A list of 10 movies set in the Medieval era that are a must see. These films are all excellent examples of what life was like during the Middle Ages.
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“The Name of the Rose” (1986)
“The Name of the Rose” is a 1986 Italian-French-German historical drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. It stars Sean Connery, F. Murray Abraham, Elena Anaya and Christian Slater. The story takes place in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, and revolves around the monastery’s intellectual William of Baskerville (Connery) and his novice Adso von Melk (Slater), who becomes involved in a series of murders.
The movie was filmed in various locations in Italy and Switzerland, and was released to positive reviews. It was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor (Connery) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
“The Lion in Winter” (1968)
“The Lion in Winter” is a 1968 historical drama film based on the Broadway play of the same name by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E. Levine and Martin Poll from a screenplay by Goldman. The film stars Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, John Castle, Anthony Hopkins, Jane Merrow, Nigel Terry and Timothy Dalton.
Set during Christmas 1183, the film centers on the Plantagenet royal family in England, which is headed by Henry II (O’Toole). His wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Hepburn) has been imprisoned for inciting insurrections against her husband; their three sons over-traveled, over-privileged and under-disciplined; and his mistress Alais Capet (Merrow) is living in England as a ward of the state. Overwhelmed with frustration at having been denied permission to go on Crusade and unimpressed with Philip’s prospects for leadership, Henry Bavaria to have his marriage annulled so that he can take Alais as his new queen. Upon hearing this news—and learning from Alais that Henry’s stronger sons Richard and Geoffrey have sided with their mother—Philip returns to France to muster an army with which he intends to invade England.
With tensions mounting between Philip, Richard and Geoffrey—and withJohn ploting to usurp the throne—the family gathers at Eastertime in Chinon Castle to try to sort out their differences. Hepburn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
“A Knight’s Tale” (2001)
“A Knight’s Tale” is a 2001 film about a peasant who pretends to be a nobleman in order to compete in jousting tournaments in 14th century Europe. The film, which stars Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, and Shannyn Sossamon, was directed by Brian Helgeland and written by Helgeland and William Goldman. “A Knight’s Tale” was a commercial success, grossing over $130 million at the box office, and received generally positive reviews from critics.
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)
This classic comedy is set in England during the Dark Ages. King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table embark on a quest for the Holy Grail. Along the way they encounter strange creatures, including a group of Knights who say Ni, a Black Knight, and aLaird who can only say “eh”. One of the most quoted movies of all time, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a must see for anyone who loves medieval movies.
“The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938)
Directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, this is the definitive Robin Hood movie. It’s a rollicking adventure story with all the elements of a great medieval film: romance, battles, court intrigue, daring rescues, and plenty of swordplay.
“The Three Musketeers” (1973)
“The Three Musketeers” is a 1973 film based on the Alexander Dumas novel of the same name. The film was directed by Richard Lester and stars Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, and Richard Chamberlain.
The story follows d’Artagnan as he joins forces with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to defend the honor of the Queen of France against the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu.
“The Three Musketeers” is an exciting and fun adventure that is sure to please fans of the novel and those who enjoy a good swashbuckling movie.
“The Sword in the Stone” (1963)
Disney’s classic animation is based on T. H. White’s novel of the same name and is set in England during the Middle Ages. The wizard Merlin takes a young boy named Wart under his wing and starts to teach him about life, magic, and being a king. This film has been praised for its beautiful animation and its humor.
“The Princess Bride” (1987)
“The Princess Bride” is a classic fairy tale movie that has charmed audiences for decades. The story follows the beautiful Buttercup as she is kidnapped and forced to marry the vile Prince Humperdinck. However, her true love Westley comes to her rescue, leading to a series of adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This charming movie is perfect for those who enjoy a good fairy tale, and it’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face.
Excalibur is an epic 1981 British-American drama film directed, produced, and co-written by John Boorman that recounts the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, based on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Helen Mirren as Morgan le Fay, and Liam Neeson as Lancelot.
The film’s soundtrack was composed by Trevor Jones and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra. Filming took place in Ireland from June to December 1980. Excalibur was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning Best Art Direction (Gig Teuber), and received mixed reviews from critics.
“King Arthur” (2004)
Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Clive Owen, “King Arthur” is a 2004 action-adventure film based on the Arthurian legend. The film was met with mixed reviews, with some critics praising its visuals and others finding it to be too derivative of other films in the genre.