[[quoteright:232:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/first-knight-movie-poster_2053.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:240:[[ArthurianLegend Arthurian]] LoveTriangle : The Poster.]]-]

A 1995 film that reinterprets Arthurian legend, directed by [[{{Film/Ghost}} Jerry Zucker]]. The soundtrack is by Music/JerryGoldsmith.

KingArthur (SeanConnery) has spent his entire life bringing justice to the land and wants more than anything else to marry Guinevere and enjoy a peaceful retirement. Despite genuinely caring for him, Guinevere (Julia Ormond) feels it to be her duty to marry him, and its clear that she has a problem with letting obligation make her decisions for her, instead of her heart. Lancelot (Creator/RichardGere) is a wandering swordsman, making as few ties as possible because his family and village were destroyed in the wars. When these three collide, will they save Camelot from its latest threat or doom it?

-----

!!This film provides examples of:

* AdaptationalHeroism: Sir Agravaine is a good guy here, the most prominent of the other Round Table knights.
* AdaptedOut: Usual Arthurian villains Mordred and Morgan le Fay. The villain Prince Malagant is derived from ChretienDeTroyes' Maleagant.
* ArrowsOnFire: King Arthur's troops make use of these. Interestingly, the arrows appeared to use something like magnesium as the flammable agent, which, at least, [[RuleOfCool looked cool]].
* AnnoyingArrows: Averted. Malagant's mini-crossbows are quite fatal.
* TheBigDamnKiss: Arthur and Guinevere after she's rescued from Malagant [[spoiler: and just before he dies]] and Lancelot and Guinevere as he prepares to leave Camelot.
* BigNo: Lancelot when he sees the barricaded church and fears the inhabitants have been murdered, Guinevere as Arthur is fatally wounded during the battle with Malagant.
* BittersweetEnding: Arthur dies, but not before forgiving Lancelot and Guinevere and giving them his blessing, knowing that she and Camelot will be safe in his care.
* BlatantLies: Guinevere tells Lancelot, "I don't love you", while trying so hard to avoid making eye contact with him that she practically turns her back to him.
* BrokenPedestal: The young man who befriends Lancelot, given the disgusted and angry look on his face during his public trial for treason. Arthur also, citing how he loved Lancelot like a son and was infinitely grateful to him for saving Guinevere's life, only to have it turn out he was pursuing her.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Guinevere spends the entire film resisting her attraction to Lancelot. The moment she gives in to give him a passionate goodbye kiss, assuming that she'll never see him again, Arthur walks in on them and everything falls apart--they're arrested and tried for treason, Malagant stages an invasion, and Arthur is killed.
* CaughtInTheRain: Lancelot and Guinevere, after he rescues her from Malagant.
* CharacterDevelopment: Lancelot, as cited below. Goes from being a devil-may-care drifter to someone willing to give up the woman he loves rather than destroy her marriage in order to have her, then willing to give his life for her several times (rescuing her from kidnappers, taking the full blame for their betrayal of Arthur)
* ChekhovsSkill: Lancelot's BladeSpam-and-disarm technique shown at the start of the film is seen again in the final battle. Though he grabbed Arthur's own sword the second time, so it might seem magical when it's really this trope.
* DamselInDistress: Guinevere, pretty much for the entirety of the film, though she does put up a good fight during both of her abductions, showing herself to be tougher than most examples of this trope.
* DeathByIrony: Malagant covets Arthur's throne and dies sitting on it.
* DeathCourse: Lancelot runs through a gauntlet (without the provided protective gear) to win a kiss from Guinevere.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: Arthur dies in the end, leaving Guinevere and Lancelot free to be together.
* {{Demythtification}}: While it's still very much a medieval-style fantasy and no real-world places like Britain (or England) are ever mentioned, there is no Merlin, Morgan le Fay or any other magic elements from the legends. Arthur's sword, while shiny, is not said to be "{{Excalibur}}".
* DiesWideOpen: Malagant and Arthur.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Malagant ripping off Guinevere's dress. He doesn't rape her--only seconds earlier, he was blasting one of his men for her disheveled state, saying, "I gave orders the lady was not to be harmed!"--but he clearly wants to degrade her and put the fear of that possibility into her.
* FireForgedFriends: When Arthur proposes to make Lancelot a knight of the Round Table, the other knights are suspicious of him because he's a vagabond. They start respecting him after he proves himself in battle.
* FollowTheLeader: After ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' brought medieval epics back in a big way.
* FreudianExcuse: Lancelot reveals that his parents were killed in a village attack, thus explaining (a) his BerserkButton-like reaction to such incidents, and (b) his devil-may-care attitude towards life--he's afraid to lose anyone he cares about, so he doesn't permit himself to care about anyone in the first place.
* GiveMeASword: From one of Arthur's knights to another during the final melee.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Camelot is so very blue while [[EvilWearsBlack Malagant uses black]].
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Helmets are only widely worn in the penultimate battle scene, otherwise nobody does. After being knighted, Lancelot gets a helmet for that battle, but takes it off. Arthur and Malagant never wear helmets.
* HeroicBSOD: Arthur after walking in on Lancelot and Guinevere kissing, which gets kicked UpToEleven when he forces her to admit that she loves him. See MyGodWhatHaveIDone, about the moment Arthur becomes aware he made a mistake to try Guinevere and Lancelot publicly. Even if it is only for a few seconds, he seems quite lost.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Arthur insists on trying Guinevere and Lancelot in public and inviting the entire city, leaving himself vulnerable to Malagant's invasion. On the other hand, Malagant relishes the chance to humiliate Arthur in front of the entire kingdom, only to have to contend with the infuriated populace when Arthur rallies them to fight back.
* HonorBeforeReason: After catching Lancelot and Guinevere in an embrace, Arthur bluntly declares, "As a man, I may forgive. As a king. . .", then declares that two will be tried for treason, in public, lest the people think that he is showing favoritism or leniency that he would never have extended to anyone else, though one can't help but wonder if he also wants to publicly humiliate them for their betrayal.
* IGaveMyWord: Her exact words as Guinevere tells Lancelot that she already promised to marry Arthur.
* ISurrenderSuckers: Rare heroic example; as Arthur gets down on one knee, he commands his city...to '''fight'''!
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Arthur offers to release Guinevere from their engagement, telling her that he will protect her kingdom regardless. She refuses and reaffirms her love for him. Later, Lancelot decides to stop pursuing Guinevere and leave Camelot so as not to undermine it or her marriage.
* KneelBeforeZod: Malagant demands that Arthur kneel before him. Arthur does so, only to rise and order his people to fight to the end.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Guinevere has this reaction to Lancelot.
* MatchCut: When Arthur discovers Guinevere's affair with Lancelot, the scene ends with Arthur's left eye dissolving into the fire of the next scene.
* MayDecemberRomance: Arthur is 35 years older than Guinevere, though such age differences were probably quite common in those days.
* MeaningfulEcho: Lancelot kisses Guinevere after rescuing her and swears that before she's married, she'll ask him to kiss her again. She doesn't before her wedding, but as he prepares to leave Camelot, states, "I'm asking you", essentially telling him that she returns his feelings.
** The scar on Arthur's hand. As he and Guinevere discuss the injury (a hunting accident), it becomes obvious that this is the moment they fell in love. At his funeral, just before his body is set adrift, she kisses it, bidding him farewell.
** In that same scene, Arthur talks about feeling "the sunlight across his face", representing true love. Just before he dies, he tells her that he feels it, letting her know that he forgives her and believes that she does love him.
* MeaningfulName: The villain is named Prince Malagant. It's hard not to notice how similar that is to the word ''"malignant"''.
** Although to be fair, "Maleagant" has appeared in Arthurian legend since the late 12th century.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: During the final public trial, Arthur understands he shouldn't have requested it, after Lancelot explains that he is ready for sacrifice, for the sake of Camelot and his King :
-->'''Arthur:''' May God forgive me.
* NiceToTheWaiter: At the beginning of the film, as Guinevere greets the villagers routed from their homes during a attack, she refuses their attempt at kneeling to her in deference, citing the terrible ordeal they've been through. Later, during the first attempt at kidnapping her, she urges her maids to leave her behind, knowing that it's her the attackers want and not wanting to place them in danger. When she's rescued, her first query is as to their safety.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Should go without saying for SeanConnery, but this totally applies to Richard Gere.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Malagant was said to have been the greatest of Arthur's knights before he rebelled against him.
* PlummetPerspective: When the evil knight Malagant imprisons Guinevere above the oubliette, he tosses a torch in to hint at her fate should she try to escape. The light of the torch disappears into the gloom... but we never hear it hit the ground.
* RapunzelHair: Guinevere
* RecycledTrailerMusic: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO1_r6slUlk The theatrical trailer]] uses [[Music/BasilPoledouris "Riders of Doom"]] from ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982''.
* RejectionAffection: Guinevere repeatedly rebuffs Lancelot's advances, which he dismisses. . .only for her to finally admit to her feelings just as he's preparing to leave.
* RescueRomance: Guinevere is clearly attracted to Lancelot the moment he first rescues her from would-be kidnappers. Him saving her the second time pretty much seals the deal on her feelings for him.
* TheSocialDarwinist: Malagant constantly gives speeches about how "the strong rule the weak".
* SexySoakedShirt: Lancelot and Guinevere after he saves her for a second time.
* StandardHeroReward: The end has the mortally wounded King Arthur inexplicably hand over the royal sword and rulership of Camelot to Sir Lancelot who, before then, was a roving entertainer who fought people in town squares for money. Earlier on, Arthur had knighted Lancelot for rescuing Guinevere over Lancelot's (and the Round Table Knights') protestations. So he gives his Kingdom (and his soon-to-be widow) over to somebody who he barely knows, who had fallen in love with his wife, and who has no desire or ability to rule.
** As the film progresses, we see Lancelot's development. Towards the end, after a major battle, he decides to leave Camelot because he finally understands what it means and does not wish to destroy it by continuing to pursue Arthur's wife. Additionally, his insistence on taking the blame and willingness to sacrifice himself for Guinevere's sake demonstrates to Arthur how much he genuinely loves and respects all three, despite his previous actions.
* TakeUpMySword: As Arthur is mortally wounded, he drops his sword. Lancelot uses it to defeat Malagant at the climax of the final battle. Later Arthur does pass on his sword, Camelot and Guinevere to Lancelot.
* TailorMadePrison: Malagant lowers a bridge, marches Guinevere over to a ledge, then raises the bridge, trapping her within "walls of air."
* TrailOfBreadCrumbs: Guinevere leaves a strip of cloth from her dress as a clue for Lancelot to follow.
* UnusualEuphemism: Arthur asks Guinevere "have you. . .given yourself to him?" regarding Lancelot. This was probably the term used in those days, but the long pause makes it seems as though he's using the words to substitute for something else.
* VikingFuneral: Given to Arthur at the end, but his body is first set adrift as a nod to the traditional legend.
* WeHaveReserves: Malagant sacrifices a wave of soldiers just so Guinevere's guards are out of position when the second wave hits. Sir Agravaine is shocked and disturbed by the fact the second wave could just stand there and watch them die.
* WhiteStallion: Guinevere, Lady of Leonesse and Queen of Camelot, is the only rider whose horse is white.
* WifeHusbandry: Arthur and Guinevere. It's mentioned that he was a friend of her father's, which means he had to have known her since she was a child--and the way she talks about him makes it clear that she's loved him since then.

----