Black Knight (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gil Junger|
|Produced by||Arnon Milchan
Darryl J. Quarles
|Written by||Darryl J. Quarles
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Editing by||Michael R. Miller|
The Firm, Inc.
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Black Knight is a 2001 American comedy film starring Martin Lawrence. The film was directed by Gil Junger, whose experience was primarily with television sitcoms. In addition to Lawrence, Black Knight had a supporting cast of Marsha Thomason, Tom Wilkinson, Vincent Regan, and Kevin Conway.
The film was released in November 2001 and went on to gross $39,976,235 at the worldwide box office. The film was shot at various locations in North Carolina. The two prime spots used in North Carolina were Wilmington, North Carolina and Carolina Beach, NC.
Jamal Walker (Martin Lawrence) is an everyday slacker with a job at a crummy theme park called Medieval World, which is about to receive big competition from another theme park, Castle World. While cleaning a moat surrounding the park, he finds a medallion in the moat and when he tries to retrieve it he gets sucked into the past. He awakes in an alternate universe version of England, 1328, where he is first met by a drunkard named Knolte. He then searches for Medieval World, but he finds a castle that he thinks is Castle World, so he decides to check it out. The tenants of the castle believe him to be a French Moor, from Normandy, because he tells them he is from Florence and Normandie, a famous intersection in South Central Los Angeles.
Jamal is soon taken in by the reigning king, King Leo (Kevin Conway). He is assumed to be a messenger from Normandy who the king believes to be bringing news of an alliance between England and Normandy. Although at first Jamal thinks that all the people around him are just actors in a theme park he changes his mind when he witnesses a beheading. He gives his name as Jamal "Sky" Walker after his high school basketball nickname, and, after gaining trust from the king by accidentally preventing his assassination, Jamal is made a lord and head of security. While all of this is going on, Jamal finds out about the ruthless way the king came to power by overthrowing the former queen. He learns from Victoria (Marsha Thomason), a chambermaid, and Sir Knolte (Tom Wilkinson), a former knight of the queen who has become an alcoholic and whom he met when he first awoke there. Through their help and his own realization of the situation, Jamal soon understands he must help overthrow King Leo and help restore the queen to her throne. He manages to convince decimated rebels to gather their forces and overthrow the king.
After the Queen's reign is restored, Jamal is knighted by her and during the dubbing he awakes back at Medieval World surrounded by his co-workers and a medical team who saved him from drowning in the moat. After being saved Jamal's whole attitude changes and he helps his boss to make Medieval World better so that Castle World will not run them out of business. Later on, Jamal takes a walk around the new Medieval World and he meets a woman named Nicole (Marsha Thomason) who looks just like Victoria. They talk a little and he asks her out to lunch. Unfortunately, Jamal forgets to get Nicole's number and when he tries to catch up to her, he accidentally falls back into the moat, and wakes up in Ancient Rome, where he is about to be devoured by lions.
- Martin Lawrence as Jamal Walker/"Skywalker"
- Marsha Thomason as Victoria the Chambermaid/Nicole
- Tom Wilkinson as Sir Knolte of Marlborough
- Kevin Conway as King Leo
- Vincent Regan as Percival
- Daryl Mitchell as Steve
- Michael Countryman as Phillip
- Jeannette Weegar as Princess Regina
- Erik Jensen as Derek
- Dikran Tulaine as Dennis
- Helen Carey as The Queen
Critical reaction 
The film garnered mostly negative reviews, receiving a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, where the "critical consensus" was stated as "Black Knight feels like a lazily constructed movie, filled with lame gags and constant mugging from Lawrence."
Box office 
The film opened at #4 at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend with $11,102,948. Black Knight ultimately grossed $40 million worldwide, barely recouping its $50 million budget.
Awards and nominations 
Motion Picture Sound Editors 
- Nominated for Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Music - Feature Film, Domestic and Foreign
Similar stories 
The plot line of a modern individual being transported into the Middle Ages was used as the basis for Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. This theme has been used for several other films in the past, including:
- Fox's 1921 silent A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Fox's 1931 film A Connecticut Yankee, starring Will Rogers
- Paramount's 1949 musical film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, featuring Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming
- CBS-TV's 1952 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court starring Thomas Mitchell, Loretta Day
- Australian TV's 1970 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court starring Orson Bean, Barbara Llewellyn
- PBS-TV's 1978 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court starring Paul Rudd, Tovah Feldshuh
- Disney's 1979 Unidentified Flying Oddball (US title) / Spaceman and King Arthur (UK title), starring Kenneth More
- The 1979 Bugs Bunny special A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court, and a similar 1955 Bugs Bunny cartoon, Knight-mare Hare
- UK-TV's 1988 Jake's Journey starring Chris Young and Peter Cook
- NBC-TV's 1989 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, starring Keshia Knight Pulliam of The Cosby Show
- Disney's 1995 A Kid in King Arthur's Court, starring Thomas Ian Nicholas of American Pie
- Disney's (TV) 1998 A Knight in Camelot, starring Whoopi Goldberg
Also TV shows:
- Black Knight (2001). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Black Knight Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Weekend Box Office Results for November 23-25, 2001. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Hischak, Thomas S. (2012). American Literature on Stage and Screen. NC, USA: McFarland. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7864-6842-3.
- Official website
- Black Knight at the Internet Movie Database
- Black Knight at AllRovi
- Black Knight at Rotten Tomatoes
- Black Knight at Box Office Mojo
- Black Knight at Yahoo! Movies