Kingdom of Heaven (film)

Kingdom of Heaven

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Ridley Scott
Written by William Monahan
Starring Orlando Bloom
Eva Green
Jeremy Irons
David Thewlis
Brendan Gleeson
Marton Csokas
Liam Neeson
Edward Norton
Ghassan Massoud
Khaled El Nabawy
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Jerry Goldsmith (library music)
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Dody Dorn
Chisako Yokoyama (director’s cut)
Studio Scott Free Productions
Inside Track
Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures GmbH[1]
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 3, 2005 (2005-05-03) (Kuwait)
May 6, 2005 (2005-05-06)
Running time 144 minutes
Country Germany, Spain, United Kingdom [2]
Language English
Arabic
Budget $147 million
Gross revenue $211,652,051

Kingdom of Heaven is a 2005 action/epic film directed by Ridley Scott and written by William Monahan. It stars Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Marton Csokas, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McKidd, Alexander Siddig, Ghassan Massoud, Edward Norton, Jon Finch, Michael Sheen and Liam Neeson.

The story is set during the Crusades of the 12th century. A French village blacksmith goes to aid the city of Jerusalem in its defense against the Muslim leader Saladin, who is battling to reclaim the city from the Christians. The film script is a heavily fictionalised portrayal of Balian of Ibelin.

Most filming took place in Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, where Scott had filmed Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. A replica of medieval Jerusalem was constructed in the desert. Filming also took place in Spain, at the Loarre Castle, Segovia, Ávila, Palma del Río and Casa de Pilatos in Sevilla.[3]

Contents

Plot

In a remote village in 1184 France, Balian, a blacksmith, is haunted by his wife’s recent suicide. A group of Crusaders arrive; one of them introduces himself as Balian’s father, Baron Godfrey of Ibelin. Godfrey asks Balian to return with him to Jerusalem. Balian refuses and the Crusaders leave. The town priest, Balian’s half-brother, reveals that he ordered Balian’s wife beheaded before burial, a customary practice for people who commit suicide. Balian notices his brother wearing the cross that his wife wore before she was to be buried. In a fit of rage Balian kills his brother, retrieves the crucifix and flees the village. Balian pursues his father in the hope of gaining forgiveness and redemption for him and his wife in Jerusalem. After he reaches Godfrey, soldiers led by Godfrey’s nephew arrive, ostensibly to arrest Balian. In reality, the nephew intends to assassinate Balian and Godfrey so that his father, and eventually he, may inherit Godfrey’s barony. Godfrey refuses to surrender Balian. The nephew launches a sneak attack against Godfrey. The attack fails and Godfrey kills his nephew, but is struck by an arrow that breaks off in his body.

In Messina, Godfrey knights Balian and orders him to serve the King of Jerusalem and protect the helpless, before succumbing to his injuries. During Balian’s journey to Jerusalem his ship runs aground in a storm, leaving Balian and a horse as the only survivors. When Balian releases the horse from the wreckage it flees in panic. Following the horse, Balian is confronted by a Muslim cavalier and his servant. A fight over the horse follows and Balian reluctantly slays the cavalier when attacked, but spares the servant, asking him to guide him to Jerusalem. Upon arriving, Balian gives the horse to the servant and releases him. The man tells him his slain master was an important knight amongst the Saracens; his deed will gain him fame and respect from them.

Balian becomes acquainted with Jerusalem’s political arena: the leper King Baldwin IV, Tiberias the Marshall of Jerusalem, the King’s sister Princess Sibylla, and her husband Guy de Lusignan, who supports the anti-Muslim activities of brutal factions like the Knights Templar. Guy intends to rule after Baldwin’s death and seeks to provoke a war that will allow him to dispose of the Muslims and claim the Kingdom for the Christians.

Guy and his co-conspirator Raynald of Châtillon massacre a Muslim trade caravan with the aid of the Templars. Saladin, leader of the Muslim forces, advances on Kerak, Raynald’s castle, to punish him for his crime. Balian protects the villagers entering the castle from Saladin’s cavalry, despite a request from Raynald to withdraw. Though outnumbered, Balian and his knights charge Saladin’s cavalry, allowing the villagers time to flee. Balian’s knights are captured. In the enemy camp, Balian encounters the servant he freed, Imad ad-Din, learning he is actually Saladin’s Chancellor, who releases Balian to enter Kerak. Saladin arrives with his army to besiege Kerak and King Baldwin IV approaches with his. They negotiate a Muslim retreat and Baldwin swears to punish Raynald. Baldwin confronts Raynald, forcing him onto his knees. As Raynald grovels for mercy, Baldwin beats him with his horse whip and forces Raynald to kiss his diseased hand. The exertion of these events cause Baldwin to collapse, weakened beyond recovery. Saladin assures his generals that he will reclaim Jerusalem.

Baldwin asks Balian to marry Sibylla, knowing they have affection for each other, but Balian refuses because in order for the marriage to occur Guy would have to be killed. After Baldwin dies, Sibylla’s six year old son Baldwin V becomes King of Jerusalem. It becomes apparent that he is also infected with leprosy. Grief-stricken and unwilling to condemn her son to a life behind a mask, Sibylla poisons her son. Sibylla succeeds her son and names Guy King of Jerusalem. Guy releases Raynald, asking him to give him a war, which Raynald does by murdering Saladin’s sister. When Saladin’s emissary relays demands for the return of his sister’s body, the heads of those responsible and the surrender of Jerusalem, Guy decapitates the emissary and sends his head back to Damascus. Guy has several Templars try to murder Balian, since he is the most strident voice against a war.

In council, war is agreed upon “because God wills it” and against sound advice they march into the desert to fight Saladin, leaving Jerusalem unguarded except for Balian, Tiberias, their knights, a few remaining Crusader soldiers and the townspeople. Saladin’s army attacks the Crusaders and in the ensuing battle the Crusaders are annihilated. Guy and Raynald are captured; Saladin executes Raynald and then marches on Jerusalem, sparing Guy as king only out of tradition. Tiberias and his men leave for Cyprus, believing Jerusalem is lost, but Balian and his knights remain to protect the villagers. Knowing they cannot defeat the Saracens, they hope to hold their enemies off long enough for the Saracens to offer terms. After a battle that lasts three days, Saladin offers terms: Balian surrenders Jerusalem when Saladin offers the inhabitants safe passage to Christian lands. He also releases Guy back to Jerusalem where he attacks Balian but is defeated.

In the marching column of citizens, he finds Sibylla who has renounced her claim as Queen of Jerusalem and other cities. After Balian returns to his village in France, English knights ride through looking for Balian, defender of Jerusalem. Balian replies that he is the blacksmith, and the man leading the knights identifies himself as King Richard I of England, and they are commencing a new Crusade to retake Jerusalem. Balian responds that he is the blacksmith and Richard rides off. Balian is joined by Sibylla, and passing by the grave of Balian’s wife, they ride toward a new life together.

Production

Cinematography

The visual style of Kingdom of Heaven emphasizes set design and impressive cinematography in almost every scene. It is notable for its “visually stunning cinematography and haunting music”.[4] Cinematographer John Mathieson created many large, sweeping landscapes,[5] where the cinematography, supporting performances, and battle sequences are meticulously mounted.[6] The cinematography and scenes of set-pieces have been described as “ballets of light and color” (as in films by Akira Kurosawa).[7] Director Ridley Scott’s visual acumen was described as the main draw of Kingdom of Heaven with the stellar, stunning cinematography and “jaw-dropping combat sequences” based on the production design of Arthur Max.[8][9]

Music

The music to the movie is quite different in style and content from the soundtrack of Ridley Scott’s earlier 2000 film Gladiator[10] and many other subsequent films depicting historical events.[11] A composition of classical listings, rousing chorales, juxtaposing Muslim sacred chants, and subtle implementation of contemporary rock/pop influences,[10][11] the soundtrack is largely the result of British film-score composer Harry Gregson-Williams. During the climactic final battle scene, a piece of Jerry Goldsmith‘s “Valhalla” theme from The 13th Warrior is used. “Vide Cor Meum” (originally used by Scott in the Hannibal movie and composed by Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer), sung by Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti is also used during the funeral of the King.

Cast

Many of the characters in the movie are fictionalized versions of historical figures:

Critical response

Upon its release, the film was met with mixed opinions. Critics such as Roger Ebert, however, found the film’s message to be deeper than Scott’s previous Gladiator.[12]

Several actors/actresses were praised for their performances. Jack Moore described Edward Norton’s acting as “phenomenal”, and “so far removed from anything that he has ever done that we see the true complexities of his talent”.[13] The Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud was also praised for his portrayal of Saladin, described by The New York Times as “cool as a tall glass of water”.[14] Also commended were Eva Green, who plays Princess Sibylla, “with a measure of cool that defies her surroundings”,[5] and Jeremy Irons.[15]

However, lead actor Orlando Bloom‘s performance generally elicited a lukewarm reception from American critics, with the Boston Globe stating Bloom was “not actively bad as Balian of Ibelin”, but nevertheless “seems like a man holding the fort for a genuine star who never arrives”.[16] Although the medieval character of Balian of Ibelin is not well known to U.S. culture, many critics[who?] had strong notions of how Balian should be acted, as an “epic hero” with a strong presence. One critic conceded that Balian was more of a “brave and principled thinker-warrior”[5] rather than a large, strong commander, and Balian used brains-over-brawn to gain advantage in battle.

Bloom had gained 20 pounds for the part,[5] and the Extended Director’s Cut (detailed below) of Kingdom of Heaven reveals even more complex facets of Bloom’s role, involving connections with unknown relatives. Despite the criticism, Bloom won two awards for his performance.

Online, general criticism has been also divided, but leaning towards the positive. As of early 2006, the Yahoo! Movies rating for Kingdom of Heaven was a “B” from the critics (based on 15 Reviews). This rating equates to “good” according to Yahoo! Movie’s rating system. On Rotten Tomatoes, only 39 percent of critics gave the film a positive review; however, the aggregate review site Metacritic scored the movie as a 63, which means the film received “generally favorable reviews” according to the website’s weighted average system.

Academic criticism has focused on the supposed peaceful relationship between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem and other cities depicted. Crusader historians such as Jonathan Riley-Smith, quoted by The Daily Telegraph, called the film “dangerous to Arab relations”, claiming the movie was Osama bin Laden‘s version of the Crusades and would “fuel the Islamic fundamentalists“. Riley-Smith further commented against the historical accuracy stating “nonsense like this will only reinforce existing myths”, arguing that the film “relied on the romanticized view of the Crusades propagated by Sir Walter Scott in his book The Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by academics.”[17][18][19] Fellow Crusade historian Jonathan Phillips also spoke against the film. Paul Halsall defended Scott, claiming that “historians can’t criticize filmmakers for having to make the decisions they have to make… [Scott is] not writing a history textbook”.[20]

Thomas F. Madden, Director of Saint Louis University‘s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, commented against the film’s presentation of the Crusades:

Given events in the modern world it is lamentable that there is so large a gulf between what professional historians know about the Crusades and what the general population believes. This movie only widens that gulf. The shame of it is that dozens of distinguished historians across the globe would have been only too happy to help Scott and Monahan get it right.[21]

Scott himself defended this depiction of the Muslim-Christian relationship in footage on the DVD version of the movie’s extra features. Scott sees this portrayal as being a contemporary look at the history. He argued that peace and brutality are concepts relative to one’s own experience, and since our society today is so far removed from the brutal times in which the movie takes place, he told the story in a way that he felt was true to the source material yet was more accessible to a modern audience. In other words, the “peace” that existed was exaggerated to fit our ideas of what such a peace would be. At the time, it was merely a lull in Muslim-Christian violence compared to the standards of the period. The recurring use of “Assalamu Alaikum”, the traditional Arabic greeting meaning “Peace be with you”, is spoken both in Arabic and English several times.

The “Director’s Cut” of the film is a four-disc set, two of which are dedicated to a feature-length documentary called “The Path to Redemption.” This feature contains an additional featurette on historical accuracy called “Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak”, where a number of academics support the film’s contemporary relevance and historical accuracy. Among these historians is Dr. Nancy Caciola, who said that despite the various inaccuracies and fictionalized/dramatized details considered the film a “responsible depiction of the period.”[22]

Screenwriter William Monahan, who is a long-term enthusiast of the period, has said “If it isn’t in, it doesn’t mean we didn’t know it… What you use, in drama, is what plays. Shakespeare did the same.”[23]

Caciola agreed with the fictionalization of characters on the grounds that “crafting a character who is someone the audience can identify with” is necessary in a film. She said that “I, as a professional, have spent much time with medieval people, so to speak, in the texts that I read; and quite honestly there are very few of them that if I met in the flesh I feel that I would be very fond of.” This appears to echo the sentiments of Scott himself. However, the DVD does not feature historians expressing more negative reactions.

The historical content and the religious and political messages present have received praise and condemnation, sentiments and perceptions. John Harlow of the Times Online wrote that Christianity is portrayed in an unfavorable light and the value of Christian belief is diminished, especially in the portrayal of Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem.[24] When journalist Robert Fisk watched the film in a Beirut cinema, he reported that the Muslim audience rose to their feet and applauded wildly during a scene in the film in which Saladin respectfully places a fallen cross back on top of a table after it had fallen during the three-day siege of the city.[25]

The movie was a box office flop in the U.S. and Canada, earning $47 million against a budget of around $130 million, but was successful in Europe and the rest of the world, with the worldwide box office earnings totaling at $211,643,158.[26] It was also a big success in Arabic-speaking countries, especially Egypt. Scott insinuated that the U.S. disaster of the film was the result of bad advertising, which presented the film as an adventure with a love story rather than as an examination of religious conflict.[27] It’s also been noted that the film was altered from its original version to be shorter and follow a simpler plot line. This “less sophisticated” version is what hit theaters, although Scott and some of his crew felt it was watered down, explaining that by editing, “You’ve gone in there and taken little bits from everything”.[28]

Like some other Scott films, Kingdom of Heaven found success on DVD in the U.S., and the release of the Director’s Cut has reinvigorated interest in the film. Nearly all reviews of the 2006 Director’s Cut have been positive, including a four-star review in Britain’s Total Film magazine (five star being the publication’s highest rating) and a perfect ten out of ten from IGN DVD.[29][30][31]

Awards

European Film Awards:

  • Audience Award – Best Actor (Orlando Bloom)

Satellite Awards:

  • Outstanding Original Score (Harry Gregson-Williams)

VES Awards:

  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture (Wes Sewell, Victoria Alonso, Tom Wood, Gary Brozenich)

Nominations

Satellite Awards:

  • Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama (Edward Norton)
  • Outstanding Art Direction & Production Design (Arthur Max)
  • Outstanding Costume Design (Janty Yates)
  • Outstanding Visual Effects (Tom Wood)

Teen Choice Awards:

  • Choice Movie: Action/Adventure
  • Choice Movie Actor: Action/Adventure/Thriller (Orlando Bloom)
  • Choice Movie Liplock (Eva Green and Orlando Bloom)
  • Choice Movie Love Scene (Eva Green and Orlando Bloom – Balian and Sibylla kiss)

Historical accuracy

Question book-new.svg

This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2008)

The historical origin of Orlando Bloom’s character, Balian of Ibelin, was a close ally of Raymond; however, he was a mature gentleman, just a year or two younger than Raymond, and one of the most important nobles in the kingdom, not a French blacksmith. His father Barisan (which was originally his own name, modified into French as ‘Balian’) founded the Ibelin family in the east, and probably came from Italy. Balian and Sibylla were indeed united in the defense of Jerusalem; however, no romantic relationship existed between the two. Balian married Sibylla’s stepmother Maria Comnena, Dowager Queen of Jerusalem and Lady of Nablus. The Old French Continuation of William of Tyre (the so-called Chronicle of Ernoul) claimed that Sibylla had been infatuated with Balian’s older brother Baldwin of Ibelin, a widower over twice her age, but this is doubtful; instead, it seems that Raymond of Tripoli attempted a coup to marry her off to him to strengthen the position of his faction; however, this legend seems to have been behind the film’s creation of a love-relationship between Sibylla and a member of the Ibelin family.[32]

William of Tyre discovers Baldwin IV’s leprosy; his accounts form the historical basis for much of the film.

The events of the siege of Jerusalem are based on the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre, a favorable account partly written by Ernoul, one of Balian’s officers, and other contemporary documents. Saladin did besiege Jerusalem for almost a month, and was able to knock down a portion of the wall. In the film, Balian knighted everyone who could carry a sword, but historical accounts say he only knighted some burgesses. The exact number varies in different accounts, but it is probably less than one hundred in a city which had tens of thousands of male inhabitants and refugees. Balian personally negotiated the surrender of the city with Saladin, after threatening to destroy every building and kill the 3000–5000 Muslim inhabitants of the city. Saladin allowed Balian and his family to leave in peace, along with everyone else who could arrange to pay a ransom.

King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, who reigned from 1174 to 1185, was a leper, and his sister Sibylla did marry Guy of Lusignan. Also, Baldwin IV had a falling out with Guy before his death, and so Guy did not succeed Baldwin IV immediately. Baldwin crowned Sibylla’s son from her previous marriage to William of Montferrat, five-year-old Baldwin V co-king in his own lifetime, in 1183.[33] The little boy reigned as sole king for one year, dying in 1186 at nine years of age. After her son’s death, Sibylla and Guy (to whom she was devoted) garrisoned the city, and she claimed the throne. The coronation scene in the movie was, in real life, more of a shock: Sibylla had been forced to promise to divorce Guy before becoming queen, with the assurance that she would be permitted to pick her own consort. After being crowned by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem (who is unnamed in the movie), she chose to crown Guy as her consort. Raymond III of Tripoli, the film’s Tiberias, was not present, but was in Nablus attempting a coup, with Balian of Ibelin, to raise her half-sister (Balian’s stepdaughter), princess Isabella of Jerusalem, to the throne; however, Isabella’s husband, Humphrey IV of Toron, refusing to precipitate a civil war, swore allegiance to Guy.[34]

Raymond of Tripoli was a cousin of Amalric I of Jerusalem, and one of the Kingdom’s most powerful nobles, as well as sometime regent. He had a claim to the throne himself, but, being childless, instead tried to advance his allies the Ibelin family. He was often in conflict with Guy and Raynald, who had risen to their positions by marrying wealthy heiresses and through the king’s favor. Guy and Raynald did harass Saladin’s caravans, and the claim that Raynald captured Saladin’s sister is based on the account given in the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre. This claim is not supported by any other accounts, and is generally believed to be false. In actuality, after Raynald’s attack on one caravan, Saladin made sure that the next one, in which his sister was traveling, was properly guarded: the lady came to no harm.[32]

The discord between the rival factions in the kingdom gave Saladin the opportunity to pursue his long-term goal of conquering it. The kingdom’s army was defeated at the Battle of Hattin, partly due to the conflict between Guy and Raymond. As already stated, the battle itself is not shown in the movie, but its aftermath is depicted. The Muslims captured Guy and Raynald, and according to al-Safadi in al-Wafi bi’l-wafayat, executed Raynald after he drank from the goblet offered to Guy, as the sultan had once made a promise never to give anything to Raynald. Guy was imprisoned, but later freed. He attempted to retain the kingship even after the deaths of Sibylla and their daughters during his siege of Acre in 1190, but lost in an election to Conrad of Montferrat in 1192. Richard I of England, his only supporter, sold him the lordship of Cyprus, where he died c. 1194.

There was a Haute Cour, a “high court”, a sort of medieval parliament, in which Jeremy Irons’ character Tiberias is seen arguing with Guy for or against war, in front of Baldwin IV as the final judge.

The movie alludes to the Battle of Montgisard in 1177, in which 16-year-old Baldwin IV defeated Saladin, with Saladin narrowly escaping.

The Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar were the most enthusiastic about fighting Saladin and the Muslims. They were monastic military orders, committed to celibacy. Neither Guy nor Raynald was a Templar, as the movie implies by costuming them both in Templar surcoats: they were secular nobles with wives and families, simply supported by the Templars.

The “uneasy truce” referred to in the closing scene refers to the Treaty of Ramla, negotiated, with Balian’s help, at the end of the Third Crusade. The Third Crusade is alluded to at the end of the movie, when Richard I of England visits Balian in France. Balian, of course, was not from France and did not return there with Sibylla; she and her two daughters died of fever in camp during the siege of Acre. Conrad of Montferrat had denied her and Guy entry to the remaining stronghold of Tyre, and thus Guy was attempting to take another city for himself.

Balian’s relations with Richard were far from amicable, because he supported Conrad against Richard’s vassal Guy. He and his wife Maria arranged her daughter Isabella’s forcible divorce from Humphrey of Toron so she could marry Conrad. Ambroise, who wrote a poetic account of the crusade, called Balian “more false than a goblin” and said he “should be hunted with dogs”.[35] The anonymous author of the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi wrote that Balian was a member of a “council of consummate iniquity”, and described him as cruel, fickle, and faithless, and accused him of taking bribes from Conrad.

The young Balian of the movie thus did not exist in reality. The historical Balian had descendants by Maria Comnena. Thanks to their close relationship to Sibylla’s half-sister and successor, Maria’s daughter Queen Isabella (not shown in the movie), the Ibelins became the most powerful noble family in the rump Kingdom of Jerusalem as well as in Cyprus in the thirteenth century. Most notably, Maria and Balian’s son John, the Lord of Beirut, was a dominant force in the politics of Outremer for the first third of the thirteenth century.

Near the end of the film and after Saladin has entered the city; he is seen watching as a crescent ornament is being raised on top of a building presumably a mosque. This is an anachronism as at that time mosques did not bear any kind of symbols on the minarets. The crescent was introduced many centuries later with the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

An episode of The History Channel’s series History vs. Hollywood analyzed the historical accuracy of the film. This program and a Movie Real (a series by A&E Network) episode about Kingdom of Heaven were both included on the DVD version of the movie.

Extended director’s cut

An extended director’s cut of the movie was released on December 23, 2005, at the Laemmle Fairfax Theatre in Los Angeles, unsupported by advertising from 20th Century Fox. This version has been widely praised[citation needed]; at approximately 45 minutes longer than the original theatrical cut, it is purportedly the version Ridley Scott originally wanted released to theaters. The DVD of the extended Director’s Cut was released on May 23, 2006. It comprises a four-disc box set with a runtime of 194 minutes, and is shown as a road show presentation with an overture, intermission and entr’acte; the Blu-ray release omits the roadshow elements, running for 189 minutes. Scott gave an interview to STV on the occasion of the extended edition’s UK release, when he discussed the motives and thinking behind the new version.[36]

After the pitching of this film, studio marketing executives took it to be an action-adventure hybrid rather than what Ridley Scott and William Monahan intended it to be: a historical epic examining religious conflict. 20th Century Fox promoted the film as an action movie with heavy elements of romance and, in their advertising campaign, made much of the “From the Director of Gladiator” slogan. When Scott presented the 194 minute version of the film to the studio, they balked at the length. Studio head Tom Rothman ordered the film to be trimmed down to only two hours, as he did not believe that a modern audience would go to see a three hour and fifteen minute movie. Ultimately, Rothman’s decision backfired as the film gained mixed reviews (with many commenting that the film seemed “incomplete”) and severely under-performed at the US box office.

The Director’s Cut (DC) has received a distinctly more positive reception from film critics than the theatrical release, with some reviewers suggesting that it is the most substantial Director’s Cut of all time[37] and a title to equal any of Scott’s other works.,[38] offering a much greater insight into the motivations of individual characters. Scott and his crew have all stated that they consider the Director’s Cut to be the true version of the film and the theatrical cut more of an action movie trailer for the real film[citation needed]. Alexander Siddig, the Sudanese-born actor who played Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani, in particular agitated for the release of an extended cut[citation needed].

As well as including more shots depicting violence and bloodshed, the later director’s cut provides several details not present in the original theatrical release:

  • The village priest who taunts Balian and is killed by him is revealed to be his half-brother (his mother’s son by her lawful husband). The animosity between them is shown as originating from the priest’s coveting of the firstborn Balian’s meager inheritance.
  • Godfrey is not only the father of Balian but the younger brother of the village lord who believes that Godfrey is looking for his own son to be Godfrey’s heir in Ibelin. It is this lord’s son and heir who organizes the attack on Godfrey’s party in the forest and is subsequently killed. Both this plot point and the one above hinge on the firstborn son’s right to exclusive inheritance: this is what apparently drove Godfrey to the Holy Land and the priest to begin his scheming against Balian.
  • A dying Baldwin IV is shown refusing the last sacrament from Patriarch Heraclius.
  • The character of Baldwin V, shown in some of original trailers but lacking in the theatrical release, is re-inserted into the film. He is the son of Sibylla by her first husband; not named in the film, the father is William of Montferrat. The boy is crowned King after Baldwin IV’s death, but is then discovered to have leprosy, like his uncle. His death is depicted as an act of euthanasia by his mother, who administers poison via the child’s ear. As in the theatrical version, Sibylla is then crowned queen.
  • Balian fights a climactic duel with Guy near the end of the film, after Jerusalem is surrendered and Guy has been released by Saladin (an act intended to humiliate Guy in the eyes of his former subjects). Guy is humiliated furthermore by challenging Balian to a duel, being defeated, and then spared by Balian.
  • A scene with Balian discussing his situation with the Hospitaller in the desert, which included the line “I go to pray” (featured in most trailers) is re-inserted.
  • It is made clear that Guy de Lusignan knows that Sibylla is having an affair with Balian; however, his interest in her is primarily political, rather than emotional.
  • It is revealed that Balian has fought in several battles in the past, is a skilled strategist, and is well-known for building siege engines.
  • Saladin decapitates Raynald de Châtillon instead of only cutting his throat; this is generally believed to be more historically accurate.
  • Sibylla is portrayed much more as a corrupt princess and unpredictable as she herself stated.
  • The Gravedigger of Balian’s wife is given more than his previous one line, despite his lowly status he is very intelligent, remarking that the suicide was far more of a personal choice and not an act of the devil and realizes that Sibylla is not a nurse but the Queen.

Notes

  1. ^ “Company Information”. movies.nytimes.com. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/294331/Kingdom-of-Heaven/credits. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.film.com/movies/kingdom-of-heaven/6137745
  3. ^ Cinemareview.com “Kingdom of Heaven- Production Notes” web: http://www.cinemareview.com/production.asp?prodid=2960
  4. ^ Richard J. Radcliff, “Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven” May 29, 2005, BlogCritics.org, web: BlogCritics-KoH: noted “visually and sonically beautiful; visually stunning cinematography and haunting music.”
  5. ^ a b c d Stephanie Zacharek, “Kingdom of Heaven – Salon” (review), May 6, 2005, Salon.com, web: Salon-KoH: noted “Cinematographer John Mathieson gives us lots of great, sweeping landscapes.”
  6. ^ Carrie Rickey, “Epic ‘Kingdom’ has a weak link” (review), Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6, 2005, web: Philly-KoH: noted “cinematography, supporting performances and battle sequences are so meticulously mounted.”
  7. ^ Uncut, Review of Kingdom of Heaven, Uncut, 2005-07-01, page 129, web: BuyCom-Uncut: noted “Where Scott scores is in the cinematography and set-pieces, with vast armies surging across sun-baked sand in almost Kurosawa-like ballets of light and color.”
  8. ^ Nix, “Kingdom of Heaven (2005)” (review), BeyondHollywood.com, web: BeyondHwood-KoH: noted “Scott’s visual acumen is the main draw of Kingdom of Heaven” and “stunning cinematography and jaw-dropping combat sequences” or “stellar cinematography.”
  9. ^ Roger Ebert, “Kingdom of Heaven” (review), Chicago Sun Times, SunTimes.com, May 5, 2005, webpage: Ebert-KoH: Ebert noted “What’s more interesting is Ridley Scott’s visual style, assisted by John Mathieson’s cinematography and the production design of Arthur Max. A vast set of ancient Jerusalem was constructed to provide realistic foregrounds and locations, which were then enhanced by CGI backgrounds, additional horses and troops, and so on.”
  10. ^ a b Filmtracks – Kingdom of Heaven
  11. ^ a b SoundtrackNet – Kingdom of Heaven
  12. ^ Roger Ebert, “Kingdom of Heaven” reviews for the Chicago Sun Times
  13. ^ Jack Moore, Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut DVD Review
  14. ^ Manolha Dargis, New York Times review of Kingdom of Heaven
  15. ^ James Berardinelli, http://www.reelviews.net/movies/k/kingdom_heaven.html
  16. ^ Ty Burr, “Kingdom of Heaven Movie Review: Historically and heroically challenged ‘Kingdom’ fails to conquer”
  17. ^ Charlotte Edwardes, ” Ridley Scott’s new Crusades film ‘panders to Osama bin Laden'” The Daily Telegraph January 17, 2004
  18. ^ Andrew Holt (2005-05-05). “Truth is the First Victim- Jonathan Riley-Smith”. Crusades-encyclopedia.com. http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/truthisthefirstvictim.html. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  19. ^ “Kingdom of Heaven info page”. Zombietime.com. http://www.zombietime.com/kingdom_of_heaven/. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  20. ^ CNN “Kingdom of Heaven” Transcript web: CNN.com
  21. ^ “Thomas F. Madden on ”Kingdom of Heaven” on National Review Online”. Nationalreview.com. 2005-05-27. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/madden200505270751.asp. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  22. ^ Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak
  23. ^ Bob Thompson (2005-05-01). “Hollywood on Crusade: With His Historical Epic, Ridley Scott Hurtles Into Vexing, Volatile Territory”. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/29/AR2005042900744.html. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  24. ^ John Harlow, “Christian right goes to war with Ridley’s crusaders” web:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article384742.ece
  25. ^ Robert Fisk, “Kingdom of Heaven:Why Ridley Scott’s Story Of The Crusades Struck Such A Chord In A Lebanese Cinema” web: Zmag.org
  26. ^ “Kingdom of Heaven- Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information” web: The-Numbers.com
  27. ^ Hicelebs.com: “Kingdom of Heaven Trivia” web:http://www.hicelebs.com/movies/kingdom_of_heaven/trivia.html
  28. ^ Garth Franklin, “Interview: Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven” web: DarkHorizons.com
  29. ^ http://dvd.ign.com/articles/711/711469p2.html
  30. ^ http://www.reelviews.net/movies/k/kingdom_heaven_directors.html
  31. ^ http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/kingdom-of-heaven/3676
  32. ^ a bMaking the Crusades Relevant in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN” by Cathy Schultz
  33. ^ Depicted in the director’s cut.
  34. ^ Christopher Tyerman, God’s War: A New History of the Crusades. Penguin, 2006.
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^ Ridley Scott interview
  37. ^ “Kingdom of Heaven: 4-Disc Director’s Cut DVD Review”. Ugo.com. http://www.ugo.com/channels/dvd/features/tristanandisolde/kingdomdvdreview.asp. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  38. ^ Berardinelli, James. “Kingdom of Heaven Director’s Cut Review”. http://reelviews.net/movies/k/kingdom_heaven_directors.html

See also

References

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Kingdom of Heaven (film)
[hide]v·d·eFilms directed by Ridley Scott1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

See also: 1984 (television commercial) (1984), Boy and Bicycle (short film) (1965)
 
The Duellists (1977) · Alien (1979)
 
Blade Runner (1982) · Legend (1985) · Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) · Black Rain (1989)
 
Thelma & Louise (1991) · 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) · White Squall (1996) · G.I. Jane (1997)
 
Gladiator (2000) · Hannibal (2001) · Black Hawk Down (2001) · Matchstick Men (2003) · Kingdom of Heaven (2005) · A Good Year (2006) · American Gangster (2007) · Body of Lies (2008)
 
Robin Hood (2010) · Prometheus (2012)