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  • A Knight's Tale [VHS] [2001]
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A Knight's Tale [VHS] [2001]

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Product details

  • Actors: Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon, Paul Bettany
  • Directors: Brian Helgeland
  • Writers: Brian Helgeland
  • Producers: Brian Helgeland, Tim Van Rellim, Todd Black
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Uca
  • VHS Release Date: 4 Aug. 2003
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063VCN
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,202 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Loosely inspired by the England documented in 'The Canterbury Tales', 'A Knight's Tale' tells the story of William (Heath Ledger) a young squire with a talent for jousting. When his master dies somewhat prematurely William sets off with his friends, and an unknown writer called Chaucer (Paul Bettany). Chaucer agrees to forge documents that will 'prove' William's status as a knight and hence his eligibility to enter jousting competitions. Romance and fighting soon ensue in this historico-comedy with a contemporary rock soundtrack.

From Amazon.co.uk

There's no rule against rock anthems from the 1970s in the soundtrack for a movie about a medieval jousting champion, but if you're going to attempt such jarring anachronisms, you'd better establish acceptable ground rules. Writer-director Brian Helgeland does precisely that in A Knight's Tale and pulls off this trick with such giddy aplomb that you can't help but play along (upon witnessing a crowd of peasants at a jousting match, singing and clapping to the beat of Queen's "We Will Rock You," you're either going to love this movie or dismiss it altogether). Other vintage rock hits will follow, but Helgeland--the Oscar®-winning co-writer of L.A. Confidential --handles this ploy with judicious goodwill, in what is an otherwise honest period piece about a peasant named William (Heath Ledger) who rises by grit and determination to the hallowed status of knighthood.

As if the soundtrack weren't audacious enough, Helgeland (recovering from the sour experience of his directorial debut, Payback) casts none other than Geoffrey Chaucer (wonderfully played by Paul Bettany) as William's cohort and match announcer, along with William's pals Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk), and feisty blacksmith Kate (Laura Fraser). Of course there must be a fair maiden, and she is Jocelyn (newcomer Shannyn Sossamon), with whom William falls in love while battling the nefarious Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell) on the European jousting circuit. Add to this an inspiring father-son reunion, Ledger's undeniable charisma, a perfect supporting cast and enough joyful energy to rejuvenate the film's formulaic plot and A Knight's Tale becomes that most pleasant of movie surprises--an unlikely winner that rises up, like its hero, to exceed all expectations. --Jeff Shannon

--This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Carnegie HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Apparently audiences couldn't quite figure out A Knight's Tale when it had its theatrical release last year. This was in all likelihood due to the combination of rock music in ancient times clashing with our knowledge of history and our delicate sensibilities. However, having both seen this at the cinema and owning it on DVD, I would like to hope that this movie will be given a second chance to win new viewers as it really is a good film and great fun!
Heath Ledger (The Patriot) displaying great charm and a winning smile throughout, plays William Thatcher, squire to a washed up champion jouster, who dies during a competition, leaving William to masquerade as his master in order to collect their winnings. Aided by his initially less than enthusiatic pals Roland (Mark Addy from Full Monty) and Wat (Alan Tudyk, 28 Days) William fakes nobility to illegally enter competitions. On their travels they encounter a naked wanderer, the future famed author, Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany) who joins their 'crusade' and helps to forge William's ancestral lineage, so that he can take part in the noblemen only games. Whilst competing (according to my wife who seems to like every Australian film star) the very handsome William catches the eye of a lady, Jocelyn (the very beautiful Shannyn Sossamon), and sets out to win her heart. However, standing between William and his two goals of winning the World Championships and winning the hand of Lady Jocelyn stands the dastardly Count Adhemar (brilliantly played by Rufus Sewell, Dark City).
This is a surprising change of direction for writer/Director Brian Helgelend (LA Confidential).
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jenny L on 10 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film - and I would recommend getting this 2006 release which is an extended cut (137 mins) and includes 11 'featurettes' (each 2-5 mins long): these give a rare insight to the thinking behind and making of the film. I just bought/watched this version and thoroughly enjoyed it. The 2001 'Superbit' release would only make a difference if you have a home cinema; you would have the original 127 min version with this and no extra features.

The purpose of the rock music score and modern mannerisms used by the characters is to make them believable, so that the viewer is drawn into the film - this would not happen if pure 1300's language were used. The film starts as it would in real life if you came upon a group of people you never knew - you'd get to know them as time goes by; no need for lengthy 'character introductions', all is revealed as the story unfolds.

Quirky, passionate, amusing, the story links with history by its references to Chaucer and characters in "Canterbury Tales". It is described by one of the cast as a "romantic medieval jousting comedy", which just about sums it up! And when you discover it was filmed in the Czeck republic, including homeless people as extras, it adds to the poignancy of the film.

It is rated PG probably because of the jousting scenes which are pretty vivid and done for real, as the featurettes explain - they may be balsa wood lances, but a 40mph collision still hurts; the violence and 'romance' is otherwise carefully filmed and not OTT. The only person who dies is the opening character, clad with armour, who is already dead; and all ends up happily ever after. With visual detail, verbal banter and great characters, it's a great family film with something for all ages... unless you suffer from a sense of humour deficiency.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Mar. 2003
Format: DVD
A KNIGHT'S TALE is a light-hearted, romantic comedy set in the mid-14th century and centered around the sport of jousting.
Heath Ledger plays one of three servants of a knight who has the misfortune to fall from his horse and die immediately before his scheduled appearance in a tournament. Since his servants don't eat if their man doesn't compete and win, they find themselves up against it. Ledger, as Will Thatcher, has the daring idea of donning his dead master's armor and competing under his identity. As luck would have it, he wins. Afterwards, he convinces his buddies, Roland and Wat (Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk), to invest the prize money (15 silver pieces) into the equipment needed to prepare and train for the next tournament, then the next. The ultimate goal is the World Championship of Jousting to be held in London.
As Will trains in the forest away from prying eyes, he and his two pals provide slapstick comedy reminiscent of the Three Stooges. However, Thatcher perseveres. Finally, the only problem left is to acquire knighthood, since jousting is reserved for the nobility. Our boys soon encounter a naked man walking down the road, who turns out to be the young writer Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany), fleeced of all his possessions by a gambling loss. In exchange for clothes and food, Chaucer forges the appropriate documents that give Will an impressive upper class lineage as Sir Ulrich of Liechtenstein, and afterwards serves as Ulrich's herald.
All characters in this delightful film are attractive and well-played, even that of Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), the treacherous (but extremely capable) fighter who is Will's greatest obstacle to the Big Prize Money.
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