Heath Ledger and Rufus Sewell star in this underrated gem from 2001 as a young squire trying to prove himself and the Count determined to expose him as a fraud.
For the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome entertainment to check out whilst in self-quarantine. Whether its the best TV shows, ultimate movie marathons or lesser-known gems, we’ll be here to keep you entertained during this difficult time.
A Knight’s Tale
Released in 2001, A Knight’s Tale is named for the Geoffrey Chaucer tale of the same name. It tells the story of country squire William Thatcher, played by the late Heath Ledger, who dreams of being a knight and upon the death of the knight he squires for, takes the older man’s place. Will renames himself Sir Ulrich Von Lichtenstein and competes to win money, honor, and glory, but it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out he’s not who he claims to be. While the movie isn’t exactly historically accurate, especially where the costumes of some of the characters are concerned, and is very loosely based on the Chaucer tale, it’s a hidden gem. It’s got everything: humor, action, romance, a great cast, and a killer soundtrack.
The movie has not one, but two actors that would go on to be in Star Wars movies. Paul Bettany, who was early in his career, plays Chaucer himself, and Alan Tudyk plays fellow squire Wat. And you can’t tell me he didn’t ad-lib a few of those lines. Not to mention Bettany’s speeches as Chaucer are the best. Ledger had yet to do his biggest movies, but you can see his potential for star power. He’s young, handsome, and plays the role with the same range of emotion he brought to all his roles.
The film also stars Game of Thrones Mark Addy and The Man in the High Castle’s Rufus Sewell. Addy’s Roland is a fellow squire on team Will and Sewell plays the villainous Count Adhemar that tries to discredit Will and steal his lady love.
We Will Rock You
Did I mention the killer soundtrack? Not one, but two Queen songs (“We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”), David Bowie’s “Golden Years”, “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy and more. You can’t help but rock out to it.
While I know some sneer at this film because of the out of place costumes and music, and as a Period Drama fan, you’d think I would too. But I love the fact that this one throws historical accuracy out the window in favor of being a fun film with a modern bent, that just so happens to be set in the 14th century. As the filmmakers point out on the DVD, the Joust was THE sport of the time, and these knights would have been the stars of their day. Turning it into a rock and roll film makes a strange kind of sense.
So if you’re looking for a film to watch while you’re stuck inside for who knows how long, check this one out. I promise you’ll laugh, sing along to the music, and root for Heath Ledger to put Rufus Sewell in his place.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great movies or TV shows our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Melissa Villy is a regular Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the custodian of the FOTF Jedi Archives. Follow her on Twitter @JediLibrarian42 where she uses the force frequently!