Burly saxons with frizzy hair, corrupt knights, evil monks, damsels in distress, effeminite kings and, of course, a noble hero. What more could you possibly ask for in a miniseries, I ask? We recently watched Ivanhoe, a 1997 miniseries jointly produced by the BBC and A&E (god bless them both) based on the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott.
The movie kept us on the edge of our seat, with plenty of action, surprising plot turns and captivating character development. Somewhere in the middle of the two-part series, I found myself feeling secretly guilty over the fact that one of the movie's most hateable villains, the Templar Knight Sir Brian Dubois-Guilbert (played by Ciaran Hinds), was beginning to win me over. "Is it wrong of me to be rooting for this horrendous cur?" I wondered, wishing his kidnap victim, Rebecca of York, would fall as madly in love with him as I was beginning to. (In the end, this villain's redemption becomes complete, assuring me I wasn't such a sicko to be rooting for him after all.)
Meanwhile, I found myself less moved by Steven Waddington's portrayal of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe. "If he were only a mite bit sexier -- or less dopey," I crassly sighed during his most heroic endeavors.
The sword-wielding heroics of the Black Knight (a.k.a Richard the Lionhearted) were fairly swoon-worthy, and the mounting tension in the film's final hour was interrupted only by a truly brilliant comic moment where Prince John and King Richard's mother ordered them to make nice.
All in all i could definitely watch this one again. Hooray for A&E/BBC! -- Amy