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"Pet Peeves in Medieval Movies (Round 1A)" Topic


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114 hits since 18 May 2023
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2023 6:36 a.m. PST

Some of these things are pardonable because it's a movie trying to tell a story about certain central characters, whom the audience has to identify and thus on whom the action also focuses. So even though inaccurate, those moments don't bug me.

Also, some of these objections appear to be made by those who aren't as well informed as they think they are. Full suit plate armor, for example, is neither particularly cumbersome or exhausting to wear. You can indeed "jump around" in it, and there is no reason it would necessarily exhaust you anymore than wearing full American football or hockey gear (its effective descendants). Indeed, plate armor is the result of centuries of effort to produce the best possible armor offering the fullest possible range of motion and the least possible effort to wear; and it worked. We'd probably still be wearing it in battle if it weren't for the fact that it won't stop bullets.
Keep in mind that when you do see actors jumping around in plate armor, while, yes, they're wearing something lighter and cheaper than carbon steel, it's not really that much lighteró and it still has the same effective restrictions on movement. And they're wearing for multiple takes of multiple scenes, all shot on the same day if at all possible. So yes, like anybody, they need a breather, but a few hours of wearing armor isn't going to do them in, even if it were actual full plate. (Heck, we have modern re-enactors and professional jousters who were full metal plate armor for extended periods of activity. It's just not that hard to handle.)

Now, chainmail? Of course that's heavier on the body, as it doesn't support itself. But our ancestors did indeed wear it for hours on end, and engaged in sustained combat while wearing it. The Battle of Hastings lasted over 8 hours, and involved heavy chain hauberks worn on both sides. Similarly, the 1st and 2nd Crusades were essentially conducted in the same type of armor. You could indeed move and fight well in this stuff. "Jump like a ninja," maybe not; or at least not multiple times. But fight vigorously? Sure.

Now, I do hate the "flying leap attack" where somehow some guy, armored or not, leaps ten feet into the air unassisted, howling at the top of his lungs, to drop down on the enemy… and yet, nobody has the presence of mind to just shove a spear up into the idiot's gut as he comes down and impales himself on it. That's stupid on every level.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2023 7:29 a.m. PST

My number one is Pyrotechnics.

Flaming arrows, flaming catapults, etc…


Followed very closely by how everything is so grim and colorless.

dapeters18 May 2023 12:45 p.m. PST

+1 Deucey

I agree armor in itself is not exhausting to wear but fighting does fatigue and armor does not help. On the flip side I remember reading something about a couple men with William marching across Britain becoming fatigue and William carrying their armor on his his horse.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2023 5:39 p.m. PST

Well, flaming pitch was used in medieval sieges. So that's not actually wrong.

As for armor on the march, sure. But that's not a battle, that's a march.

Consider as a counter the Battle of Arsuf. Richard I was marching Crusader forces along the sea coast bordering the forest of Arsuf. His men were armored for the entire march. Saladin sent harassing forces to try and pick off the marching Crusaders, and harried the force for milesó until the Crusaders suddenly charged, and forced Saladin's army into a full retreat. So whatever weariness the armor may have contributed too, it wasn't enough to stop the Crusaders from fighting and wreaking havoc among their enemies.

So armor isn't as limiting as one might think.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2023 4:44 a.m. PST

Agree as to armour not being as limiting as one might think – for example, a lot of NATO standard infantry combat gear loads are from 80 to 120 pounds and NATO infantry seem pretty capable of running around

My pet peeve is the mob-in-combat thing – as soon as contact is made, the battle becomes a series of one-on-one sword fights in which the helmetless heroes triumph – I think they wore helmets for a reason

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP19 May 2023 7:06 a.m. PST

I agree that for movies the audience needs to be able to see where the specific good (and bad) guy characters are, so having the helmet off is sort of forgivable (although perhaps a distinctive crest or plume would do the job as well).

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2023 2:58 p.m. PST

Go ye and find the 1950's Ivanhoe starring Robert Taylor, Joan Fontaine, and Elizabeth Taylor.
The battles are surprisingly well done for the era, especially the tournament joust and the final one-on-one Trial by Combat fight. The principles are indeed defined by their crests, surcoats and shields (in bright colors, no less!), and were full face helms.
(In the assault on the castle, not so much, but it's presented as a rather hasty affair.)
Granted in the close-up imagery the chain mail looks flimsy, but the rest is well done. The jousting is real (and looks painful), and that final fight is perfectly choreographed. (Those horses had to be exceptionally well trained!)

Great classic movie.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP20 May 2023 6:55 a.m. PST

+1 Parzival

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2023 7:49 p.m. PST

I agree with ScottWashburn. But Hollywood won't do it.They paid for the face and they'll demn welll show it! Still maybe someone will try one day…

Mister Tibbles23 May 2023 12:31 p.m. PST

We went from Technicolor to capture the brilliance of colors, to modern day color grading with computers to make everything look grey, weird yellow, or whatever. I'm over it.

My pet peeve is how everyone except the nobles ate poorly, and the nobles always had banquets. Ironically, the ordinary folks ate whole grain breads (which we consider a delicacy, paying a lot for), fresh garden vegetables and fruit, lots of chickens and fish. If only we could have given them modern soap and penicillin. They would have outlived us by miles.

Compare what we eat today.

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