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A Knight's Tale (2001) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
When Chaucer first introduces "Sir Ulrich" in his speech, the crowd doesn't react at first because the Czech extras didn't understand it. Mark Addy's loud prompt tipped them off to start cheering. The awkward moment was left in because it made the scene funnier.
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Director Brian Helgeland once said in an interview that he used modern music in the movie to show modern audiences what people then felt about their music. When true Renaissance music is used in modern movies, it fails to convey the emotional response that people back then had to such music.
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At the end, Chaucer says, "I think I'll write this down." In real life, "The Knight's Tale" is the first chapter in Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales."
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Two of the characters in the film, Peter The Pardoner and Simon The Summoner, are characters from Geoffrey Chaucer's work, "The Canterbury Tales".
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Paul Bettany developed laryngitis because of all the yelling he had to do as William's herald.
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Some of the extras were homeless people from Prague.
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The initial scene of the two knights jousting in the first scene of the movie is actually footage of Heath Ledger's stunt double in an accident. While filming a later scene, the stunt double's opponent's lance moved off target and hit him in the head. The double fell to the ground unconscious. The entire scene was used for the introduction.
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Plenty of effort was expended creating lances that would splinter convincingly without taking out the stunt riders as well. The body of each lance was scored so it would break easily, and the tips were made of balsa wood. Each was also hollowed out, and the hole filled with balsa chips and uncooked linguine to make convincing splinters.
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For the scene when William follows Jocelyn into the cathedral, the sounds of his horse's hooves were produced using coconuts on Charles Maynes' garage floor.
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The aerial shot of London includes a medieval version of The London Eye. It was a model, not CGI, and cost $500,000.
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Gelderland is a real province the Netherlands. Sir Ulrich's name caused many unplanned laughs in the cinemas there.
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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".
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There was a period of about a year in Chaucer's life when historians have no records of what happened to him. This film is supposed to be set in that year.
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Heath Ledger knocked out one of director Brian Helgeland's front teeth with a broomstick when the two were demonstrating a jousting move. It was several months before Helgeland's mouth had healed enough to repair the damage. He says it was the only jousting injury during filming.
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During the first award ceremony with William and Adhemar, Chaucer kisses Count Adhemar's herald twice. This was the response to a request from director Brian Helgeland to "surprise him", though he never specified how.
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Heath Ledger - largely unknown at the time this went into production - was cast on the strength of his performance in the rushes that Brian Helgeland had seen of him in The Patriot (2000) which was filming at the time.
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Paul Bettany's nude scene was shot on his very first day in front of a crowd of extras.
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The expression "it's sixes and sevens" is used in its gambling context by Simon the Summoner to get Geoffrey Chaucer to gamble. The phrase is derived from the game of dice, and originally appeared in print in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, 1374. It means "to carelessly risk one's entire fortune".
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Several of the named knights were, in fact, real, though many of them are from different time periods. Ulrich von Lichtenstein was a knight and author who was said to have invented the concept of chivalry and courtly love. Piers Courtenay was a descendant of Edward I, born in the 15th Century. Sir Thomas Colville, Prince Edward's disguise, was a knight from the 13th Century. Lord Roger Mortimer was the lover of King Edward II's wife - Isabella of France - and was hanged, drawn, and quartered by the Black Prince's father, King Edward III.

The real-life Ulrich von Liechtenstein was a real knight, and regular jouster. He boasted that he would give a golden ring to any knight who could break a lance on his armour, giving away 271 in total, but remaining undefeated.
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The film is intentionally anachronistic and not meant to be historically accurate, but although the real-life Edward is often referred to as the "Black Prince", there is no record of this name being used during his lifetime, nor for more than 150 years after his death. He was instead known as Edward of Woodstock (after his place of birth), or by one of his titles.
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The terrific crunching sound heard whenever a lance shatters in the film is largely made up of the sound of a howitzer being fired. In order to produce the long crunching impact, the sound of the howitzer was slowed down by half.
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The actor playing the younger version of William has different colored eyes. Brian Helgeland didn't feel it would be fair to make the young actor wear contact lenses.
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Olivia Williams made a brief appearance as Chaucer's wife, but her scenes were deleted. They can be seen on the special edition DVD.
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The home video version, released before the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, was recalled because it contained a Spider-Man (2002) preview that included a shot of the World Trade Center.
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Count Adhemar is announced as "son of Philippe de Vitry." De Vitry was a famous 14th century French musician and theorist, known for an influential text called "Ars Nova."
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Newsweek revealed in June 2001 that print ads for at least four movies released by Columbia Pictures, including this film and The Animal (2001), contained glowing comments from a film reviewer who did not exist. The fake critic, "David Manning," was created by a Columbia employee who worked in the advertising department. "Manning" was misrepresented as a reviewer for The Ridgefield Press, a real, small Connecticut weekly paper.
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The Black Prince and Geoffrey Chaucer were actually connected in real life. Geoffrey Chaucers wife was the sister to Catherine De Roet who married the Black Princes brother John of Gaunt.
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Heath Ledger started dating Heather Graham during the making of this film - shot on adjacent soundstages in Prague to From Hell (2001) which Graham was making at the same time.
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In the movie, Chaucer uses the phrase "gilding the lily". The real Chaucer died in the year 1400. However, the first documented reference of the phrase is from the USA in 1895. It probably derives from a Shakespeare's play "King John" written in the mid 1590s and first published in 1623 in the First Folio where Shakespear writes "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily".
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The blacksmith's mark that Kate puts on William's armor is the logo for Nike. A product placement.
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The woman sitting beside Edward, the Black Prince /Sir Thomas Colville at the final joust between Will and Adhemar, while never mentioned anywhere in the movie nor credited anywhere, is his wife Joan of Kent.
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In addition to the '70s rock music, Wat wears tunics with bird insignias on them. The insignia strongly resembles the decal that appeared on the hoods of 1970s era Pontiac Firebird muscle cars.
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Shortly after our heroes meet Jeffrey Chaucer on the way to Rouen for a tournament, Wat explains to Chaucer that if he betrays them he will fong him until "... your insides are out and your outsides are in" which can be found in the Beatles song "Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey" from the White Album.
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Several initial news stories reported that "A Knight's Tale" was the in-flight movie available on the airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
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Chaucer refers to Sir Ulrich as the "seeker of Serenity", Alan Tudyk who plays Wat in this movie is most known for playing Hoban Washburne the pilot of Serenity in Joss Whedon's Firefly (2002-2003) and its film Serenity (2005)
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Paul Bettany went onto play Lord Melbourne in the movie "The Young Victoria". Rufus Sewell would later play the same role in the TV show "Victoria".
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Although Ulrich competes only in the sword and lance events, the tournaments feature six events. These are the sword, lance, axe, bow, mace and spear.
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This film features two Game of Thrones actors: Mark Addy, who plays Roland in this and Robert Baratheon in Games of Thrones, and Roger Ashton-Griffiths who plays the old bishop in this and Mace Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
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Both Heath Ledger and Shannyn Sossaman starred together in The Order (2003) also as love interests
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The three squires, Mark Addy, Heath Ledger and Alan Tudyk, went on to play roles of royalty. Mark Addy played king Robert Baratheon on HBO's Game of Thrones; Heath Ledger portrait The Joker (Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime) on Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight; and Alan Tudyk voiced King Candy in Disney's Wreck-It Ralph.
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Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany have both played comic book characters, Heath has played The Joker in the DC Comics Universe while Paul has played Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
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Seven years later, Heath Ledger played the Joker in The Dark 'Knight'.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In earlier scenes in the film, Jocelyn refers to Ulrich/William as "a hunter". At the end, when they are embracing and the scene dissolves to a night-time sky scene and then pans away, the camera clearly shows the constellation known as Orion - the Hunter.
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The part where Jocelyn tells William to prove his love by doing his worst in the tournament appears to be taken directly from Guinevere and Lancelot's romance in Chrétien de Troyes' 12th-century poem "Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart".
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After Adamar sees Will in Cheapside, the camera pans over London. In the top right hand corner of the screen, you can see The Millenium Wheel in the distance, although the silhouette is thicker than in reality; as if it is made of wood.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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