Between the 11th and 16th Centuries the Crusades were a series of religious wars all set around capturing the city of Jerusalem! There have been many interpretations on the big screen, but today I’m going to be focusing on the movies which have Crusaders in them, such as Knight Templar’s, which gives me an excuse to talk about the first movie in this video: 2011’s Ironclad. Technically not a movie on the crusades, it stars James Purefoy who fights to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John played by Paul Giamatti. You won’t be watching this movie for its drama, good dialog, interesting characters or historical accuracy. This film specialises in nonstop action, graphic violence and gore! Even the films theatrical poster caption is Blood.Will.Run. so I think you get the general idea of what the movies main focus is on. As soon as they arrive at that castle, the carnage in this film doesn’t really slow down till the end of the movie and that’s only because nearly everyone is dead by that point.
2007’s Arn- The Knight Templar. The Swedish film based around the son of a high ranking nobleman. Where Arn from an early age is educated in a monastery, where he learns to fight. And then heads of to the Holy lands as a knight templar to kick ass and chew bubble gum. This film is the exact opposite to Ironclad where it has fleshed out characters, the plot actually develops at the pace of a drama and it’s pretty historically accurate, although I’m no historian, so what do I know. Those of you wanting just action had better look elsewhere though as this film explores the values of knighthood and the lifestyle of a monk templar.
So in 2008 they released Arn: The Kingdom at the End of the Road, which currently holds the title of Sweden’s most expensive film ever made. It’s a similar story to the original, with the same cast and main character, except its faster with more battles and drama!
1963’s Saladin and the Great Crusades, is an interesting portrayal of the crusades from a Musilm Egyptian point of view. It’s a pretty well done movie, although the special effects are horribly dated. Like all the other movies in this video, it’s not very historically accurate, and weirdly enough Saladin himself is barley in the film. If you like Foreign films or something a bit different, then this is worth a viewing!
Kingdom of Heaven the 2005 epic historical drama directed and produced by one of my favourite Director’s Ridley Scott. It stars Orblando bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Michael Sheen and Edward Norton. Yes Edward Norton is in this movie, he’s the leprosy ridden King (Baldwin), But I didn’t actually realise this till about 2 weeks ago!
While I wasn’t a big fan of the theatrical release, the Directors cut really caught my attention, as it adds 45 minutes of character development, where you actually understand Orblandos and Michaels characters. Where you learn about the animosity between the half brothers, due to a grudge over their inheritance.
2010’s Robin Hood, is another Ridley Scott film, while it didn’t do that great in the box office, I still think it’s a good crusader movie. Staring Russell Crowe as Robin, and Cate Blanchett as Marion. The first 20 minutes with Robin’s origin story are great, where you have a cool castle siege followed up by more action while Robin and his men heading towards England. The end battle feels more like the D-Day Normandy landings with horses and a maid Marrion in Armor!
1954’s King Richard and the Crusaders.
With a movie like this you have to take into consideration the time it was filmed. While it’s historically inaccurate and makes lots of random stuff up, it’s still silly and fun enough to watch and enjoy. You have a hilarious fight scene with Saladin vs Sir Huntington, where Saladin hits the knight with an arrow, but Sir Huntington fights like nothings has happened to him. This movie has some of the funniest unintentional one liners I’ve heard in a long time, it’s a real classic.
1976’s Robin and Marian, starring Sean Connery as Robin Hood and Audrey Hepburn as Maid Marian! This classic crusader story is one of love and romance, which has some pretty moving and funny scenes. What really makes this different from all the other Robin Hoods, is that he’s an old man- who’s still willing to fight but has to deal with several physical restrictions. This does take some time to get used to, but it does work pretty well.
1987’s Lionheart, staring Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne and a very young Dexter Fletcher. The story follows a young knight, who sets out to join King Richard and his crusaders! At a first glance this one of those movies you would normally find in a bargain bin. But there are some interesting facts, for example its executive producer was the Godfathers Francis Ford Coperla and the film score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith! Is it a good movie? no – but it’s one of those so bad it’s good films. Coppola
1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, probably the best known film in this video. Where you have an all star cast including Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman and Mary Mastrantonio. Sure it’s not a masterpiece, and Kevin Costner’s lack of an English accent may come off a little funny at times. But the movie is still fun and full of energy with a cheesy larger than life hero, and with an even more over the top villain.