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First Knight


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross, Liam Cunningham
  • Directors: Jerry Zucker
  • Writers: David Hoselton, Lorne Cameron, William Nicholson
  • Producers: Eric Rattray, Gil Netter, Hunt Lowry, Janet Zucker
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Columbia
  • VHS Release Date: Sept. 26 2000
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0800129806
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,195 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Product Description

A vision of breathtaking battle, heart pounding courage of the undeniable love that brought an entire kingdom to its knees... And the undying passion that made it live forever. Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond bring you a new vision of King Arthur's Camelot.

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1995 had already seen the box-office success of sword-wielding heroes in Rob Roy and Braveheart when along came this glossy revision of the Arthurian legend, in which Lady Guinevere (Julia Ormond) is torn between her love for the noble King Arthur (Sean Connery) and the passionate knight Sir Lancelot (Richard Gere). As the story opens, Guinevere's lands are under attack by the evil knight Malagant (Ben Cross), and she must choose between marriage to Arthur and the security of Camelot, or encouraging the affections of Lancelot, who has heroically rescued her from a potentially lethal attack. Anyone looking for meticulous medieval authenticity won't find it here, but director Jerry Zucker (Ghost) keeps the action moving with exuberant spirit and glorious production values. Even if you don't completely believe Richard Gere as a somewhat too-contemporary Lancelot, the performances of Ormond and especially Connery are effortlessly appealing. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Lobascio on May 15 2004
Format: DVD
The legendary story of Camelot and King Arthur has been told, and retold in various incarnations, over the years. Some of them, like Excalibur, and the television mini-series Merlin, were excellent in the way they handled aspects of the the tale. These examples are among the very best and have stayed with me. While I would like to put First Knight in the same league, I cannot, thanks to an annoying bit of casting.
Lancelot (Richard Gere) is a rogue with no ties, no enemies, and no fear-until he meets Lady Guinevere of Leonesse (Julia Ormond). She has promised to marry King Arthur (Sean Connery), not only because his armies can protect her country from evils like Knight Malagant (Ben Cross), but because she truly loves him. But her chance encounter with Lancelot as she prepared to enter Camelot stirs conflicting and powerful emotions within her. Arthur welcomes both into his city with an open heart, little foreseeing how his great capacity for love and trust opens the doors for his own betrayal.
First Knight marks the second time that director Jerry Zucker has traded in the laughs of Airplane! and The Naked Gun films for something a bit more dramatic. His first, was a little "mega hit" called Ghost, therefore his limited track record in the genre was off to a fine start. To be honest though, the main draw for me in the film, was the prescence of Connery, whom I have always liked and Julia Ormand. She made quite a name for herself in Legends Of The Fall. I knew both of these actors could make the most with the material. It's too bad that Gere had to be in the film. He must have went to the same school on how to use a bad surfer dude accent, as Kevin Costner did. This is not something that's easy to forget. It is so bad that it brought everything else down in the process.
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Format: DVD
The casting of Connery as an old Arthur was not bad. He was at least effective in the role the script provided him. Julia Ormand was a wonderful Guenivere. And Cross as Maliagaunt was especially great as the villain. I consider him to have stolen the movie outright from the others. I thought Gere was not the right pick for Lancelot, and further, it seemed he merely gave a pay-the-rent type performance.
The movie does get points at least for using as inspiration a source other than Sir Thomas, for a change, in favour of one of Chretien de Troye's tales. The whole of the Maliagaunt kidnaps Guenivere plot was right out of Chretien. It is not without some irony that where it is closest to Chretien, it is best. It does take things in different directions with different characters which seems more whim than artistic decision. The other Arthurian characters are either minimized, or not utilized at all. Maliagaunt is used most effectively, Arthur and Guenivere work fairly well, while Lancelot is just too card-board tragic as scripted. Those are the only characters that get the film time, really.
One of the oddest things about the movie was that they sent Arthur off in a pyre, burned up like a viking! No way the king will "return" after that, thereby killing the nationalistic resonance of the legend.
The visual look of the film is more of a pristine sort of, fantasy look. It isn't very gritty at all, with all the bright costumes, and bright architecture. There seems nothing dirty in the realm. And apparently, in some cases they didn't use real swords, that is, real prop swords even. If one pays attention there is a moment in the climactic battle where Lancelot is holding a sword, then merely a hilt, then his sword reappears again!
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By cymraess on June 15 2004
Format: DVD
First Knight isn't faithful at all to the story of Arthur and the costumes, lighting, and settings were all terribly modern, but the story itself was well done enough that the movie makes up for the rest of it.
It follows the story of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot and thier journey from the time Quinevere and Lancelot meet by chance as her carraige is ambushed on her way to marry Arthur, through some more kidnappings, a wedding, and a knighthood, to the death of Arthur. Lancelot, who begins as a mercenary, grows a great deal as a character, while Guinevere's struggle to control her feelings for him is painfully clear. Sean Connery's Arthur is the kind of king one would expect of Arthur, kind, understanding, with a rigid set of morals that he cannot break even for his queen. Julia Ormond makes it clear that Guinevere loves both men and Richard Gere's sensitive performance and longing looks tug the heartstrings.
In essense, it is the acting and the love story that make this movie enjoyable. It is a remarkably un-historically accurate movie and there is not much in common, aside from the names, with the traditional Arthur legends, but these old stories are made to be interpreted. The romance of the movie is what makes it worth watching...that a Richard Gere looks really, really good.
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Format: DVD
This is one of the most historically inaccurate movies I have ever seen. It is certainly the worst King Arthur movie that I have seen. I can not believe how bad this film is. King Arthur was a fairly young to middle age guy, but Sean Connery is in his 70's and looks like it too. The other Knights of the Round Table were also about the same age as King Arthur, but in this movie they
are of wildly different ages. The acting is generally poor with several of the actors being just plain wooden. The script is pretty bad too.
One of the worst aspects of this movie is the costumes and acting. All of the clothes look brand new and there are a number of instances where clothes that get dirty in a battle suddenly and mysteriously get clean again even though the characters are still on the battlefield. Evidently the actors could not stand wearing dirty clothing. Back in the days of King Arthur, knights wore chain mail instead of plated armor.
The final word: avoid this flick at all costs.
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