A Knight’s Tale Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Many a boy has dreamed of becoming a knight for a day, as is the case with William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), the son of a poor, 14th Century, peasant man. Rising to the rank of squire, William travels to various tournaments with the knight whom he serves, but his humble birth prohibits any further advancement. When his master suddenly dies just moments before a jousting match, William dons the nobleman’s armor as a disguise and takes up the lance in an attempt to save his income, and that of fellow squires, Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk).
Winning the tournament, William convinces his cohorts to help him train to become a top jouster. Still lacking the appropriate pedigree, he happens to meet writer Geoff Chaucer (Paul Bettany), who is desperate for help after literally gambling away the clothes off his back (he appears completely naked—seen from the side and rear). William offers food and clothing in exchange for Geoff employing his creative skills to provide a forged ticket into the noble class.
But what’s a knight’s tale with out the obligatory girl? In this case the maiden is Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), who happens to be the apple of Count Adhemar’s eye. The reigning champion, Adhemar is determined to dethrone William from more than his horse, thus creating the most vicious of all the jousting scenes—although the director’s restraint keeps this movie from becoming a blood bath of violence. While jousting scenes are plentiful, we’re led to believe that the armor takes most of the blows.
The story of a young man bucking the class system is a sure bet for gaining empathy and support from all (not just middle) ages, and A Knight’s Tale also provides good examples of facing your challenges, having the resolve to admit your mistakes, and the positive influence of a father on a son. Yet the unavoidable violence, handful of profanities, and a maiden in dis’ (slightly see-through) dress, may leave some parents searching for a different knight on the town.Starring Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon. Running time: 132 minutes. Theatrical release May 10, 2001. Updated July 17, 2017
A Knight’s Tale
Rating & Content Info
Why is A Knight’s Tale rated PG-13? A Knight’s Tale is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action violence, some nudity and brief sex-related dialogue
A poor peasant boy dreams of becoming a knight and a champion jouster. Through the sacrifice of his father and a coincidental opportunity, the boy makes his wishes a reality. Warm moments of family love and a good example of facing your problems through determination and hard work provide positive examples. However, parents may be concerned with the appearance of a naked man (see details below), use of deception, or the premise of jousting in general.
As the topic of the movie focuses on the Medieval sport of jousting, there are many scenes depicting this activity. However, while many knights are bashed off their horses, there is little blood and no explicit visual scenes, and the knights appear well protected in their armor. Other violence: A man is pronounced dead while others complain about his stench. Background image of a corpse hanging from a noose, while another body is hung in a cage. Men battle with large knives in a competition. Man is punched. A man administers four punches to another man who is bound and incapable of defending himself.
Sexual Content: C-
A naked man is seen from the side and rear (without revealing his genitals) in five different shots during the movie, however the nudity is without any sexual references or implications. A man makes mention of a woman’s breasts. A man makes a vague sexual remark about a woman uncrossing her legs. A woman wearing a slightly transparent white dress enters a man’s tent, lays on top of the bed with the man under the covers and they begin kissing as the scene fades to black.
At least: 5 moderate profanities, 6 mild profanities, and 6 terms of Deity used as profanities or expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B-
Some scenes take place in medieval pubs where people are drinking.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
A Knight’s Tale Parents' Guide
Societies with class systems restrict what you can become simply because you were born into the “wrong” family. Was William justified in falsifying his ancestry so he could achieve his dream?
What aspects of the Middle Ages does this movie choose to ignore? Why do we demand historical accuracy in some film, yet with others (perhaps this one) we are willing to accept the obvious errors and anachronisms?