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Kingdom of Heaven (film)

Kingdom of Heaven (film)

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Kingdom of Heaven is a 2005 epic
Epic film
An epic is a genre of film that emphasizes human drama on a grand scale. Epics are more ambitious in scope than other film genres, and their ambitious nature helps to differentiate them from similar genres such as the period piece or adventure film...

 action film
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

 directed by Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

 and written by William Monahan
William Monahan
William J. Monahan is an American screenwriter and novelist. His second produced screenplay was The Departed, a film which earned him a WGA award and an Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay.-Writer and editor:...

. It stars Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom
Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom is an English actor. He had his break-through roles in 2001 as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and starring in 2003 as blacksmith Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, and subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood...

, Eva Green
Eva Green
Eva Gaëlle Green is a French actress and model.Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in The Dreamers , which generated controversy over her numerous nude scenes. She achieved greater fame for her parts in Kingdom of Heaven , and in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for...

, Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

, David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis is an English actor of stage and screen. His most commercially successful role to date has been that of Remus Lupin, in the Harry Potter film series...

, Marton Csokas
Marton Csokas
-Early life:Csokas was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. His mother, a nurse, is of Irish and Danish descent; his Hungarian-born father, also named Márton Csókás, worked as a mechanical engineer...

, Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

, Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd is a Scottish television and film actor and director. Before playing the role of Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy, McKidd starred as Lucius Vorenus in the historical drama series Rome, and provided the voice of Captain John "Soap" Mactavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the sequel...

, Alexander Siddig
Alexander Siddig
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi is a Sudanese-born English actor, also known as Siddig El Fadil and his stage name Alexander Siddig. He is known for playing Dr...

, Ghassan Massoud
Ghassan Massoud
Ghassan Massoud is a Syrian actor and filmmaker. He is known in the West for playing the role of Muslim ruler Saladin in Ridley Scott's 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven....

, Edward Norton
Edward Norton
Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

, Jon Finch
Jon Finch
Jon Finch is an English actor noted for many Shakespearean roles. Perhaps his most notable role was the title role in Roman Polanski's 1971 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. His other famous role was as a down-and-out ex-RAF pilot wrongly accused of murder in Alfred Hitchcock's...

, Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen
Michael Christopher Sheen, OBE , is a Welsh stage and screen actor. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and made his professional debut opposite Vanessa Redgrave in When She Danced at the Globe Theatre in 1991...

 and Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards.He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Jean Valjean in Les...

.

The story is set during the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 of the 12th century. A French village blacksmith goes to aid the city of Jerusalem in its defense against the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 leader Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

, who is battling to reclaim the city from the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s leading to the Battle of Hattin
Battle of Hattin
The Battle of Hattin took place on Saturday, July 4, 1187, between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid dynasty....

. The film script is a heavily fictionalised portrayal of Balian of Ibelin
Balian of Ibelin
Balian of Ibelin was an important noble in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century.-Early life:Balian was the youngest son of Barisan of Ibelin, and brother of Hugh and Baldwin. His father, a knight in the County of Jaffa, had been rewarded with the lordship of Ibelin after the...

.

Most filming took place in Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate
-See also:* Tizi n'Tichka: The mountain pass that leads to Ouarzazate* List of Movies shot in Morocco-External links:* at IMDb...

 and Ait Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou is a 'fortified city', or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ounila River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately sustain damage during each...

 in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, where Scott had filmed Gladiator
Gladiator (2000 film)
Gladiator is a 2000 historical epic film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the loyal Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed...

and Black Hawk Down. A replica of medieval Jerusalem was constructed in the desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

. Filming also took place in Spain, at the Loarre Castle
Loarre castle
Loarre Castle is a fortress in Loarre, Spain. The complex was built largely during the 11th and 12th centuries, when its position on the frontier between Christian and Muslim lands gave it strategic importance. The first of the two major building programs began ca. 1020, when Sancho el Mayor ...

, Segovia
Segovia
Segovia is a city in Spain, the capital of Segovia Province in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is situated north of Madrid, 30 minutes by high speed train. The municipality counts some 55,500 inhabitants.-Etymology:...

, Ávila, Palma del Río
Palma del Río
Palma del Río is a city located in the province of Córdoba, Spain. According to the 2006 census , the city has a population of 20640 inhabitants. Spanish singer Antonio José and matador El Cordobes is from there.-External links:...

 and Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos
La Casa de Pilatos is an Andalusian palace in Seville, Spain, which serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. The building is a mixture of Renaissance Italian and Mudéjar Spanish styles...

 in Sevilla.

Plot


In a remote village in 1184 France, Balian
Balian of Ibelin
Balian of Ibelin was an important noble in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century.-Early life:Balian was the youngest son of Barisan of Ibelin, and brother of Hugh and Baldwin. His father, a knight in the County of Jaffa, had been rewarded with the lordship of Ibelin after the...

, a blacksmith, is haunted by his wife's recent suicide. A group of Crusaders
Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

 arrive; one of them introduces himself as Balian's father, Baron Godfrey of Ibelin
Ibelin
Ibelin was a castle in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century , which gave its name to an important family of nobles.-The castle:...

. Godfrey asks Balian to return with him to Jerusalem. Balian refuses and the Crusaders leave. The town priest, Balian's half-brother, reveals that he ordered Balian's wife beheaded before burial, a customary practice for people who commit suicide. Balian notices his brother wearing the cross that his wife wore before she was to be buried. In a fit of rage Balian kills his brother, retrieves the crucifix and flees the village. Balian pursues his father in the hope of gaining forgiveness and redemption for him and his wife in Jerusalem. After he reaches Godfrey, soldiers led by Godfrey's nephew arrive, ostensibly to arrest Balian. In reality, the nephew intends to assassinate Balian and Godfrey so that his father, and eventually he, may inherit Godfrey's barony. Godfrey refuses to surrender Balian. The nephew launches a sneak attack against Godfrey. The attack fails and Godfrey kills his nephew, but is struck by an arrow that breaks off in his body.

In Messina, Godfrey knights Balian and orders him to serve the King of Jerusalem and protect the helpless, before succumbing to his injuries. During Balian's journey to Jerusalem his ship runs aground in a storm, leaving Balian and a horse as the only survivors. When Balian releases the horse from the wreckage it flees in panic. Following the horse, Balian is confronted by a Muslim cavalier and his servant. A fight over the horse follows and Balian reluctantly slays the cavalier when attacked, but spares the servant, asking him to guide him to Jerusalem. Upon arriving, Balian gives the horse to the servant and releases him. The man tells him his slain master was an important knight amongst the Saracens; his deed will gain him fame and respect from them.

Balian becomes acquainted with Jerusalem's political arena: the leper
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 King Baldwin IV, Tiberias
Raymond III of Tripoli
Raymond III of Tripoli was Count of Tripoli from 1152 to 1187 and Prince of Galilee and Tiberias in right of his wife Eschiva.-Early life:...

 the Marshall of Jerusalem, the King's sister Princess Sibylla
Sibylla of Jerusalem
Sibylla of Jerusalem was the Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon from 1176 and Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. She was the eldest daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Agnes of Courtenay, sister of Baldwin IV and half-sister of Isabella I of Jerusalem, and mother of Baldwin V of Jerusalem...

, and her husband Guy de Lusignan, who supports the anti-Muslim activities of brutal factions like the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

. Guy intends to rule after Baldwin's death and seeks to provoke a war that will allow him to dispose of the Muslims and claim the Kingdom for the Christians.

Guy and his co-conspirator Raynald of Châtillon
Raynald of Chatillon
Raynald of Châtillon was a knight who served in the Second Crusade and remained in the Holy Land after its defeat...

 massacre a Muslim trade caravan with the aid of the Templars. Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

, leader of the Muslim forces, advances on Kerak
Siege of Kerak
The Siege of Kerak took place in 1183, with Saladin's forces attacking and being repelled from the Crusader stronghold.- Prelude :Kerak was the stronghold of Raynald of Châtillon, Lord of Oultrejordain, 124 km South of Amman. The fortress was built in 1142 by Pagan the Butler, Lord of Montreal...

, Raynald's castle, to punish him for his crime. Balian protects the villagers entering the castle from Saladin's cavalry, despite a request from Raynald to withdraw. Though outnumbered, Balian and his knights charge Saladin's cavalry, allowing the villagers time to flee. A fierce, but one-sided battle ensues in which Balian's knights are captured. In the enemy camp, Balian encounters the servant he freed, Imad ad-Din
Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani
Muhammad ibn Hamed Isfahani , more popularly known as Imad ad-din al-Isfahani , was a Persian historian, scholar, and rhetorician...

, learning he is actually Saladin's Chancellor, who releases Balian to enter Kerak. Saladin arrives with his army to besiege Kerak and King Baldwin IV approaches with his. They negotiate a Muslim retreat and Baldwin swears to punish Raynald. Baldwin confronts Raynald, forcing him onto his knees. As Raynald grovels for mercy, Baldwin beats him with his horse whip and forces Raynald to kiss his diseased hand. The exertion of these events cause Baldwin to collapse, weakened beyond recovery. Saladin assures his generals that he will reclaim Jerusalem, but only when he is confident of victory.

Baldwin asks Balian to marry Sibylla, knowing they have affection for each other, but Balian refuses because in order for the marriage to occur Guy would have to be killed. After Baldwin dies, Sibylla's six year old son Baldwin V becomes King of Jerusalem. It becomes apparent that he is also infected with leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

. Grief-stricken and unwilling to condemn her son to a life behind a mask, Sibylla poisons her son. Sibylla succeeds her son and names Guy King of Jerusalem. Guy releases Raynald, asking him to give him a war, which Raynald does by murdering Saladin's sister. When Saladin's emissary relays demands for the return of his sister's body, the heads of those responsible and the surrender of Jerusalem, Guy decapitates the emissary and sends his head back to Damascus. Guy sends several Templars to assassinate Balian, since he is the most strident voice against a war, though Balian survives the assassination attempt.

In council, war is agreed upon "because God wills it" and against sound advice they march into the desert to fight Saladin, leaving Jerusalem unguarded except for Balian, Tiberias, their knights, a few remaining Crusader soldiers and the townspeople. Saladin's army attacks the Crusaders and in the ensuing battle
Battle of Hattin
The Battle of Hattin took place on Saturday, July 4, 1187, between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid dynasty....

 the Crusaders are annihilated. Guy and Raynald are captured; Saladin executes Raynald and then marches on Jerusalem, sparing Guy as king only out of tradition. Tiberias and his men leave for Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, believing Jerusalem is lost, but Balian and his knights remain to protect the villagers. Knowing they cannot defeat the Saracens, they hope to hold their enemies off long enough for the Saracens to offer terms. After a battle
Siege of Jerusalem (1187)
On July 4, 1187 the Kingdom's army was defeated at the Battle of Hattin by Saladin and only Balian of Ibelin commanding a small number of soldiers remained in Jerusalem. The Siege of Jerusalem lasted from September 20 to October 2, 1187. On October 2, 1187 Balian of Ibelin surrendered Jerusalem to...

 that lasts three days, Saladin offers terms: Balian surrenders Jerusalem when Saladin offers the inhabitants safe passage to Christian lands. He also releases Guy back to Jerusalem where he attacks Balian but is defeated.

In the marching column of citizens, he finds Sibylla who has renounced her claim as Queen of Jerusalem and other cities. After Balian returns to his village in France, English knights ride through looking for Balian, defender of Jerusalem. Balian replies that he is the blacksmith, and the man leading the knights identifies himself as King Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

, and they are commencing a new Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 to retake Jerusalem. Balian responds that he is merely a blacksmith, and Richard rides off. Balian is joined by Sibylla, and passing by the grave of Balian's wife, they ride toward a new life together.

Cinematography


The visual style of Kingdom of Heaven emphasizes set design and impressive cinematography in almost every scene. It is notable for its "visually stunning cinematography and haunting music".
Cinematographer John Mathieson created many large, sweeping landscapes,
where the cinematography, supporting performances, and battle sequences are meticulously mounted.
The cinematography and scenes of set-pieces have been described as "ballets of light and color" (as in films by Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
was a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter and editor. Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 filmsIn 1946, Kurosawa co-directed, with Hideo Sekigawa and Kajiro Yamamoto, the feature Those Who Make Tomorrow ;...

).
Director Ridley Scott's visual acumen was described as the main draw of Kingdom of Heaven with the stellar, stunning cinematography and "jaw-dropping combat sequences" based on the production design of Arthur Max.

Music



The music to the movie differs in style and content from the soundtrack of Ridley Scott's earlier 2000 film Gladiator
Gladiator (2000 film)
Gladiator is a 2000 historical epic film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the loyal Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed...

and many other subsequent films depicting historical events. A composition of classical listings, rousing chorales, juxtaposing Muslim sacred chants, and subtle implementation of contemporary rock/pop influences, the soundtrack is largely the result of British film-score composer Harry Gregson-Williams
Harry Gregson-Williams
Harry Gregson-Williams is a prolific British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer. He is best known for his film scores, of which he has composed over sixty using electronic music and orchestral pieces...

. During the climactic final battle scene, a piece of Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

's "Valhalla" theme from The 13th Warrior
The 13th Warrior
The 13th Warrior is a 1999 historical fiction action film starring Antonio Banderas as Ahmad ibn Fadlan and Vladimir Kulich as Buliwyf; it is based on the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. It was directed by John McTiernan and an uncredited Crichton.The 13th Warrior is regarded as a...

is used. "Vide Cor Meum
Vide cor meum
"Vide Cor Meum" is a song composed by Patrick Cassidy based on Dante's "La Vita Nuova", specifically on the sonnet "A ciascun'alma presa", in chapter 3 of the "Vita Nuova".-Composition:...

" (originally used by Scott in the Hannibal
Hannibal (film)
Hannibal is a 2001 psychological thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the Thomas Harris novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs that returns Anthony Hopkins to his iconic role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter...

movie and composed by Patrick Cassidy
Patrick Cassidy (composer)
Patrick Cassidy is an Irish classical composer.Largely self taught, with no formal music education, he has worked in many various formats, including TV and films. In 2004, he cowrote the album Immortal Memory with Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance...

 and Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including critically acclaimed film scores for The Lion King , Crimson Tide , The Thin Red Line , Gladiator , The Dark Knight and Inception .Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the...

), sung by Danielle de Niese
Danielle de Niese
Danielle de Niese is a lyric soprano. After success as a young child in singing competitions in Australia, she moved to the USA where she developed an operatic career...

 and Bruno Lazzaretti is also used during the funeral of the King.

Cast


Many of the characters in the movie are fictionalized versions of historical figures:
  • Orlando Bloom
    Orlando Bloom
    Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom is an English actor. He had his break-through roles in 2001 as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and starring in 2003 as blacksmith Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, and subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood...

     as Balian of Ibelin
    Balian of Ibelin
    Balian of Ibelin was an important noble in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century.-Early life:Balian was the youngest son of Barisan of Ibelin, and brother of Hugh and Baldwin. His father, a knight in the County of Jaffa, had been rewarded with the lordship of Ibelin after the...

  • Eva Green
    Eva Green
    Eva Gaëlle Green is a French actress and model.Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in The Dreamers , which generated controversy over her numerous nude scenes. She achieved greater fame for her parts in Kingdom of Heaven , and in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for...

     as Princess Sibylla
    Sibylla of Jerusalem
    Sibylla of Jerusalem was the Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon from 1176 and Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. She was the eldest daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Agnes of Courtenay, sister of Baldwin IV and half-sister of Isabella I of Jerusalem, and mother of Baldwin V of Jerusalem...

  • Jeremy Irons
    Jeremy Irons
    Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

     as Raymond
    Raymond III of Tripoli
    Raymond III of Tripoli was Count of Tripoli from 1152 to 1187 and Prince of Galilee and Tiberias in right of his wife Eschiva.-Early life:...

    , Count
    Count
    A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

     of Tiberias
  • Marton Csokas
    Marton Csokas
    -Early life:Csokas was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. His mother, a nurse, is of Irish and Danish descent; his Hungarian-born father, also named Márton Csókás, worked as a mechanical engineer...

     as Guy of Lusignan
    Guy of Lusignan
    Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

  • Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

     as Raynald of Châtillon
    Raynald of Chatillon
    Raynald of Châtillon was a knight who served in the Second Crusade and remained in the Holy Land after its defeat...

  • Edward Norton
    Edward Norton
    Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

     as King Baldwin of Jerusalem
    Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
    Baldwin IV of Jerusalem , called the Leper or the Leprous, the son of Amalric I of Jerusalem and his first wife, Agnes of Courtenay, was king of Jerusalem from 1174 to 1185. His full sister was Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem and his nephew through this sister was the child-king Baldwin V...

  • David Thewlis
    David Thewlis
    David Thewlis is an English actor of stage and screen. His most commercially successful role to date has been that of Remus Lupin, in the Harry Potter film series...

     as Hospitaller
    Knights Hospitaller
    The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

  • Liam Neeson
    Liam Neeson
    Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards.He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Jean Valjean in Les...

     as Godfrey of Ibelin (Balian's father, modelled after Godfrey de Bouillon; the actual father of Balian was not named Godfrey but Barisan
    Barisan of Ibelin
    Barisan of Ibelin was an important figure in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and was the founder of the Ibelin family. His name was later written as "Balian" and he is sometimes known as Balian the Elder or Balian I....

    )
  • Ghassan Massoud
    Ghassan Massoud
    Ghassan Massoud is a Syrian actor and filmmaker. He is known in the West for playing the role of Muslim ruler Saladin in Ridley Scott's 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven....

     as Saladin
    Saladin
    Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

  • Alexander Siddig
    Alexander Siddig
    Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi is a Sudanese-born English actor, also known as Siddig El Fadil and his stage name Alexander Siddig. He is known for playing Dr...

     as Imad ad-Din
    Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani
    Muhammad ibn Hamed Isfahani , more popularly known as Imad ad-din al-Isfahani , was a Persian historian, scholar, and rhetorician...

  • Jon Finch
    Jon Finch
    Jon Finch is an English actor noted for many Shakespearean roles. Perhaps his most notable role was the title role in Roman Polanski's 1971 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. His other famous role was as a down-and-out ex-RAF pilot wrongly accused of murder in Alfred Hitchcock's...

     as the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem (modelled after Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
    Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
    Heraclius or Eraclius , was archbishop of Caesarea and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.Heraclius was from the Gévaudan in Auvergne, France. Like his later rival William of Tyre he studied law at the University of Bologna: his contemporaries and friends included Stephen of Tournai and Gratian...

    )
  • Iain Glen
    Iain Glen
    Iain Glen is a Scottish film and stage actor.Iain Glen was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and trained at RADA where he won the Bancroft Gold Medal. He was married to Susannah Harker from 1993 to 2004; they have one son, Finlay...

     as King Richard of England
    Richard I of England
    Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

  • Velibor Topic as Almaric
  • Khaled El Nabawy
    Khaled El Nabawy
    Khaled Muhammad El Nabawy is an Egyptian actor having played roles in film, theater and television.He was born in El Mansoura, Egypt, and was introduced to cinema by the director Youssef Chahine in 1994, in his film The Emigrant...

     as Mullah
    Mullah
    Mullah is generally used to refer to a Muslim man, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. The title, given to some Islamic clergy, is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā , meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian"...

  • Kevin McKidd
    Kevin McKidd
    Kevin McKidd is a Scottish television and film actor and director. Before playing the role of Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy, McKidd starred as Lucius Vorenus in the historical drama series Rome, and provided the voice of Captain John "Soap" Mactavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the sequel...

     as English Sergeant
    Man-at-arms
    Man-at-arms was a term used from the High Medieval to Renaissance periods to describe a soldier, almost always a professional warrior in the sense of being well-trained in the use of arms, who served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman...

     (Godfrey's man-at-arms)
  • Jouko Ahola
    Jouko Ahola
    Jouko Ahola is a Finnish strongman and actor. He won the 1997 and 1999 World's Strongest Man, and finished second in 1998. Ahola won the Europe's Strongest Man contest twice in 1998 and 1999, and finished fourth in 1996. Jouko won the World's Strongest Team in 1997 and 1999, and was second in 1998...

     as Odo
  • Michael Sheen
    Michael Sheen
    Michael Christopher Sheen, OBE , is a Welsh stage and screen actor. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and made his professional debut opposite Vanessa Redgrave in When She Danced at the Globe Theatre in 1991...

     as Priest (Balian's half-brother)
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Village Sheriff (Godfrey's nephew, Balian's cousin)

Critical response


Upon its release, the film was met with a mixed to negative reception. Critics such as Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

, however, found the film's message to be deeper than Scott's Gladiator
Gladiator (2000 film)
Gladiator is a 2000 historical epic film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the loyal Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed...

.

The cast was widely praised. Jack Moore described Edward Norton's performance as "phenomenal", and "so far removed from anything that he has ever done that we see the true complexities of his talent". The Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud
Ghassan Massoud
Ghassan Massoud is a Syrian actor and filmmaker. He is known in the West for playing the role of Muslim ruler Saladin in Ridley Scott's 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven....

 was also praised for his portrayal of Saladin, described by The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

as "cool as a tall glass of water". Also commended were Eva Green
Eva Green
Eva Gaëlle Green is a French actress and model.Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in The Dreamers , which generated controversy over her numerous nude scenes. She achieved greater fame for her parts in Kingdom of Heaven , and in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for...

, who plays Princess Sibylla
Sibylla of Jerusalem
Sibylla of Jerusalem was the Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon from 1176 and Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. She was the eldest daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Agnes of Courtenay, sister of Baldwin IV and half-sister of Isabella I of Jerusalem, and mother of Baldwin V of Jerusalem...

, "with a measure of cool that defies her surroundings", and Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

.

However, lead actor Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom
Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom is an English actor. He had his break-through roles in 2001 as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and starring in 2003 as blacksmith Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, and subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood...

's performance generally elicited a lukewarm reception from American critics, with the Boston Globe stating Bloom was "not actively bad as Balian of Ibelin", but nevertheless "seems like a man holding the fort for a genuine star who never arrives". One critic conceded that Balian was more of a "brave and principled thinker-warrior" rather than a strong commander, and Balian used brains rather than brawn to gain advantage in battle.

Bloom had gained 20 pounds for the part, and the Extended Director's Cut (detailed below) of Kingdom of Heaven reveals even more complex facets of Bloom's role, involving connections with unknown relatives. Despite the criticism, Bloom won two awards for his performance.

Online, general criticism has been also divided, but leaning towards the positive. As of early 2006, the Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies , provided by the Yahoo! network, is home to a large collection of information on movies, past and new releases, trailers and clips, box office information, and showtimes and movie theater information. Yahoo! Movies also includes red carpet photos, actor galleries, and production...

 rating for Kingdom of Heaven was a "B" from the critics (based on 15 Reviews). This rating equates to "good" according to Yahoo! Movie's rating system. On Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, only 39 percent of critics gave the film a positive review; however, the aggregate review site Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

 scored the movie as a 63, which means the film received "generally favorable reviews" according to the website's weighted average system.

Academic criticism has focused on the supposed peaceful relationship between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem and other cities depicted. Crusader historians such as Jonathan Riley-Smith
Jonathan Riley-Smith
Jonathan Simon Christopher Riley-Smith, K.St.J., Ph.D. MA, Litt.D., FRHistS is an historian of the Crusades, and a former Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History...

, quoted by The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

, called the film "dangerous to Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 relations", claiming the movie was Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

's version of the Crusades and would "fuel the Islamic fundamentalists
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

". Riley-Smith further commented against the historical accuracy stating "nonsense like this will only reinforce existing myths", arguing that the film "relied on the romanticized view of the Crusades propagated by Sir Walter Scott in his book The Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by academics." Fellow Crusade historian Jonathan Phillips also spoke against the film. Paul Halsall defended Scott, claiming that "historians can't criticize filmmakers for having to make the decisions they have to make... [Scott is] not writing a history textbook".

Thomas F. Madden, Director of Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a private, co-educational Jesuit university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It is one of 28 member institutions of the...

's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, criticized the film's presentation of the Crusades:
Scott himself defended this depiction of the Muslim-Christian relationship in footage on the DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 version of the movie's extra features. Scott sees this portrayal as being a contemporary look at the history. He argued that peace and brutality are concepts relative to one's own experience, and since contemporary society is so far removed from the brutal times in which the movie takes place, he told the story in a way that he felt was true to the source material, yet was more accessible to a modern audience. In other words, the "peace" that existed was exaggerated to fit modern ideas of what such a peace would be. At the time, it was merely a lull in Muslim-Christian violence compared to the standards of the period. The recurring use of "Assalamu Alaikum", the traditional Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 greeting meaning "Peace be with you", is spoken both in Arabic and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 several times.

The "Director's Cut" of the film is a four-disc set, two of which are dedicated to a feature-length documentary called "The Path to Redemption." This feature contains an additional featurette on historical accuracy called "Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak", where a number of academics support the film's contemporary relevance and historical accuracy. Among these historians is Dr. Nancy Caciola, who said that despite the various inaccuracies and fictionalized/dramatized details considered the film a "responsible depiction of the period."

Screenwriter William Monahan
William Monahan
William J. Monahan is an American screenwriter and novelist. His second produced screenplay was The Departed, a film which earned him a WGA award and an Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay.-Writer and editor:...

, who is a long-term enthusiast of the period, has said "If it isn't in, it doesn't mean we didn't know it... What you use, in drama, is what plays. Shakespeare did the same."

Caciola agreed with the fictionalization of characters on the grounds that "crafting a character who is someone the audience can identify with" is necessary in a film. She said that "I, as a professional, have spent much time with medieval people, so to speak, in the texts that I read; and quite honestly there are very few of them that if I met in the flesh I feel that I would be very fond of." This appears to echo the sentiments of Scott himself. However, the DVD does not feature historians expressing more negative reactions.

The historical content and the religious and political messages present have received praise and condemnation, sentiments and perceptions. John Harlow of the Times Online wrote that Christianity is portrayed in an unfavorable light and the value of Christian belief is diminished, especially in the portrayal of Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
Heraclius or Eraclius , was archbishop of Caesarea and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.Heraclius was from the Gévaudan in Auvergne, France. Like his later rival William of Tyre he studied law at the University of Bologna: his contemporaries and friends included Stephen of Tournai and Gratian...

. When journalist Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

 watched the film in a Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 cinema, he reported that the Muslim audience rose to their feet and applauded wildly during a scene in the film in which Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 respectfully places a fallen cross
Christian cross
The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity...

 back on top of a table after it had fallen during the three-day siege of the city.

The movie was a box office
Box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....

 flop in the U.S. and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, earning $47 million against a budget of around $130 million, but was successful in Europe and the rest of the world, with the worldwide box office earnings totaling at $211,643,158. It was also a big success in Arabic-speaking countries, especially Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Scott insinuated that the U.S. disaster of the film was the result of bad advertising, which presented the film as an adventure with a love story rather than as an examination of religious conflict. It's also been noted that the film was altered from its original version to be shorter and follow a simpler plot line. This "less sophisticated" version is what hit theaters, although Scott and some of his crew felt it was watered down, explaining that by editing, "You've gone in there and taken little bits from everything".

Like some other Scott films, Kingdom of Heaven found success on DVD in the U.S., and the release of the Director's Cut has reinvigorated interest in the film. Nearly all reviews of the 2006 Director's Cut have been positive, including a four-star review in the British magazine Total Film
Total Film
Total Film is a British film magazine published 13 times a year by Future Publishing. The magazine was launched in 1997 and offers film, DVD and Blu-ray news, reviews and features...

(five star being the publication's highest rating) and a perfect ten out of ten from IGN DVD.

Awards


European Film Awards:
  • Audience Award – Best Actor (Orlando Bloom)

Satellite Awards
Satellite Awards
The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

:
  • Outstanding Original Score (Harry Gregson-Williams)

VES Awards:
  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture (Wes Sewell, Victoria Alonso, Tom Wood, Gary Brozenich)

Nominations


Satellite Awards
Satellite Awards
The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

:
  • Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama (Edward Norton)
  • Outstanding Art Direction & Production Design (Arthur Max)
  • Outstanding Costume Design (Janty Yates)
  • Outstanding Visual Effects (Tom Wood)

Teen Choice Awards
Teen Choice Awards
The Teen Choice Awards, are an annual awards show that air on the Fox cable channel, that honor the year's biggest biggest achievements in music, movies, sports, television, fashion and more, voted by teen viewers aged 14 through 17. Winners receive an authentic full size surfboard designed with...

:
  • Choice Movie: Action/Adventure
  • Choice Movie Actor: Action/Adventure/Thriller (Orlando Bloom)
  • Choice Movie Liplock (Eva Green and Orlando Bloom)
  • Choice Movie Love Scene (Eva Green and Orlando Bloom – Balian and Sibylla kiss)

Historical accuracy


Orlando Bloom's character, Balian of Ibelin, was a close ally of Raymond; however, he was a mature gentleman, just a year or two younger than Raymond, and one of the most important nobles in the kingdom, not a French blacksmith. His father Barisan (which was originally his own name, modified into French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 as 'Balian') founded the Ibelin family in the east, and probably came from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Balian and Sibylla were indeed united in the defense of Jerusalem; however, no romantic relationship existed between the two. Balian married Sibylla's stepmother Maria Comnena
Maria Komnene, Queen consort of Jerusalem
Maria Komnene or Comnena , , was the second wife of King Amalric I of Jerusalem and mother of Queen Isabella of Jerusalem. She was the daughter of John Komnenos, sometime Byzantine dux in Cyprus, and Maria Taronitissa, a descendant of the ancient Armenian kings...

, Dowager Queen of Jerusalem and Lady of Nablus. The Old French Continuation of William of Tyre
William of Tyre
William of Tyre was a medieval prelate and chronicler. As archbishop of Tyre, he is sometimes known as William II to distinguish him from a predecessor, William of Malines...

 (the so-called Chronicle of Ernoul
Ernoul
Ernoul is the name generally given to the author of a chronicle of the late 12th century dealing with the fall of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.-Biography:Ernoul himself is mentioned only once in history, and only in his own chronicle...

) claimed that Sibylla had been infatuated with Balian's older brother Baldwin of Ibelin
Baldwin of Ibelin
Baldwin of Ibelin, also known as Baldwin III of Ramla , was an important noble of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century. He was the second son of Barisan of Ibelin, and was the younger brother of Hugh of Ibelin and older brother of Balian of Ibelin...

, a widower over twice her age, but this is doubtful; instead, it seems that Raymond of Tripoli attempted a coup to marry her off to him to strengthen the position of his faction; however, this legend seems to have been behind the film's creation of a romance between Sibylla and a member of the Ibelin family.

King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, who reigned from 1174 to 1185, was a leper, and his sister Sibylla did marry Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

. Also, Baldwin IV had a falling out with Guy before his death, and so Guy did not succeed Baldwin IV immediately. Baldwin crowned Sibylla's son from her previous marriage to William of Montferrat
William of Montferrat, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon
William of Montferrat , also called William Longsword , was the Count of Jaffa and Ascalon, the eldest son of William V, Marquess of Montferrat and Judith of Babenberg...

, five-year-old Baldwin V co-king in his own lifetime, in 1183. The little boy reigned as sole king for one year, dying in 1186 at nine years of age. After her son's death, Sibylla and Guy (to whom she was devoted) garrisoned the city, and she claimed the throne. The coronation scene in the movie was, in real life, more of a shock: Sibylla had been forced to promise to divorce Guy before becoming queen, with the assurance that she would be permitted to pick her own consort. After being crowned by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
Heraclius or Eraclius , was archbishop of Caesarea and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.Heraclius was from the Gévaudan in Auvergne, France. Like his later rival William of Tyre he studied law at the University of Bologna: his contemporaries and friends included Stephen of Tournai and Gratian...

 (who is unnamed in the movie), she chose to crown Guy as her consort. Raymond III of Tripoli, the film's Tiberias, was not present, but was in Nablus attempting a coup, with Balian of Ibelin, to raise her half-sister (Balian's stepdaughter), princess Isabella of Jerusalem
Isabella of Jerusalem
Isabella I was Queen regnant of Jerusalem from 1190/1192 until her death. By her four marriages, she was successively Lady of Toron, Marchioness of Montferrat, Countess of Champagne and Queen of Cyprus....

, to the throne; however, Isabella's husband, Humphrey IV of Toron
Humphrey IV of Toron
Humphrey IV of Toron was the lord of Toron, Kerak, and Oultrejordain in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.-Biography:...

, refusing to precipitate a civil war, swore allegiance to Guy.

Raymond of Tripoli was a cousin of Amalric I of Jerusalem
Amalric I of Jerusalem
Amalric I of Jerusalem was King of Jerusalem 1163–1174, and Count of Jaffa and Ascalon before his accession. Amalric was the second son of Melisende of Jerusalem and Fulk of Jerusalem...

, and one of the Kingdom's most powerful nobles, as well as sometime regent. He had a claim to the throne himself, but, being childless, instead tried to advance his allies the Ibelin family. He was often in conflict with Guy and Raynald, who had risen to their positions by marrying wealthy heiresses and through the king's favor. Guy and Raynald did harass Saladin's caravans, and the claim that Raynald captured Saladin's sister is based on the account given in the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre. This claim is not supported by any other accounts, and is generally believed to be false. In actuality, after Raynald's attack on one caravan, Saladin made sure that the next one, in which his sister was traveling, was properly guarded: the lady came to no harm.

Balian's relations with Richard were far from amicable, because he supported Conrad against Richard's vassal Guy. He and his wife Maria arranged her daughter Isabella's forcible divorce from Humphrey of Toron so she could marry Conrad. Ambroise, who wrote a poetic account of the crusade, called Balian "more false than a goblin" and said he "should be hunted with dogs".

An episode of The History Channel
The History Channel
History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an American-based international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts a variety of reality shows and documentary programs including those of fictional and non-fictional historical content, together with speculation about the future.-...

's series History vs. Hollywood
History vs. Hollywood
History vs. Hollywood is a television show on the History Channel in the United States. On the show, experts are interviewed on the historical accuracy of a film that is based on a historical event...

analyzed the historical accuracy of the film. This program and a Movie Real (a series by A&E Network
A&E Network
The A&E Network is a United States-based cable and satellite television network with headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, London, Los Angeles and Stamford. A&E also airs in Canada and Latin America. Initially named the Arts & Entertainment Network, A&E launched...

) episode about Kingdom of Heaven were both included on the DVD version of the movie.

Extended director's cut



An extended director's cut of the movie was released on December 23, 2005, at the Laemmle Fairfax Theatre in Los Angeles, unsupported by advertising from 20th Century Fox. This version has been widely praised; at approximately 45 minutes longer than the original theatrical cut, it is purportedly the version Ridley Scott originally wanted released to theaters. The DVD of the extended Director's Cut was released on May 23, 2006. It comprises a four-disc box set with a runtime of 194 minutes, and is shown as a road show presentation with an overture
Overture
Overture in music is the term originally applied to the instrumental introduction to an opera...

, intermission
Intermission
An intermission or interval is a recess between parts of a performance or production, such as for a theatrical play, opera, concert, or film screening....

 and entr'acte
Entr'acte
' is French for "between the acts" . It can mean a pause between two parts of a stage production, synonymous to an intermission, but it more often indicates a piece of music performed between acts of a theatrical production...

; the Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 release omits the roadshow elements, running for 189 minutes. Scott gave an interview to STV on the occasion of the extended edition's UK release, when he discussed the motives and thinking behind the new version.

After the pitching of this film, studio marketing executives took it to be an action-adventure hybrid rather than what Ridley Scott and William Monahan intended it to be: a historical epic examining religious conflict. 20th Century Fox promoted the film as an action movie with heavy elements of romance and, in their advertising campaign, made much of the "From the Director of Gladiator" slogan. When Scott presented the 194 minute version of the film to the studio, they balked at the length. Studio head Tom Rothman ordered the film to be trimmed down to only two hours, as he did not believe that a modern audience would go to see a three hour and fifteen minute movie. Ultimately, Rothman's decision backfired as the film gained mixed reviews (with many commenting that the film seemed "incomplete") and severely under-performed at the US box office.

The Director's Cut (DC) has received a distinctly more positive reception from film critics than the theatrical release, with some reviewers suggesting that it is the most substantial Director's Cut of all time and a title to equal any of Scott's other works., offering a much greater insight into the motivations of individual characters. Scott and his crew have all stated that they consider the Director's Cut to be the true version of the film and the theatrical cut more of an action movie trailer for the real film. Alexander Siddig
Alexander Siddig
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi is a Sudanese-born English actor, also known as Siddig El Fadil and his stage name Alexander Siddig. He is known for playing Dr...

, the Sudanese-born actor who played Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani, in particular agitated for the release of an extended cut.

As well as including more shots depicting violence and bloodshed, the later director's cut provides several details not present in the original theatrical release:
  • The village priest
    Priest
    A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

     who taunts Balian and is killed by him is revealed to be his half-brother (his mother's son by her lawful husband). The animosity between them is shown as originating from the priest's coveting of the firstborn Balian's meager inheritance.
  • Godfrey is not only the father of Balian but the younger brother of the village lord who believes that Godfrey is looking for his own son to be Godfrey's heir in Ibelin. It is this lord's son and heir who organizes the attack on Godfrey's party in the forest and is subsequently killed. Both this plot point and the one above hinge on the firstborn son's right to exclusive inheritance: this is what apparently drove Godfrey to the Holy Land and the priest to begin his scheming against Balian.
  • A dying Baldwin IV is shown refusing the last sacrament from Patriarch
    Patriarch
    Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

     Heraclius
    Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
    Heraclius or Eraclius , was archbishop of Caesarea and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.Heraclius was from the Gévaudan in Auvergne, France. Like his later rival William of Tyre he studied law at the University of Bologna: his contemporaries and friends included Stephen of Tournai and Gratian...

    .
  • The character of Baldwin V
    Baldwin V of Jerusalem
    Baldwin V of Jerusalem was the son of Sibylla of Jerusalem and her first husband, William of Montferrat...

    , shown in some of original trailers but lacking in the theatrical release, is re-inserted into the film. He is the son of Sibylla by her first husband; not named in the film, the father is William of Montferrat
    William of Montferrat, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon
    William of Montferrat , also called William Longsword , was the Count of Jaffa and Ascalon, the eldest son of William V, Marquess of Montferrat and Judith of Babenberg...

    . The boy is crowned King after Baldwin IV's death, but is then discovered to have leprosy
    Leprosy
    Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

    , like his uncle. His death is depicted as an act of euthanasia
    Euthanasia
    Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

     by his mother, who administers poison via the child's ear. As in the theatrical version, Sibylla is then crowned queen.
  • Balian fights a climactic duel with Guy near the end of the film, after Jerusalem is surrendered and Guy has been released by Saladin (an act intended to humiliate Guy in the eyes of his former subjects). Guy is humiliated furthermore by challenging Balian to a duel, being defeated, and then spared by Balian.
  • A scene with Balian discussing his situation with the Hospitaller in the desert, which included the line "I go to pray" (featured in most trailers) is re-inserted.
  • It is made clear that Guy de Lusignan knows that Sibylla is having an affair with Balian; however, his interest in her is primarily political, rather than emotional.
  • It is revealed that Balian has fought in several battles in the past, is a skilled strategist, and is well-known for building siege engines.
  • Saladin decapitates Raynald de Châtillon instead of only cutting his throat; this is generally believed to be more historically accurate.
  • Sibylla is portrayed as much less corrupt and unpredictable, despite what she herself states earlier in the film, and does her best to uphold her brother's peace until Guy forces her hand by threatening her son.
  • The Gravedigger of Balian's wife is given more than his previous one line, despite his lowly status he is very intelligent, remarking that the suicide was far more of a personal choice and not an act of the devil and realizes that Sibylla is not a nurse but the Queen.

See also

  • List of historical drama films
  • Battle of Hattin
    Battle of Hattin
    The Battle of Hattin took place on Saturday, July 4, 1187, between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid dynasty....

  • Siege of Jerusalem (1187)
    Siege of Jerusalem (1187)
    On July 4, 1187 the Kingdom's army was defeated at the Battle of Hattin by Saladin and only Balian of Ibelin commanding a small number of soldiers remained in Jerusalem. The Siege of Jerusalem lasted from September 20 to October 2, 1187. On October 2, 1187 Balian of Ibelin surrendered Jerusalem to...