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In 1184, French village blacksmith Balian just lost his wife trough suicide grief-stricken by their child's death; the crusader lord Godfrey, baron of Ibelin, reveals himself as Balian's father and offers him a crusader life, which the youngster spontaneously rejects but after the local priest taunts him till his sword strikes fatally accepts, fleeing the French bishop's bloody justice and seeking divine forgiveness as promised to crusaders in Jerusalem. On the way, Balian is instructed the skills of war and chivalric honor code and dubbed a knight in Messina by his father, who was fatally wounded fighting off the bishop's men. After shipwreck on the Levantine coast, Balian soon proves himself a superior knight as fighter and noble idealist in the loyal service of leper king Baldwin, whose pragmatic right hand, the count of Tiberias, fails to convince Balian the ruthless knight Reynald de Chatillon and his traitorous master, candidate-heir to the throne Guy de Lusignan, must be stopped by all means before they plunge the crusader kingdom in a fatal war against the noble, militarily far superior Saracen king Saladin. When Tiberias is proven right, he leaves for Cyprus, brave Balian stays to defend besieged Jerusalem against impossible odds.
Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the Crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.
I'm a huge Ridley Scott fan, and I loved "Gladiator," but "Kingdom" is a beautifully-produced bore. Historically, it's a mess; dramatically, it's a miss. Orlando Bloom does not have the charisma to hold our attention; most of the other actors (with the exceptions of the guy who played Saladin, and Liam Neeson) gnaw the scenery. The sets, locations, costumes and visual effects are superb - but the story is remarkably dull and many of the characters are one-dimensional. The tale of a humble blacksmith who rises to become Defender of Jerusalem has all the potential of a good Horatio Alger yarn - but not when the lead actor can't command the stage. Too bad.
Kingdom of heaven is a film which feels like it has been constantly torn between realism and fantasy. At times it strives to be historically accurate but then moves on to the opposite, at points it tries to accurately portray medieval warfare but then in the light of epic Lord of the Rings Battles throws this away and most noticeable is how it tries to see the whole crusading ideal through Muslim eyes yet shows very little interest in the Muslims themselves.<br/><br/>I will start with the acting… As has been mentioned already Ed Norton inspires the required pathos that his role should carry, while Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons carry themselves well as usual. Orlando Bloom is not too bad as the lead and I would say that it is the general script, making him come across as unquestionably wise, tolerant, magnanimous, and altogether 21st Century, which makes him appear like an idiot rather than his acting. I would have liked Reynald to have been more suave than the ugly barbarian they found but that is a casting problem and no fault of his.<br/><br/>The set of Jerusalem was impressive. A nice city and I thought that the breach looked very good. With medieval France I think they tried to hard to draw a contrast between the purity of the enlightened East and the barbaric West, choosing dull lighting, bad weather and dull huts. I do not question its accuracy (what do I know about housing in the 12th century) but I think they tried to make a point a little too blatantly. Generally the sets were suitably epic for the events that took place.<br/><br/>And we move on to the sound. The music was forgettable, the standard epic fare really and why all these movies insist on having a wailing woman as a part of the music I do not know (gladiator did the same I think). The battle noise seemed suitably chaotic with a healthy mixture of sounds piled on top of each other which I think worked well. It has of course been done before, but it has been done again and works well so deserves credit.<br/><br/>Any compliments end there so if you liked the film, feel free to stop reading.<br/><br/>Historical accuracy should not be taken too seriously since after all it is a film and should naturally be romanticised. However, I wish they would follow the line of Gladiator and distance themselves sufficiently from the real events so that their version doesn't clash with history. This film tries to be reasonably accurate with many of the characters involved yet it places the centrepiece on a Battle for a city which did not happen. It was also interesting how a film which prided itself on accuracy of warfare gave Saladin a few thousand giant trebuchets hurling fireballs. At the siege of Acre Richard the Lionheart had one and Philip Augustus had one and I think some other might have clubbed together for a third, but I am not sure. Siege warfare did not rest on breaches and flattening the whole city. This felt strangely like someone was trying to compete with Helm's Deep…<br/><br/>Other things just did not work. The script writer must have thought he was very clever making the Franks call Saladin 'Sala-ah-din' at every opportunity. Surely it was the Franks who came up with Saladin because they did not feel like saying that and so they would have called him the wrong (by 21st century standards) version. <br/><br/>Then there were the Templars. Why would Guy, an aristocrat with ambitions for the crown, become a monk, but they did not have to be complete villains. The film wanted villains though so Guy and the Templars had to take the fall. It was interesting how the King could get away with executing them and how the Hospitallers were their 'Good' alter egos.<br/><br/>Then the low point was when modern sense of equality was added. Orlando Bloom alone realises that it is the workers and the average folk who do all the work and are the real heroes of society. So he casts aside the social barrier of knighthood, throwing it open to all and then puts the church in its place (the patriarch is after all a self seeking coward). This is after he digs irrigation canals for the suffering locals. Who do you want on your red flag, Lenin? Che? How about Balian! Anyway he was a hard working Stakhanovite with that hammer of his.<br/><br/>This film is watchable but it helps if you have never and have no intention of picking up a history book in your life. It goes on to long and goes down in the list of failed epics but was not a complete disaster.<br/><br/>So on my list of where I would consider watching it again (I have seen it already in cinema): Cinema - No Buying - No way Renting - No If a friend rented it - Maybe On a long plane journey - YES!
Genuinely spectacular and historically quite respectable, Ridley Scott's latest epic is at its strongest in conveying the savagery spawned by fanaticism.
The English Sergeant (<a href="/name/nm0571727/">Kevin McKidd</a>) is the soldier who accompanies Balian (<a href="/name/nm0089217/">Orlando Bloom</a>) to Messina. However, after Balian boards the ship and travels to Jerusalem, the Sergeant is never seen or heard from again, prompting fans to ask what exactly happened to him. There are two possibilities. Some fans suggest that he simply didn't get on the boat with Balian, but stayed in Messina. Others however suggest that he most likely did get on the boat and was killed in the ship wreck. On the 4-Disc DVD, it is mentioned that a life size dummy of McKidd was made for a close up after the ship wreck, during which he was to have been killed. But for some reason the dummy was never used, and his fate remains ambiguous. "Vide Cor Meum", written by <a href="/name/nm0144234/">Patrick Cassidy</a> and sung by <a href="/name/nm0210572/">Danielle de Niese</a> and <a href="/name/nm0493966/">Bruno Lazzaretti</a>; it is based on a sonnet from Book III of <a href="/name/nm0019604/">Dante Alighieri</a>'s The New Life (1295). The song was composed specifically for the soundtrack of another <a href="/name/nm0000631/">Ridley Scott</a> film, <a href="/title/tt0212985/">Hannibal (2001)</a> (2001), and was conducted by <a href="/name/nm0338435/">Gavin Greenaway</a>. <ul><li>Early in the film, Godfrey tells Balian to use a high guard when engaged in a sword fight. In particular, he recommends la posta di Falcone (the Guard of the Hawke). This was a genuine stance at the time and was commonly used by knights, especially taller knights, due to the fact that it facilitated natural, fast and powerful attacks from above which were very difficult to defend against.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>The depiction of Raynald de Chatillon is, for the most part, accurate; indeed, he may have been even more vile than he is presented in the film. Raynald's odiousness is one of the few things on which both the Christian and Muslim writers of the period tend to concur. Additionally, they also agree that much of the trouble of the period came about as a direct result of Raynald's reckless and irresponsible actions, specifically, his continual disobeying of Baldwin IV and his provocations of Saladin.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Baldwin IV really was a leper and as is depicted in the movie, he was not on good terms with Guy de Lusignan. Unfortunately for Guy, this meant he had no chance of succeeding Baldwin as King. After Guy married Sibylla, Baldwin's sister, Baldwin made him Regent, but Guy's constant disobedience and baiting of Saladin, plus his association with the notorious Raynald de Chatillon, made him extremely unpopular in court and prompted Baldwin to attempt to annul the marriage (something which Sibylla refused to do). To ensure Guy couldn't become King, as is accurately portrayed in the film, Baldwin crowned Sibylla's son from her previous marriage to William Longsword of Montferrat (unnamed in the movie) as his successor, much to Guy's disgust.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>The film three times alludes to a battle fought between Baldwin IV and Saladin when Baldwin was only 16 years old, a battle which was won by Baldwin, and from which Saladin only barely escaped alive. This is accurate, and refers to the Battle of Montgisard in 1177.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Raynald de Chatillon really did harass Saladin's caravans, as is depicted in the movie, and according to the Old French Continuation by William of Tyre, on one particular raid, Saladin's sister was indeed captured and killed by Raynald.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>As is depicted in the film, there really was a Haute Cour, a sort of medieval parliament, in which Raymond III of Tripoli (the basis for Jeremy Irons' character Tiberias) argued with Guy de Lusignan for or against war, with Baldwin IV acting as the final arbiter.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Although the cavalry charge depicted at Kerak never took place (see "Historical Inaccuracies" section above), the depiction of the charge is accurate in terms of what happened when the Christian army did try to charge the Muslims on various occasions. The Christians standard tactic was to send forward heavily armored horse units at speed to try to break down the centre of the enemy ranks (an attack known as the Frankish Charge). The Muslims however developed a counter to this attack whereby they would weaken their centre, and push their light cavalry out to the flanks. Thus, when the Christian charge came close, the Muslim light cavalry could simply circle in behind, creating a trap; this is accurately depicted in the Kerak scene in the film, in the high angle shot as Balian's cavalry is surrounded by the Muslim forces.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Baldwin IV did personally lead the army to meet Saladin at Kerak. Also, as is shown in the film, Baldwin's personal leadership of this campaign seriously weakened him, and hastened his impending death. It is also entirely true that Saladin sent Baldwin his personal physicians after meeting him and realizing how sick the King was.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Although the actual instigation of the battle has been significantly altered in the film (see "Historical Inaccuracies" section above), the outcome of the Battle of Hattin was as much a disaster for the Christians as is seen in the movie, primarily insofar as it left Jerusalem virtually defenseless, with hardly any knights.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>After the Battle of Hattin, as is depicted in the film, both Guy de Lusignan and Raynald de Chatillon were captured. Raynald was beheaded, as is seen in the Director's Cut of the film, and according to Saladin's secretary, Imad al-Din al-Isfahani in al-Wafi bi'l-wafayat, before he was beheaded, Raynald drank from a goblet of poison offered to Guy by Saladin. Additionally, Saladin's humiliation of Guy by making him ride a donkey whilst wearing a dunce's cap is factual.</li></ul> Because not everyone feels that historical inaccuracies are goofs per se, and as such, have no place in the goofs section, the FAQ page seems to provide a good neutral place where such inaccuracies can be recorded, as well as (in italicized text) reasons hypothesized as to how or why these inaccuracies may have occurred.<br/><br/>In relation to the issue of historical authenticity regarding this film, it is worth noting that on his DVD commentary track, screenwriter <a href="/name/nm1184258/">William Monahan</a> claims he didn't use any secondary sources whatsoever in the composition of the screenplay, instead relying entirely on eyewitness accounts and the writings of contemporary chroniclers such as William of Tyre and Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani. Indeed, Monahan claims that by doing this, historical accuracy is guaranteed, and he goes so far as to claim that Kingdom of Heaven is the most historically accurate movie ever made.<br/><br/><ul><li>The real Balian of Ibelin (<a href="/name/nm0089217/">Orlando Bloom</a>) was a close ally of Raymond III of Tripoli (the basis for <a href="/name/nm0000460/">Jeremy Irons</a>' character Tiberias), as is shown in the movie, but he was older than the movie portrays, just a year or two younger than Raymond himself. In 1184 (when the movie begins), Balian was around 40 and had been the Baron of Ibelin for fourteen years. Another major alteration to Balian's biography is that his wife (<a href="/name/nm1812523/">Nathalie Cox</a>) never committed suicide, nor did she ever miscarry. In actuality, she and Balian had several children together. Additionally, as the Pilgrim's Guide text commentary of the 2-Disc DVD points out, Balian was an important nobleman in Jerusalem, he was not a French blacksmith. Many of these biographical discrepancies are discussed by <a href="/name/nm1184258/">William Monahan</a> in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD, where he points out that the changes to the character's background were not the results of errors or inadequate research, but were in fact necessitated by the demands of the narrative. Balian is a classic protagonist who goes on a journey (both literally and spiritually) in an attempt to find redemption, and many of the "inaccuracies" in the depiction of his character were necessary so as to facilitate this journey. In short, Balian was altered from his historical personage for narrative expediency.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>As is explained in the Pilgrim's Guide text commentary of the 2-Disc DVD and the Engineer's Guide text commentary of the 4-disc DVD, in reality Balian's father (<a href="/name/nm0000553/">Liam Neeson</a>) was not called Godfrey, he was called Barisan. Additionally, he was not Balian's father due to a brief affair with a peasant, but instead had married into royal blood by marrying Helvis of Ramla, who became Balian's mother. Additionally, Barisan and Helvis had two sons prior to Balian, his elder brothers, Hugh and Baldwin (indeed, several aspects of Balian's biography in the film are based on Baldwin's real biography; his hatred of Guy de Lusignan, his friendship with Baldwin IV, and his possible affair with Sibylla). Again, these discrepancies are all to do with the demands of narrative, and the molding of the background of the protagonist; it allows Balian to be "saved" by a father he never knew he had at the depths of his despair, and thus begin his quest for redemption.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>The words "crusade" and "crusaders" are used numerous times in the film (beginning with the first scene, where the gravedigger (<a href="/name/nm0359398/">Martin Hancock</a>) exclaims "Crusaders!" upon seeing Godfrey and his men). This is an anachronism, as these words were not coined until centuries later. What we today refer to as "crusades" were usually referred to as "pilgrimages", albeit they were acknowledged as military pilgrimages unlike any that had been seen up to that time. This is discussed in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD, and it seems likely that writer William Monahan would have been aware of this fact when writing the film, and as such, one can only hypothesize that this error came about due to Monahan's desire to ensure modern audiences (who would be more familiar with the term "crusade" than with "pilgrimage") could connect with the narrative. Interestingly, the working title for the film was "Crusade".</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>When the Muslims are praying in Messina, they are facing the setting sun, ie west. In reality, they should be facing Mecca, which is to the southeast. Later on, after Balian has arrived in Jerusalem, Muslims are shown praying while the adhan (prayer call) is being delivered, when in reality, the adhan precedes the prayer. It is difficult to attribute these errors to anything other than carelessness on the part of the filmmakers.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the film, the Templar Knights are depicted as wearing white habits with a red Roman cross on the front. In reality, during the 12th century, the Templars used the Maltese cross. They didn't use the Roman cross until at least a century later, beginning in the mid-13th century. This mistake seems likely to have occurred due either to a lack of research or carelessness on the part of the art department.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Neither Guy de Lusignan (<a href="/name/nm0190744/">Marton Csokas</a>) nor Raynald de Châtillon (<a href="/name/nm0322407/">Brendan Gleeson</a>) was a Templar, as the movie implies by costuming them both in Templar surcoats. They were both secular nobles. This discrepancy is obviously for the purposes of the plot. Guy and Raynald are the ostensible villains of the piece, and it creates more dramatic tension when they are presented as having a force of men supporting them, rather than simply as two individuals.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>One of the most heavily criticized aspects of the film in terms of historical inaccuracy is the depiction of relations between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem prior to the ascension of Guy de Lusignan as King-Consort. Several historians have pointed out that the initially harmonious relationship between the two religions as seen in the movie has no basis in reality, and the truth of the situation was that, at best, violence between the two was not as bad as it had been in previous years; the peaceful co-existence seen in the film and spoken of by Godfrey prior to his death is entirely fictitious. In <a href="/title/tt0815476/">The Path to Redemption (2006)</a> documentary on the 4-Disc DVD, director <a href="/name/nm0000631/">Ridley Scott</a> directly addresses this criticism of the film, defending his decision to depict a peaceful accord between Christians and Muslims. Scott argues that the film is a contemporary look at history; that is to say, a look at history from the perspective of the 21st century. As such, the film needs to be understood and assimilated by contemporary 21st century audiences. Scott suggests that peace and violence are concepts relative to one's own experience, and since our society today is so far removed from the time of the Crusades, our notion of peace is not necessarily what their notion of peace would have been. As such, Scott decided that the peace portrayed in the film needed to be exaggerated so as to conform to 21st century notions of what peace is. He freely acknowledges that the film is technically inaccurate in its depiction of total harmony and that in reality there was merely a lull in the violence and an uneasy toleration of one another, but he felt that to depict such a lull to a modern audience and then refer to it as peace would be confusing; an audience would see something it didn't recognize as peace, but would be told that that is exactly what it is. Scott didn't want to go down this road, and as such, he chose to enhance the lack of violence of the period and present it as something a 21st century audience would understand and accept as peace.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Baldwin IV (<a href="/name/nm0001570/">Edward Norton</a>), although he did suffer from leprosy, did not wear a mask. Interestingly, director <a href="/name/nm0000631/">Ridley Scott</a> claims on his DVD commentary track that Baldwin did in fact wear a mask. In this, he is inaccurate: Baldwin is never depicted in any contemporary source as masked, and no historical evidence exists to support Scott's claim. Again, it seems highly unlikely that William Monahan was unaware of this "error", and as such, the invention of the mask can be attributed to Monahan's desire to create a sense of mystery and romanticism around the character of Baldwin. Regarding Ridley Scott's claim, it can really only be attributed to a lack of research on his part.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Sibylla (<a href="/name/nm1200692/">Eva Green</a>) claims that she married Guy de Lusignan when she was 15. In reality, she was 20 or 21 when she married him in 1180. She was 17 when she married her first husband, William Longsword of Montferrat, in 1176. This mistake seems most likely attributable to careless writing on the part of William Monahan.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>The film is unequivocal in its assertion that Sibylla was deeply unhappy in her marriage to Guy de Lusignan. Whilst the film is accurate that the marriage was arranged by Sibylla's mother, Agnes of Courtenay, it is inaccurate in its depiction of the relationship as being entirely loveless. As the Engineer's Guide text commentary on the 4-disc DVD explains, all evidence suggests that Sibylla and Guy were devoted to one another, and had an extremely loving relationship; they even had two children. Indeed, <a href="/name/nm1200692/">Eva Green</a> herself confirms this in the <a href="/title/tt1283925/">MovieReal: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)</a> documentary on the 2-disc DVD, as does Dr. <a href="/name/nm2460525/">Nancy Caciola</a> in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD. In relation to this point however, it is interesting to note that on their commentary tracks, both director Ridley Scott and writer William Monahan posit that the film's representation of the relationship is accurate, despite the claims of Green, Caciola and the text commentary. In actuality, so devoted to Guy was Sibylla that she was the very person who ensured he rise to the position of King-Consort. Prior to his death, Baldwin IV had decreed that should Baldwin V die in his youth, the new leader of Jerusalem was to be either Sibylla or her sister Isabella (a character not included in the film). It seemed as if Isabella was set to become Queen until her husband, Humphrey IV of Toron, betrayed her and threw his support behind Sibylla, who was subsequently crowned Queen by Patriarch Eraclius (unnamed in the movie; played by <a href="/name/nm0277424/">Jon Finch</a>). However, her ascension to the throne had been upon the condition that she annul her marriage to Guy, as the court didn't trust him, and didn't want him to be in such an authoritative position as King-Consort. Sibylla agreed, but only if she was allowed to name her own consort after attaining the throne. This was agreed to, but after being crowned, and much to the horror of the court, Sibylla freely chose Guy. This is in contradistinction to the film, where Guy blackmails and bullies her into choosing him as consort. Whilst it could be argued that this alteration was done for the purposes of the narrative, insofar as it creates more sympathy for Sibylla and enhances Guy's role as villain, Monahan's claim on the commentary track makes this impossible. His comments about how the film is accurate in its depiction of a loveless relationship seems to imply that he has ignored much historical evidence whilst composing the screenplay. As such, this error exists primarily because of poor research rather than as a conscious decision on the part of the filmmakers.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Building on the point above, although Balian and Sibylla were indeed united in the defense of Jerusalem against Saladin (<a href="/name/nm1586095/">Ghassan Massoud</a>), no romantic relationship ever existed between the two. Interestingly however, The Old French Continuation by William of Tyre claims that Sibylla had been infatuated with Balian's older brother, Baldwin (a character not in the film), although there is no solid historical evidence to support this claim. It seems likely that this legend may have been behind the film's depiction of a love-affair between Sibylla and a member of the Ibelin family, but again, Ridley Scott makes another false claim on his commentary track that Sibylla and Balian were "probably involved"; another claim refuted by the Engineer's Guide text commentary on the 4-disc DVD, which points out that this aspect of the story is entirely fictional. In any case, the creation of the romance between these two characters was obviously done for dramatic effect and to appeal to audience expectations.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Several times during the movie, the flag of Castilla y León is seen. At the time of the film (1184-1187), Castilla and León were separate kingdoms. They didn't unify until 1301, over one hundred years after the time of the film. It is difficult to attribute this error to anything other than either a lack of adequate research or carelessness on the part of the art department.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>There was never a cavalry charge at Kerak, as is shown in the film. Instead, there was a siege, not unlike the siege of Jerusalem itself. As writer William Monahan explains in his DVD commentary, in the screenplay the battle existed as it really happened, without the cavalry charge. The reason it was changed from a huge battle to a smaller scale scene was because the production didn't have the money to stage the battle, and so director Ridley Scott altered the dynamics of the scene so as to make it more affordable.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the Director's Cut of the film, there is a scene where Sibylla tells her son, the soon to be Baldwin V, that the King of England is Richard I. However, Richard I did not succeed his father, Henry II, until 1189, three years after the death of Baldwin V. This error seems attributable simply to careless writing on the part of William Monahan.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the Director's Cut of the film, just prior to his death, Baldwin IV asks Balian if he would marry Sibylla if Guy de Lusignan was out of the way. Tiberias informs Balian that if he agrees, Guy will be executed, as will any of his Knights who don't swear allegiance to Balian. The film implies that the plan has been concocted by Baldwin, Tiberias and Sibylla in an effort to ensure Guy never becomes King. This entire plot is fictional. Baldwin did try to ensure Guy never become King by asking Sibylla to annul her marriage to him, but she refused, and there is no evidence to suggest that Baldwin ever made such an offer to Balian. As with many of the historical inaccuracies listed in this section, this fictional plot line was most likely created so as to enhance characterization. As the protagonist, Balian is a fundamentally honorable man, and nowhere is that more in evidence than in his refusal to adopt this plan due to its dishonorable connotations. Again, an alteration of history has been made for narrative expediency and the purposes of characterization.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the Director's Cut of the film, Baldwin V is crowned king after the death of Baldwin IV, and reigns for only a few weeks. In reality, Baldwin V was named co-king of Jerusalem by Baldwin IV in 1183 (one year before the movie begins) and they reigned together until 1185. The nine-year-old Baldwin V then reigned alone until 1186. Additionally, Baldwin V died of unknown causes in Acre in 1186; there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that he had leprosy or that his mother Sibylla euthanized him, as is seen in the film (something acknowledged by William Monahan in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD). As regards Sibylla's euthanizing of Baldwin, there can be little doubt that this came about so as to show the inherent strength and bravery of her character. In terms of the compression of the Baldwin IV/Baldwin V timeline, this was obviously the result of narrative practicality and a desire to avoid dragging the story out over too long a period.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>There is no evidence that Guy de Lusignan tried to have Balian murdered. On the contrary, after Sibylla chose Guy as her consort, Balian took up a position as Guy's chief advisor, although they were still divided on many matters and distrusted one another. Again, this plot was obviously created so as to enhance the inherent strength of Balian and to make him seem more heroic and indestructible in the face of his enemies.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>When the assassins attack Balian, they are wearing white surcoats with black crosses. This was the dress of the Teutonic Knights, an order not formally organized until 1198, over ten years after the time of the movie. This error can only be attributed to a lack of adequate research or carelessness on the part of the art department.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Although the film's depiction of Guy de Lusignan is accurate in many ways, towards the end of the film, his character becomes greatly divorced from the historical reality. Just prior to the Battle of Hattin a series of scenes imply that Guy blackmails Sibylla to make him her consort, sends assassins to kill Balian, orders Raynald to provoke Saladin into starting a war, and then kills Saladin's official messenger (<a href="/name/nm0757433/">Karim Saleh</a>), before personally calling for the army to be assembled and go on the offensive against Saladin. None of this is accurate. Firstly, Sibylla freely chose him as her consort (much to the chagrin of the court). Secondly, there is no evidence to suggest he hired anyone to kill Balian. Thirdly, although he and Raynald had worked together in the past to disrupt Saladin's caravans, Guy knew that now was not the time for war with Saladin, who could raise a much larger army than could the Christians, and there is evidence that Guy actually demanded Raynald cease provoking Saladin entirely. Fourthly, the scene where Guy kills the messenger and calls for war is entirely fictitious; no such event ever took place. In reality, Guy was as exasperated by Raynald's reckless behavior as had been Baldwin IV before him. Finally, Guy never went on the offensive against Saladin; the Christians stance in the Battle of Hattin was primarily defensive. The "inaccurate" depiction of Guy is discussed by Prof. <a href="/name/nm2145404/">Hamid Dabashi</a> in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD, and again, there is a simple reason for these discrepancies to exist in William Monahan's script; Guy is the ostensible villain of the piece and all of these scenes work well to that effect.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the film, Tiberias doesn't participate in the Battle of Hattin. In reality however, Raymond III of Tripoli was very much involved; indeed, he was one of the few Christians to survive. The film also has Balian avoid the battle by remaining behind in Jerusalem so as to strengthen its defenses. However, like Raymond, Balian did participate, and was captured by Saladin, as were Raynald and Guy. However, whilst Raynald was executed and Guy used as a figure of mockery (as is accurately depicted in the film), Balian was allowed to return to Jerusalem by Saladin, but only with the promise that he would never take up arms against Muslims again. Upon arriving back in the city however, the people pleaded with Balian to defend them from Saladin. Balian had intended to keep his word to his adversary, but the appeals of the people so moved him that he had a letter sent to Saladin explaining the situation and advising Saladin that he would fight in the upcoming battle. Admiring Balian's honor, Saladin gave Balian his permission to again bear arms. None of this is seen in the film, although it is discussed in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD. This part of the story was most likely omitted simply due to length, as to include it would make an already lengthy story even longer.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>During the siege scenes, the star and crescent are depicted as the symbols of Islam. However, these symbols were not adopted until the mid 15th century. In the late 12th century (the time of the film), most of the Arab armies would have carried black, green or white flags, and, ironically, the star and crescent would have been recognized as a Christian symbol. Again, this error seems likely to have occurred primarily due to either carelessness or inadequate research on the part of the art department.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>During the siege, the Muslim army is shown using flaming arrows. As is explained in the <a href="/title/tt0602022/">Kingdom of Heaven (2005)</a> documentary, armies didn't use flaming arrows in siege situations because they were so ineffective; they would often be blown out by the high winds in the desert, and if they hit the mortar walls they would accomplish nothing. This mistake could be attributed to either a lack of research or a conscious choice on the part of filmmakers, insofar as they may have decided to use flaming arrows simply for aesthetic effect.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>In the film, Balian knights every male who can carry a sword. Historical accounts however suggest that he only knighted the burgesses; probably less than a hundred people in a city which had tens of thousands of male inhabitants. This mistake could either be due to a lack of research or a conscious choice in an effort to create a dramatic moment in the narrative.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Another aspect of the film which was particularly targeted by historians as being inaccurate is the depiction of the unnamed character of Patriarch Eraclius. In the film, Eraclius is presented as an amoral hypocrite, concerned only with himself and totally indifferent to the plight of the people. He is also seen to be in constant conflict with Balian. In reality however, many historians argue that it was Eraclius who ultimately convinced Balian to lead the defense of Jerusalem after Guy de Lusignan was defeated by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin. It was also Eraclius who advised Balian to come to terms with Saladin rather than fight to the death after the walls of the city were breached, as he felt fighting an unwinnable battle would needlessly condemn the city's women and children to death. Balian negotiated with Saladin that anyone who could pay a ransom could freely leave the city, and Eraclius and Balian organized, and contributed to, a collection of 30,000 dinars to ransom the poorer citizens. This paid the ransoms for about 18,000 people, but there were approximately 33,000 inhabitants in all. Eraclius and Balian both offered themselves as high profile hostages in exchange for the safe passage of the rest of the people, but Saladin refused, and the remaining citizens were enslaved. None of this is depicted in the movie. Saladin's secretary, Imad al-Din al-Isfahani, claimed in al-Wafi bi'l-wafayat that Eraclius stripped the gold reliquaries from the churches on the Temple Mount, and carried away cartloads of treasure for himself prior to the surrender of the city. Similarly, William of Tyre gave an entirely negative account of Eraclius in his Old French Continuation. However Tyre and Eraclius were staunch opponents, and recent scholarship has suggested that Tyre's account is extremely biased and oftentimes inaccurate (for example, Tyre claims that Eraclius excommunicated him in 1183; something which never happened). Writer William Monahan specifically addresses the film's depiction of Eraclius on his commentary track on the DVD, arguing that the representation of the character is based upon the work of Tyre and al-Isfahani, work which is historically accurate. Scholarship however, is nowhere near agreement as regards the actual historical veracity of the accounts of either Tyre or al-Isfahani.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Although the film is accurate in its depiction of Balian personally negotiating the surrender of Jerusalem with Saladin, as well as its allusion to his threat to destroy every building and kill every Muslim inhabitant, it is inaccurate in its depiction of Saladin's terms. In the film, he grants every single Christian inhabitant free passage from the city, but in reality, as is discussed in the <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a> featurette on the 4-Disc DVD, whilst he did allow Balian and his family to leave in peace, he demanded a ransom for everyone else (10 dinars per male and 5 per female). Anyone who could afford the ransom could leave, and Saladin gave the people 50 days to try to raise the money. After the time was up, if people couldn't afford to pay, they were sold into slavery, something which is not shown, or mentioned, in the film. Interestingly, in his DVD commentary track, director Ridley Scott claims that Saladin actually used some of his own money to ensure the poorer inhabitants of the city could attain freedom. This claim is not based upon any historical evidence, and is not even mentioned in the work of William of Tyre or Imad al-Din al-Isfahani. Indeed, even the <a href="/title/tt1283925/">MovieReal: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)</a> documentary on the 2-disc DVD outlines the ransom situation and makes no mention of this supposed benevolence on Saladin's part. This inaccuracy is obviously another choice on the part of William Monahan so as to enhance the depiction of a character. By having Saladin grant everyone free passage rather than only those who could afford it, his altruism and humanitarianism are highlighted, and the character becomes more benevolent in the eyes of the audience.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Guy de Lusignan and Balian of Ibelin never fought a duel, as is depicted in the Director's Cut of the film. In reality, after Guy was released by Saladin in 1188, he reunited with Sibylla and they fled to the only remaining Christian stronghold in the Middle East, Tyre. Conrad of Montferrat however, ruler of Tyre, refused them entry to the city. Sibylla subsequently died in 1190, during the Siege of Acre, at which time Guy returned to Tyre. In 1192, he lost an election to Conrad for leadership of the city, and Richard I of England, his only supporter, granted him the lordship of Cyprus, where he died in 1194. As editor <a href="/name/nm0233827/">Dody Dorn</a> discusses in her DVD commentary track, this scene was created because it was felt necessary to have a showdown between the hero and the villain, as in classic Hollywood narrative.</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>Balian did not return to France with Sibylla after the fall of Jerusalem. As mentioned above, she reunited with Guy de Lusignan and ultimately died of fever in camp during the Siege of Acre in 1190. As for Balian, he joined his wife and children in Tripoli, ultimately becoming military advisor to Henry II of Champagne, and returning to Jerusalem in 1192, where he fought for Richard I in the Battle of Jaffa, and subsequently negotiated the Treaty of Ramla (the uneasy truce referred to in the film's closing legend). This is in contradistinction to the end of the movie, which has Balian meet King Richard (<a href="/name/nm0322513/">Iain Glen</a>) in France, only to turn down his request to return to Jerusalem. This fictionalized conclusion to the story seems likely to be the result of the desire to give the movie a happy ending of sorts. Balian (the hero) cannot save the city, but he does get the girl and he does find inner peace. As such, it is another example of an alteration of history in an attempt to enhance the narrative and the presentation of the characters within that narrative.</li></ul> Both the original R1 US 2-disc Special Edition DVD released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in 2005, and the R2 UK 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (UK) in 2005, contain the following special features:<br/><br/>• A feature-length text commentary entitled "The Pilgrim's Guide", containing historical information.<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0496468/">'Kingdom of Heaven': Interactive Production Grid (2005)</a>: an 84-minute making-of documentary which can be watched in a number of different orders.<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0602022/">Kingdom of Heaven (2005)</a>: a 43-minute featurette looking at the real life events upon which the film is based.<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt1283925/">MovieReal: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)</a>: a 44-minute featurette looking at why the film changed certain aspects of history and why it kept others.<br/><br/>• 4 Webisodes running a total of 9 minutes, which deal with various aspects of the production: "Ridley Scott: Creating Worlds" (a look at the work of director <a href="/name/nm0000631/">Ridley Scott</a>); "Orlando Bloom: The Adventure of a Lifetime" (actor <a href="/name/nm0089217/">Orlando Bloom</a> discusses the character of Balian); "Production Design: Bringing an Old City to Life" (a look at the work of production designer <a href="/name/nm0561480/">Arthur Max</a>); "Costume Design: Creating Character through Wardrobe" (a look at the work of costume designer <a href="/name/nm0946765/">Janty Yates</a>).<br/><br/>• US theatrical trailer<br/><br/>• Both the R1 US 4-disc Director's Cut DVD released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in 2006, and the R2 UK 4-Disc Director's Cut, released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (UK) in 2006, contain the following special features:<br/><br/>• An introduction to the film by director <a href="/name/nm0000631/">Ridley Scott</a>.<br/><br/>• A feature-length audio commentary with director Ridley Scott and screenwriter <a href="/name/nm1184258/">William Monahan</a>.<br/><br/>• A feature-length audio commentary with executive producer <a href="/name/nm0255353/">Lisa Ellzey</a>, visual effects supervisor <a href="/name/nm0786609/">Wesley Sewell</a> and first assistant director <a href="/name/nm0814114/">Adam Somner</a>.<br/><br/>• A feature-length audio commentary with editor <a href="/name/nm0233827/">Dody Dorn</a>.<br/><br/>• A feature-length text commentary entitled "The Engineer's Guide", containing behind-the-scenes information and trivia about the making of the film.<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815476/">The Path to Redemption (2006)</a>: a 163-minute making-of documentary.<br/><br/>• A text overview of how director Ridley Scott and screenwriter William Monahan came to make the film.<br/><br/>• Complete second draft screenplay by William Monahan.<br/><br/>• Story notes made by director Ridley Scott and executive producer <a href="/name/nm0255353/">Lisa Ellzey</a> after reading <a href="/name/nm1184258/">William Monahan</a>'s script.<br/><br/>• A gallery of location scout stills<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt1286565/">Kingdom of Heaven: Cast Rehearsals (2006)</a>: a 13-minute look at the principal cast rehearsing for their roles in the film.<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815448/">Colors of the Crusade (2006)</a>: a 32-minute look at the creation of the costumes and armaments for the film.<br/><br/>• A gallery of costume design stills<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815477/">Kingdom of Heaven: Production Design Primer (2006)</a>: a 7-minute look at the production design on the film.<br/><br/>• A gallery of production design stills<br/><br/>• A gallery of "Ridleygrams" (similar to storyboards)<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815449/">Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak (2006)</a>: a 27-minute featurette looking at the real historical events portrayed in the film and the accuracy (or lack thereof) of that portrayal.<br/><br/>• A gallery of storyboards from Spain<br/><br/>• A gallery of behind-the-scenes stills from Spain<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815483/">Unholy War: Mounting the Siege (2006)</a>: a 17-minute look at the shooting of the siege of Jerusalem.<br/><br/>• A gallery of storyboards from Morocco<br/><br/>• A gallery of behind-the-scene stills from Morocco<br/><br/>• Fifteen deleted scenes, with optional audio commentary by director Ridley Scott and editor <a href="/name/nm0233827/">Dody Dorn</a> (see below for more information on these scenes).<br/><br/>• An interactive multi-audio sound design suite<br/><br/>• 4 visual effects vignettes ("The Burning Man: Fire Effects and Fire Replacement", "Building Jerusalem: Digital Matte Paintings and 3D Modeling", "Casualties of War: Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Warriors", "Medieval Engines: The Physics and Firepower of Trebuchets")<br/><br/>• 4 theatrical trailers<br/><br/>• 56 TV spots<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt1286812/">Kingdom of Heaven: Press Junket Walkthrough (2006)</a>: a 6-minute look behind the scenes at the film's press junket.<br/><br/>• "World Premiers"; a 3-minute look at three world premiers for the film (London, New York and Tokyo).<br/><br/>• A gallery of promotional images<br/><br/>• A gallery of posters<br/><br/>• <a href="/title/tt0815475/">Paradise Found: Creating the Director's Cut (2006)</a>: a 9-minute look at the creation of the Director's Cut. There are 15 deleted scenes on the 4-Disc Director's Cut DVD:<br/><br/>1. "Gluttony": During the dinner with Godfrey's brother (<a href="/name/nm0700059/">Robert Pugh</a>), there is a short scene of the Priest (<a href="/name/nm0790688/">Michael Sheen</a>) shoveling a huge amount of food onto his plate.<br/><br/>2. "Starting Over": The morning after the arrival of the Crusaders, there is a scene where Balian awakes and walks over to a rope hanging from the ceiling; presumably used by his wife (<a href="/name/nm1812523/">Nathalie Cox</a>) to hang herself. Balian unties the rope and lets it fall to the floor.<br/><br/>3. "Healing": Prior to the scene in camp where the crusaders are attacked by Godfrey's nephew (<a href="/name/nm0182666/">Nikolaj Coster-Waldau</a>), there is a scene where Firuz (<a href="/name/nm0248254/">Eriq Ebouaney</a>) heals Balian's injured hand, whilst the Hospitaler (<a href="/name/nm0000667/">David Thewlis</a>) talks to him about opiates. They then see a shooting star and the Hospitaler suggests that perhaps it means Jerusalem has fallen. Balian looks at Godfrey, who smiles reassuringly at him.<br/><br/>4. "A New World": After arriving at Messina, there is a new scene in the hospital where Godfrey orders that Balian be dressed as his squire. After that, the Hospitaler tells Balian that Godfrey has no chance of survival. Balian goes and sits by Godfrey's bed, and the dialogue is initially the same as in the Director's Cut, but after Godfrey tells Balian he must serve Baldwin IV, there is an additional scene where he gives Balian an orange and tells him that it is the taste of the east.<br/><br/>5. "Golgotha": As he ascends Golgotha in Jerusalem, there is a new scene where a peasant tries to sell Balian a crucifix. Balian buys it and is walking away when a group of children block his path, in an attempt to mug him. He throws a gold coin into the air, and the children and peasant all begin to squabble for it, leaving him free to walk away. He crosses a rocky patch of ground where Muslims are praying, and near the summit of the hill, he finds a small building with a wooden door. He tries to open the door, but a Muslim man shouts at him and turns him away. Then, as Balian looks at his wife's crucifix at nighttime, there is a brief flashback to the crucifix on his dead wife's neck and on his brother's neck in the furnace. The following morning, Balian awakes on the hillside and buries the crucifix (as in the Director's Cut). He then spends some time looking at a huge tree, and the line, "How can you be in hell, when you are in my heart" is spoken directly (in the film, it is a voice-over). As he leaves, he looks back and says "Goodbye."<br/><br/>6. "Godfrey's House": After meeting Almaric (<a href="/name/nm0867677/">Velibor Topic</a>), there is a new scene where Balian arrives at Godfrey's house in Jerusalem and wanders around the courtyard.<br/><br/>7. "The Penitent Man": As Balian rides to Ibelin, there is a new voice-over from Tiberias explaining how Baldwin welcomes all denominations to Jerusalem and therefore, Balian must protect all denominations on the road. As they ride, Balian encounters an old man crawling along the side of the road. He stops and looks at the man, but says nothing.<br/><br/>8. "The Penitent Man II": Later that night, in Ibelin, as Balian looks out over the landscape, he again sees the man crawling across the desert.<br/><br/>9. "Massacre": After Guy de Lusignan and Raynald de Chatillon attack the Saracen caravan, there is a scene of Balian, Almaric and the Young Sergeant (<a href="/name/nm0787237/">Michael Shaeffer</a>) surveying the devastation. They find a wounded horse and Balian orders Almaric to kill it. The Young Sergeant then finds the body of a Templar under the sand, which reveals that Raynald was the attacker. Sibylla then arrives and points out that Raynald couldn't have been acting alone.<br/><br/>10. "Walking the Ramparts": After the Battle of Kerak, Balian meets a woman in Jerusalem who resembles his wife. He then discusses his plans with Almaric. After Balian sees Guy return to the city, there is a short scene as Guy enters the gate accompanied by his Templars.<br/><br/>11. "The Boy's Coronation": Prior to his coronation, there is a short scene of Baldwin V playing with his mother in a garden. The coronation scene itself is extended, and we hear Baldwin take his oath to protect Jerusalem and honor the memory of Baldwin IV. We also see him being crowned in more detail and having a ring placed on his finger. He then takes his throne and there are additional shots of the crowd, Tiberias and the Hospitaler.<br/><br/>12. "Rape": After capturing the caravan with Saladin's sister (<a href="/name/nm0264857/">Giannina Facio</a>), Raynald's men set fire to the caravans and rape a Muslim woman.<br/><br/>13. "Husband and Wife": After the death of her son, Guy comes to see Sibylla in the crypt. He tells her that Balian is dead and says she should have poisoned him, not her own son. She tells him that Saladin will kill him.<br/><br/>14. "Obstruction and Salvation": After the departure of the army for the Battle of Hattin, Balian arrives back in Jerusalem with his men. He is confronted by Patriarch Eraclius, who orders the Templars to kill him. However, Balian is able to kill the Templar Master (<a href="/name/nm0860947/">Ulrich Thomsen</a>) first, and a fight breaks out between the Templars and Balian's men. Most of the Templars are killed, and there is then an alternate take of the scene between Balian and Sibylla in the crypt, where he arrives with Almaric (in the film he arrives alone). The dialogue between the two is also slightly different.<br/><br/>15. "Hattin Aftermath": After the Battle of Hattin, there is a scene where Saladin and Imad (<a href="/name/nm0796502/">Alexander Siddig</a>) survey the destruction. Saladin orders all the surviving Templars be killed. Imad doesn't think this is a good idea, as it will promote ill will towards Muslims, but Saladin says that fanatics cannot be reasoned with, and hence they must be executed. As Ridley Scott explains in the introduction to the Director's Cut, he was disappointed with the theatrical cut of the film. In order to appeal to a broader audience, the studio ordered the removal of about 50 minutes of material, including the entire subplot of Sibylla's son. This material was restored for the Director's Cut. Yes. For the original US edition and the UK edition, the only special feature was the theatrical trailer, and each contained the Director's Cut only. However, the US Ultimate Edition, released in 2014, and UK Ultimate Limited Edition, released in 2015, include the Theatrical Cut, Director's Cut and Director's Roadshow Cut, as well as all of the special features from both the 2-disc and the 4-disc sets and a new commentary track recorded by Orlando Bloom. The US release is Region A locked, but the UK release is region free.
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