#78 | A Knight’s Tale 2: The Gorgeous Ladies of Jousting

A Knight's Tale | Sequel | Heath Ledger | Beyond The Box Set Podcast


Listen to our A Knight’s Tale episode on:

A Knight’s Tale came along at the right time. Over the past few weeks of Beyond The Box Set, we’ve been on an unintentionally dark streak. Drag Me To Hell, Blue Velvet, May – all great films, but none of which you’d particularly describe as feel-good viewing experiences. (Not that Drag Me To Hell wasn’t enormous fun, but it’s still essentially concerned with death, misery and spiritual doom – all flecked with industrial amounts of synthetic vomit).

This week’s film, by comparison, is as light and fluffy as star Heath Ledger’s improbably well-conditioned barnet. A gleefully anachronistic medieval adventure, it features a classic rock soundtrack, impressively staged jousting sequences and a supporting cast of reliable character actors chewing the scenery with gay abandon.

The best thing you can say about A Knight’s Tale is that it’s a movie that knows exactly what it is, and that’s no backhanded compliment. It promises frothy entertainment and gamely delivers on all fronts. Even the retrospective bummer of Heath Ledger’s tragically early demise just seven years after the film’s release is mitigated by the sunny charisma he displays in this, his first mainstream leading role. No wonder it propelled him to the big leagues.

However, in a film packed with memorable performances – including an unhinged and impeccably accented turn from Alan Tudyk, game costume work from love interest Shannyn Sossamon and some top quality pantomime villainy from Rufus Sewell – the clear standout is Paul Bettany, who transforms Geoffrey Chaucer from the bane of high school English students into a strutting, frequently naked showboater. It’s an act of high-wire hamminess, and he damn near walks away with the entire movie.

For this week’s episode, we’re joined by special guest Jason Croxon, host of the A Conversation With… podcast. Together we discuss enthusiastic extras, medieval relationship politics, the movie’s fast-n-loose approach to space and time and much more. As always, we also spend the latter half of the show pitching drinking games and possible modern-day sequel ideas – which this week include a two-part prequel, a courtroom drama with Paul Bettany rightfully placed at centre stage and a return to one of the worst movies we’ve ever endured for the sake of this podcast…

You can stream or download our The Knight’s Tale episode right now on all good pod-catchers by using the links at the top of this blog post, or by searching Beyond The Box Set on your preferred app. If you enjoy the show, please do consider subscribing and/or leaving us a positive review – it’s the best way to get us into the ears of new listeners.

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Next week, we’re indulging in some quite literal food porn in a raunchy animated comedy from the perma-baked minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Until then, happy listening, and we bid you good fortune in all your knightly endeavours…