Excalibur was released when I was rekindling my interest in armor that began when I was ten. Excalibur’s “look” departed from earlier films: the armor had weight, affected the actors’ movements.... Excalibur treated armor respectfully as the true “protective” equipment it was historically.
A Knight’s Tale hit theaters while my involvement in medieval historical reenactment was in full swing. While the armor was better than most other medieval films’, the costume design’s modern bent, as well as the use of a modern-rock score for the jousting scenes, initially struck me as odd. Afterward, though, I realized the director’s choices made an unfamiliar subject (jousting) accessible to modern audiences and profoundly influenced perception of the Middle Ages since. It’s become one of my all-time favorite films for this.
- Excalibur (England) 1981, Warner Home Video
- List price: $14.98
- A Knight’s Tale (USA) 2001, Sony Pictures
- List price: $14.99
Jeffrey Hedgecock, Reproduction armourer and competitive jouster, WorldJoust.com