First Knight (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

First Knight (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This reenactment of the tale of King Arthur differs from other film versions in that all the romanticized mythology and magic have been stripped away to examine the more realistic conflicts the characters may have experienced as they tried to balance their passions with their political obligations. The story begins as Guinevere, Lady of Leonesse, sees her once-peaceful lands overtaken by the tyrannical renegade ex-knight from the Round Table, Malagant. She decides to marry King Arthur because it would forge a valuable political alliance. Unfortunately, en route to the wedding, she is abducted by Malagant and saved by the vagabond knight Lancelot. He finds himself drawn to Guinevere and kisses her, but she refuses to go further, so they head for Camelot. Just before the wedding, Malagant again abducts Guinevere and takes her to a dark dungeon, where Lancelot defies the odds and saves her. Once again, the knight's attempts at seduction are rebuffed. Then Arthur makes Lancelot a member of his table. Soon after the wedding, the royal couple learn that Malagant has taken his revenge by destroying Leonesse. A battle ensues and the villain is defeated. The following day, Lancelot comes to Guinevere before leaving Camelot. They kiss and Arthur sees them. He is crushed and orders them both sentenced for treason. In the middle of their public trial, Malagant makes a final attempt to overtake Camelot; medieval mayhem ensues.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: David Hoselton, William Nicholson, Lorne Cameron
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 7, 1997
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Sean Connery
as King Arthur
Richard Gere
as Sir Lancelot
Julia Ormond
as Guinevere
Ben Cross
as Malagant
Liam Cunningham
as Sir Agravaine
Valentine Pelka
as Sir Patrise
Colin McCormack
as Sir Mador
Tom Lucy
as Sir Sagramore
John Blakey
as Sir Tor
Robert Gwyn Davin
as Sir Gawaine
Sean Blowers
as Sir Carados
Alexis Denisof
as Sir Gaheris
Daniel Naprous
as Sir Amant
Jonathan Cake
as Sir Gareth
Jonty Miller
as Gauntlet Man
Rose Keegan
as Mark's Wife
Mark Ryan
as Challenger
Jeffery Dench
as First Elder
Neville Phillips
as Second Elder
Oliver Lewis
as First Marauder
Wolf Christian
as Second Marauder
Angus Wright
as Third Marauder
Jonathan Jaynes
as First Guard
Eric Stone
as Second Guard
Ryan Todd
as Young Lancelot
Dido Miles
as Grateful Woman
Michael Hodgson
as Young Man in Crowd
Susannah Corbett
as Young Woman in Crowd
Susan Breslau
as Wedding Guest
Kate Zucker
as Flower Girl
Bob Zucker
as Little Boy With Bird...
Charlotte Zucker
as Bread Vendor
Burt Zucker
as Bread Vendor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for First Knight

Critic Reviews for First Knight

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (18)

Whenever Zucker stops piling on battle scenes as if he were directing Braveheart, his film casts a romantic spell.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Aside from casting Richard Gere as Lancelot, First Knight marches out as an agreeably intelligent, mature and well-mounted telling of the legendary King Arthur story.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Top Critic

The problem for him[Gere], and the film, comes when the non-physical acting begins.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

There's swordplay to the hilt, but the story itself never quite gets in Gere.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Pillaged of such mainstays as Merlin and Morgan le Fay-as well as magic, majesty and depth-'Camelot' has become 'Camelite.'

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

...lots of action and chivalrous pomp, but no magic.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for First Knight

Not a serious historical piece (and what do we really know of Pendragon anyway?) but a children's fable extolling virtue, the Zuckers take a chance with this glittering fairy tale. Connery is the Arthur the story wants, or is it that we want Connery to be Arthur, its hard to tell. Gere supplies the dashing derring-do as Lancelot, and Ormond fills the difficult position of being torn between two lovers fetchingly.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Starts off mediocerly, but once Sean Connery enters the stage as the fabled King Arthur, the quality level is instantly raised. Richard Gere looks a bit misplaced as the fearless Sir Lancelot, and wouldn't have been my first pick for the role, but he still takes it on to the best of his abilities. As for Julia Ormond, she's quite lovely as Princess Guinevere, altough I would have very much liked to see her put a little more energy into her performance. What speaks for the film in positive terms, however, is the atmosphere and action, along with a highly enchanting music score by the brilliant Jerry Goldsmith. It's so good, in fact, that I've made it a part of my inspirational music library. If there is one thing I could change though, it would be the costumes. They look a little plain and cheap for what is essentially a period piece. Maybe they ran out of money when it came to clothing the actors? Apart from said maladies though, it remains a captivating tale of love, chivalry and sweeping adventure. Easily one of the better renditions of the Arthurian legend.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

Another terrible rendition of King Arthur. Turning the story into nothing more than a romantic threesome is just pure slander. To change the story to fit a movie is one thing, but this should've just left Arthur's name all together. The acting is terrible, quite possibly Sean Connery's worst performance and the usual Richard Gere treatment.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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