Ladyhawke (1985) Parent Guide
An enchanting tale of magic, love, and loyalty.
Parent Movie Review
Europe in the 13th century has emerged from the Dark Ages but remains fertile soil for myths, fairytales, and legends. From this environment springs the tale of Ladyhawke, an enchanting story of magic, love, and friendship. From his seat in the fortified town of Navila, a selfish and powerful Bishop (John Wood) sets the tale in motion.. His corrupt heart is set on an ethereal maiden Isabeau Dante (Michelle Pfeiffer) but hers is already lost to the captain of the guard, Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer). Concealing their love, Isabeau and Navarre share their secret vows with the kindly but drunken monk Imperious (Leo McKern), who unwittingly reveals their romance to his superior. The bishop’s jealous obsession turns to madness and he calls upon the powers of darkness to punish the lovers with a terrible curse - one that will keep them “together forever but eternally apart.” Suffering under the curse, the pair flee into the wild to seek revenge on their tormentor.
Then, one day the warning bells of Aquila are heard: A prisoner, Phillipe Gaston, a.k.a. The Mouse (Matthew Broderick) has escaped through the sewage aqueducts. Interpreting these events as a sign from God and hoping to end their misery, Navarre seeks out the escapee to help him break back into the heavily guarded fortress so he can wreak his revenge on the evil bishop.
Supposedly based on a medieval fairy tale, the tragic circumstances of this lost-in-history love story are sure to capture the imagination of romantics. Meanwhile, Mouse, who was imprisoned for thievery, also happens to steal the show from the rest of the characters with his comical presence, much like Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Viewers will also appreciate the gorgeous visuals - the movie was filmed on location in Italian ruins and medieval life has been convincingly depicted.
While some scenes depicting the harshness of the times (including a grim dungeon) may or may not disturb younger viewers, the number of foes vanquished by vengeful Navarre with his crossbow and sword surely will. Perhaps families whose handsome heroes and fair ladies are of a little older age would be the best audience for this rich tale of love, loyalty, and redemption.Starring Michelle Pfeifer Matthew Broderick Rutger Hauer. Running time: 121 minutes. Theatrical release April 12, 1985. Updated February 7, 2019
Watch the trailer for Ladyhawke (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985) Parents' Guide
After traveling as outcasts for two years, Navarre loses faith that their circumstances can ever improve. Now his only desire is to kill the man responsible for their situation. Would revenge really solve the problem? How could the assassination affect their lives?
Mouse explains that the only happiness he has found in the world has been through lying. What does he mean? How have his lies helped or harmed himself and the other characters?
To learn more about life during this intriguing time in history, check out www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/feudal.html
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