckoned with. I suppose part of why I love "A Knight's Tale" is my ability to relate to it so personally. I've certainly had my share of challenges, and aspired to be more than what I currently was. And I've also known friendships so loyal and loving that fiction could never invent. Most significantly, I've lived the pursuit of true love and, like William, have obtained it with no small amount of satisfaction. Everyone to some degree or another has also had these experiences in their lives, and its these experiences that built the foundation of "A Knight's Tale," which is exactly what makes it such a wonderful film, more than worthy of a second chance by those who previously doubted it, and much more than worthy of a spot in any fan's movie collection.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | French

Release Date:

11 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Knight's Tale See more »


Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,511,391, 13 May 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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