Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Ladyhawke, created by Richard Donner: a Film Review


In Aquila, a town in medieval France, a thief known as “The Mouse”, aka Phillipe Gaston, escapes from prison and the city proper.  On his flight he is nearly captured by the Bishop’s guards.  He is saved by Etienne Navarre, the former captain of the guard.

As they run Navarre picks up Phillipe and the pair, along with Navarre’s beautiful hawk, flee finding a safe place to lodge for the night.  As they settle in Phillipe is told not to disturb Navarre under any circumstances.  As Phillipe goes about his evening chores he stumbles upon a beautiful woman, and is nearly attacked by a solid black wolf who has already killed the farmer they are staying with.  Though neither is safe the night passes on.

The next day Phillipe tells the tale to Navarre who reminisces about the woman hoping she will enter his dreams.  Navarre tells Phillipe of his intention to slay the Bishop and demands the assistance of the thief.  Unwilling to do so, Phillipe spends his night tied to the tree.  As the same woman appears this night as well Phillipe begs for her help.  He escapes into the night.

When Navarre comes upon Phillipe the following day he again rescues the boy from the Bishop’s Guard who are about to kill him.  In the heat of the battle Navarre is hit and his beloved hawk attacks the guards.  She is hit with a crossbow bolt and falls to the ground.  Navarre finishes off the guards and proceeds to send Phillipe to a monk who can help to heal the poor bird.

When Phillipe arrives on horseback to the monk the sun has nearly set.  The beautiful woman has appeared again, with a wolf howling in the night.  She has a bolt running through her chest where the bolt had formerly been in the hawk.  When the monk is confronted by Phillipe he tells the story of Etienne and Isabeau, and the curse that they have been placed under by a jealous and powerful man (who Isabeau had rejected).

Will Phillipe help the pair to break the curse or will they be forever doomed?

General Information:

-Genre: Medieval Dark Fantasy Film

-Creator: Richard Donner

-Length: 121 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sex and nudity, mild violence and gore, medieval battle, mild profanity, mild alcohol use and drunkenness)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leo McKern, John Wood

-Page of Reference in RP1: 106

Review (contains spoilers):

I absolutely love this film.  My father showed it to me at a fairly young age (I believe 12 or 13) and I was hooked.  But I love anything from the late-1980s to early 1990s.  This movie along with other like Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, and The Last Knight share a lot of similar flavor.

There is a specific feel to them that is just delightfully outdated by our standards, however, the writing is beautiful, the stories are robust, and the romance is just delightful in its rendition. 

This is a lovely movie with a beautiful story of a man and a woman whose love was so pure that they were determined to be together despite the fact that they were cursed and could never touch each other again. 

It’s a wholesome film that can be shared with older children and pre-teens.  The story is heartwarming, and the film is well developed and beautifully filmed.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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