Part 102 - Maille & Hollywood IV

by Lord Thomas the Black


Maille & Hollywood IV

            Welcome back to another edition of Blackmaille! Grab your popcorn and find your seats, because Blackmaille's going back to the movies!

            This month, it seemed like the pickings were getting kind of slim. After three other articles like this, each featuring 7-10 movies, I seem to be running short on movies involving the Middle Ages (or at least running out of those that I can find on Netflix or in the local video store!) Still, I was able to scrape together a reasonable batch for this month. If any of my readers has a particular favorite they'd like to see reviewed here in a future article, please email me at: , and if I can find it, I'll review it! Anyway, on with the show...

The movies I'll be reviewing this month are:

            The Seventh Seal (1957)

            Becket (1964)

            The Lion in Winter (1964)

            The Lion in Winter (2003)

            Conan the Barbarian (1981)

            Conan the Destroyer (1984)

            A Knight's Tale (2001)

            Gladiator (2000)







The Seventh Seal (1957): Max von Sydow plays a medieval knight returning from the crusades who, upon meeting Death on the seashore, challenges him to a game of chess. A powerful meditation on the existence of God and the meaning of life, this drama is one of Ingmar Bergamn's best films. Maille is knit-maille throughout (par for the course in this era), but looks very good. Almost like real maille in some scenes!







Becket (1964)  Peter O'Toole plays King Henry II, faced off against my namesake, Thomas A' Becket (Richard Burton) in one of history's most famous Royal missteps. This Oscar-nominated classic is a powerful statement on the weight of words, and should (in my opinion) be required viewing for all SCA royalty. Maille  is only seen occasionally, and is knit-maille.





The Lion in Winter (1964)  Peter O'Toole again portrays Henry II, this time near the end of his reign, as he maneuvers to place his favorite son on the throne, against the political machinations of his queen (Katherine Hepburn). Another classic film, and one of my personal favorites. Knit-maille throughout, but doesn't distract from the film.







The Lion in Winter (2003)  A remake of the 1964 film, starring  Patrick Stewart and Glen Close. Not as good (in my opinion) as the original. Maille looks decent on the French soldiers, but the English are wearing knit-maille. This is inexcusable in a 2003 movie, and particularly unforgivable in close-ups. Entire movie seems unnecessary and phoned-in. Some movies just don't need a remake. Leave the classics alone.






Conan the Barbarian (1981)   Despite being set in Robert E. Howard's “Hyborian Age” (roughly 13000+ years before even the earliest known maille), “Conan the Barbarian” actually features maille on some of the snake-cult's warriors (early in the film), and on Conan himself (briefly). Some of it looks like real maille, while some of it looks like pop-tabs strung together.







Conan the Destroyer (1984)  The sequel to “Conan the Barbarian”, “Conan the Destroyer” doesn't feature near as much maille as its predecessor, but what there is looks like real maille, and less like pop-tabs. Still a bad movie, though. One of my top picks if they ever start doing “Mystery Science Theater 1000”.






A Knight's Tale (2001)  An English commoner dons the jousting armor of a dead knight and, with the help of his friends, competes against nobles in 14th C France. The focus is on jousting, so there's not much maille, but what there is, is very well done. Definitely real maille, and possibly even riveted!







Gladiator (2000)  One of my favorite films, next to “Kingdom of Heaven”, “Gladiator” tells the tale of Maximus, one of the leading generals in Emperor Marcus Aurelius' legions, who is betrayed by the heir to Aurelius' throne, and is forced to fight as a gladiator until he can exact his revenge. “Gladiator” plays fast and loose with history (as most Hollyweird epics do), but the maille featured thoughout is the real thing, and looks great. No knit-maille here!

             So there you have it: another batch of movies reviewed. Your local video store should have most, if not all, of these films, and if not, Netflix is well worth the monthly cost. In the meantime, thanks for joining us for another month! As usual, any questions, comments, fan mail or hate mail can (and should) be sent to me at:

                                    Thomas Beckett
                                    13628 Belmead Ave
                                    Grandview, Mo 64030

Or you can email me at

            See you next month!


Back to the Blackmaille Webpage

Back to the Cm an Iolair Information Webpage


Articles: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013  Thomas Becket/Lord Thomas the Black
e-mail questions & comments to:

Hosting: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013  Ron Knight/Modar Neznanich