The 10 Best Classic Medieval/Renaissance MoviesMar 17, 2004 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in MoviesThe Bottom Line The bottom line is already a classic..
There are many great period movies out there, and I already went over many of them in my Favorite Period Fantasy Movies List so let's limit this one to the classics, shall we? Now, how to define 'classic.' I think usually this would mean anything older than 20 years, but for the purposes of this particular list I think I'll go back even farther and say anything released before 1970....
Camelot (1967) ~ Is there anything more universally intriguing than the story of King Arthur, Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot? It's been done time and again, but never as well as this classic musical from 1967. This is the usual slant, with Arthur being the king of Camelot and marrying the gorgeous Guenevere.. only to have her fall in love with his best friend and finest knight, Lancelot. Of course we have the foul son Mordred plotting Camelot's destruction at every opportunity.... Stars Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, and Franco Nero.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) ~ The wonderful Errol Flynn in the title role as the dashing forest dweller who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. As much as I like later versions of this tale, this one will always reign supreme.
The Lion in Winter (1968) ~ Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, Nigel Terry,and Timothy Dalton. Man what a cast! This is the story of King Henry II in 1183 AD. Tis time to name which son will rule after his death.. and the shenanigans are entertaining as hell. Very interesting in that the son played by Hopkins is obviously, yet tastefully, gay. Quite something for the time period this was filmed.
Becket (1964) ~ Peter O'Toole once again (actually prior to Lion) as King Henry II, but this time with Richard Burton as Thomas Becket. A brilliant piece of film with outstanding performances by everyone involved. This involves the earlier period of Henry's life and his efforts to counter the church using Becket as a pawn.. but Becket is no man's pawn...
Knights of the Round Table (1953) ~ The tale of King Arthur has been done time and time again, but there's always subtle differences. First Knight kinda turned it on it's ear and totally took out the part about the wizard Merlin. Excalibur is maybe the truest to the original book Le Morte D'arthur by Sir Thomas Malory... but Knights of the Round Table I think may be closest to the man the book was based on, Arturius. Even down to them filming the battle scenes in Scotland, which is where Arturius led British troops against the Saxons and Picts from. Robert Taylor & Ava Gardner.
A Man for all Seasons (1966)~ The story of Thomas More during the time of King Henry VIII. Consummate performance by Paul Scofield as More. Also look for Orson Wells as Cardinal Wolsey. Outstanding costuming.
Ivanhoe (1952)~ 12th Century England at it's finest. This is based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. Stars Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, and Joan Fontaine in this sweeping tale of knights, damsels, and an imprisoned King Richard the Lionhearted.
The Seventh Seal (1957)~ Ingmar Bergman's best film ever. In this we accompany a knight on his way home from the crusades, where he encounters and engages in a game if chess with the Grim Reaper. Set during the time of the Black Plague. Utter perfection in every way.
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949) ~ A musical with Bing Crosby based on the original Twain book about a modern-day guy who wakes up one morning in Camelot. I like this one a great deal in spite of ol' Bing. Very funny movie, not as good as the book mind you, but then what ever is?
The Warlord (1965)~ Chrysagon claims Prima Noctus when he hears of the marriage of the fair Bronwyn... the only problem is, he fails to return her to her hubby the next day. Apparently he impressed her as she does not wish to leave him either. heh. So goes our tale... toss in a jealous brother and things get pretty durned complicated for our hero. Charlton Heston, Rosemary Forsyth, James Farentino. Costuming was so true to the period it amazed me. These folks did their homework, and it helps immensely with keeping the proper mood of the story.
Some of these I've reviewed already, the others I will in the near future. Tis a gross oversight on my part not to have already done so... in fact The Lion in Winter and Robin Hood are sitting in draft right now... I'll add links to the full reviews as I get them finished... Please do enjoy the ones that are currently finished by clicking the underlined links.
|Read all comments (27)|Write your own comment|