First Knight

“May God grant us the wisdom to discover right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure.”

First Knight was well researched and at least makes a decent attempt to be different from similar films.  The beginning scene where children hide underneath a house helps with the authenticity, but then the typical, and predictable, battle between the bad, rich oppressors and the noble knights begins.

John Gielgud’s role as Oswald makes a great addition to the perfect cast.  It’s very believable that Guinevere (Julia Ormand) would fall in love with King Arthur (Sean Connery) who gets a great entrance in a classic role in this Arthurian legend tale.

Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score and Adam Greenberg’s cinematography are impressive. Director Jerry Zucker, mostly known for his comedic films, stresses entertainment and showmanship, but the logistical and battle strategy misses (e.g. not wearing helmets) diminish the level of emotion and escapism the audience feels.

Zucker was definitely out of his element during the fight sequences and should have relied on an experienced assistant director. The medium and close shot action was better with some good swordplay.

Equal appeal for male and female audiences made this one popular at its release. Mildly enjoyable and audiences get two hours and 21 minutes. Recommended with reservations (** out of four stars) and rated PG-13 for some brutal medieval battles.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

This entry was posted in 1990s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to First Knight

  1. Dr, Charles Urban says:

    The prayer attributed to Arthur, as the Knights met at the Round Table, was simply and brilliantly composed and is arguably one of the most memorable quotes of the film, giving an indication of the ongoing struggles between virtue and vice weaved throughout the story: “May God grant us the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure. Amen.”
    No such prayer (or really, any prayer) is recorded in the annals of the Arthurian legend. (In fact, any prayer worded in this form would have been highly unlikely, since it ends with just a “nod” to divine empowerment, but really seems to depend more on man. But I digress…)
    There has been much speculation as to the origin of this prayer, although it does in the end seem to belong to Sir William Nicholson, OBE, the scriptwriter. I do wonder if he had access to a prayer which sounds curiously like that in film, with more precise and authentic theology–and which might well have been used in the early-Medieval era of King Arthur, It is still used today in during the 1st week of Lent in the Roman Catholic liturgy: the “Largíre nobis”:

    Grant us, we beseech you, O Lord,
    the spirit to always think and do what is right
    That we who cannot exist without you,
    may be strengthened to live
    in accordance with your will.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ …
    one God, forever and ever. Amen.


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