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Top Medieval Movies of All Time




 
January 26, 2013 - CelticRadio.net -

The Top Ten

of all time!

Nothing invokes more debate or arguments then discussing the top ten of anything, let alone the Top Ten Medieval Movies. Our list may not be perfect, but we believe our Top Ten Medieval Movies of all times accurately reflects some of the best and most enduring movies made about the Middle Ages of European history. Beginning with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (King Arthur times) which is commoningly referred to as the Early Middle Ages, through the High Middle Ages of King John and William Wallace and ending with the Late Middle Ages of Queen Elizabeth and Roy Roy. And of course, no list would not be complete without one movie about those bearded Nordic men called Vikings!

While the names and times of these movies may all be different, they all describe a common story that is weaved throughout human history like the earth itself - good overcoming the failings of evil. These movies provide a glimpse of our own past of brutality, and how ordinary men and women over the past 2,000 years fought and won their freedoms under the most horrific and difficult circumstances. While the 20th century may have seen equally great stories of freedom, the seeds of humanity's search for freedom, peace and harmony take root in those times called the Middle Ages...

#1

Braveheart

(1995) - A stupendous historical saga, Braveheart won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for star Mel Gibson. He plays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish commoner who unites the various clans against a cruel English King, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan). The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are brutally violent, but they never glorify the bloodshed. There is such enormous scope to this story that it works on a smaller, more personal scale as well, essaying love and loss, patriotism and passion. Extremely moving, it reveals Gibson as a multitalented performer and remarkable director with an eye for detail and an understanding of human emotion.


#2

King Arthur

(2004) - The Roman Empire is stretched across many nations, including Britain. In their conquest for more land, the Romans went into Sarmatia where they fought the very brave Sarmatian cavalery. The Romans, impressed by the Sarmatian's weaponery and fighting skills, included them into their army as knights. After 15 years of serving and fighting for the Roman Empire the Sarmatian Knights, lead by Arthur/Artorious Castus, are about to receive their freedom as the Romans are leaving Britain. But the Knights must carry out one final order before they are free. A Roman priest and his family, especially his son Alecto, must be rescued from the invading Saxons. But there is another danger lurking on the road to freedom - the Woads, British rebels who hate the Romans.


#3

Robin Hood

(2010) - Birth of a legend. Following King Richard's death in France, archer Robin Longstride, along with Will Scarlett, Alan-a-Dale and Little John, returns to England. They encounter the dying Robert of Locksley, whose party was ambushed by treacherous Godfrey, who hopes to facilitate a French invasion of England. Robin promises the dying knight he will return his sword to his father Walter in Nottingham. Here Walter encourages him to impersonate the dead man to prevent his land being confiscated by the crown, and he finds himself with Marian, a ready-made wife. Hoping to stir baronial opposition to weak King John and allow an easy French take-over, Godfrey worms his way into the king's service as Earl Marshal of England and brutally invades towns under the pretext of collecting Royal taxes. Can Robin navigate the politics of barons, royals, traitors, and the French?
 


#4

Excalibur

(1981) - As the title would suggest, it follows the travels of the legendary sword Excalibur through Arthurian myth, from the violent, powerful hands of Uther Pendragon, to a long-years' rest in the stone to being redrawn by Uther's son Arthur, who uses it to defeat the evil invaders and establish the great court of Camelot and the great Knights of the Round Table. It is there in Arthur's glory years and in his decline, brought on by the love affair between his wife Guenevere and best friend and best knight Sir Lancelot, the Holy Grail Quest which produces many casualties among the knights, and the arrival of Mordred, the son Arthur had by his evil half-sister, the sorceress Morgana. Through it all, the magician Merlin watches over everything, always ready to throw in a Charm of Making when it's called for.  


#5

Gladiator

(2000) - A dying Marcus Aurelius plans to name his loyal and brave General Maximus as his successor in order to restore the power of the Roman Senate. However, his power-hungry, jealous son Commodus learns of the plan, murders Marcus Aurelius, and plans to execute Maximus in order to secure his claim to the throne. Maximus escapes execution, but is sold into slavery and is forced to become a gladiator. Eventually, Maximus and his fellow gladiators are sent to Rome to perform for Commodus. Through his bravery he wins over the masses and reveals his true identity, much to the chagrin of Commodus. Can Maximus use his newfound popularity to avenge Marcus Aurelius' death, or will Commodus be able to keep the throne?


#6

Elizabeth

(2007) - Two faiths, two empires, two rulers - colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth's cousin Mary Stuart, who's under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart? Does loneliness await her passionate majesty?


#7

Rob Roy

(1995) One of the most invigorating period adventures to hit the big screen in decades, this lavish, brilliantly directed film drew critical and audience raves when it was released in 1995. Inspired by historical fact and larger-than-life legend, the intelligently scripted story takes place in Scotland in 1713, when Highland farmer and clan leader Rob Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) is forced to borrow money from the duplicitous aristocrat Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) to help his clan survive a harsh winter. When Montrose's vile henchman (Tim Roth) schemes to dishonor MacGregor and his wife (Jessica Lange) and take the money for himself, the rugged Highlander must take courageous action to preserve his integrity. What follows--along with some of the finest sword-fighting ever filmed--is a tale of courage and valor destined to become an enduring movie classic. Tim Roth received a well-deserved Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actor) for his indelible performance as the foppish but deadly villain Cunningham, and both Neeson and Lange bring an earthy, sensual quality to their passionate roles. Boasting a wealth of breathtaking scenery and high-intensity action, Rob Roy is further blessed by a splendid supporting cast (including Brian Cox and Eric Stoltz), and the lush soundtrack by Carter Burwell strikes a perfect balance of romanticism and vigorous dramatic energy.  


#8

Ironclad

(2011) - It is the year 1215 and the rebel barons of England have forced their despised King John to put his royal seal to the Magna Carta, a noble, seminal document that upheld the rights of free-men. Yet within months of pledging himself to the great charter, the King reneged on his word and assembled a mercenary army on the south coast of England with the intention of bringing the barons and the country back under his tyrannical rule. Barring his way stood the mighty Rochester castle, a place that would become the symbol of the rebel's momentous struggle for justice and freedom.


#9

Sword of the Valiant

(1984) - Gawain was a squire in King Arthur's court when the Green Knight burst in and offered to play a game with a brave knight. No knights stand to defend their king's honor. Except for the valiant Gawain. After being quickly knighted Gawain plays the game, but learns that it's all a trick, and he has lost. But the Green Knight shows mercy, letting Gawain grow a year older before having to face the consequences. Gawain journeys across the land, learning about life, saving damsels, and solving the Green Knight's riddle.
 

#10

The Vikings

(1958) - In the Middle Ages, Viking warriors continue to raid the English coast. In one such raid the Viking leader Ragnar kills the English king and forces himself on the Queen. With the King dead, his brother takes the thrown but unknown to anyone but a trusted servant, the Queen is now with child. In order to protect the boy, he is sent away to be raised in safety away from the new King. Twenty years later, the Vikings under are still raiding England and they now have an Englishman, Egbert, making maps of the English coast for them. Ragnar has a son, Einar, a lusty warrior who takes what he wants when he wants it. They also have a slave, Eric, taken prisoner as an infant. Egbert realizes from a necklace Eric wears that he is the son of the Queen and is Einar's half-brother. When they kidnap Morgana, a Welsh beauty and the English King's betrothed, the stage is set for an inevitable clash between the half-brothers and with the reigning English King.


 






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