On this day in Film History: First Knight (1995)

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On this day in film history, First Knight, another retelling of the story of King Arthur, was released into theaters. While King Arthur (2004), abandoned tradition and attempted to tell the story in a new way, First Knight (1995) follows the story a little more closely (we have Camelot, knights in shining armor, Guinevere is a traditional princess, etc.)

First Knight Trailer (1995)

Set in Camelot, the story begins when King Arthur (Sean Connery) declares that it’s time he got married. Guinevere (Julia Ormond), the ruler of the nearby land of Lyonesse, agrees to marry Arthur out of a sense of duty (and also to help protect her realm from a marauding former knight). Along the way, she is saved from an ambush by the handsome Lancelot (Richard Gere), who promptly falls in love with her, despite her protests that she is intended for King Arthur.

Guinevere and Arthur marry, and after proving his worth several times, Lancelot is invited to become a Knight of the Round Table (in spite of multiple protests from other knights and Guinevere herself). Lancelot’s love for the queen continues, though he finally realizes that she can’t be his, so he makes plans to leave Camelot forever. And it’s just then, when they share ONE kiss together, that Arthur catches them. Believing the worst, both are put on trial for their lives, but before sentence can be passed, the marauding knight appears with an army of followers and an all-out battle ensues. The day is won, but Arthur is mortally wounded as a result. Before he dies, he commends the care of Camelot (and Guinevere) to Lancelot, presumably leaving him as the new King.

The critically acclaimed score for this film was composed by none other than Jerry Goldsmith, and he was actually hired as a last-minute replacement. The composer was meant to be Maurice Jarre (known for Doctor Zhivago), but upon being told that he would have only four weeks to compose and record 90 minutes of music, he realized that he would not be able to do it and withdrew, leaving Goldsmith with a short amount of time to put the score together.

I’ve seen clips of this film in the past and it looked really well put together, Sean Connery makes a great King Arthur, and Julia Ormond is a beautiful Guinevere. That’s all I’ve got for today, enjoy the rest of Thursday! -Bex

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*poster image is the property of Columbia Pictures

 

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