Ladyhawke is one of my favorite films of all time. Set in about the mid to late 1400s, maybe even the early 1500s, the movie follows the escape of Philippe the Mouse (Matthew Broderick) from Aquila, a prison in France. Philippe was imprisoned and sentenced to death for stealing, so he is quite capable of getting in and out of places. The prison has never experienced an escape prior to this, so it is understandable that the guards would want to recapture him as fast as possible.
But that is when they run into a snag. A man named Navarre, the former captain of the Aquila guard, arrives as soon as the guards capture Philippe. A fight ensues, wherein Navarre catches Philippe and escapes. Since the new captain of the guards hates him, Navarre has no intention of turning Philippe over to him. And he has no intention of handing the young thief over to the new captain’s boss, the bishop of Aquila, who also hates Navarre.
Though Navarre says little, Philippe soon figures out there is something strange about him. The man travels alone except for a hawk, which is his constant companion. He seems to be in love with the animal. And he seems to think that, since Philippe found a way out of Aquila, he can find a way back in.
Philippe, of course, does not want to do this. Going back could mean getting caught and hanged. But Navarre will not take no for an answer, and Philippe soon learns why.
Hate to leave you hanging, but if you have never seen the movie I do not want to spoil it for you. If you have seen the film, then I need go no further in detailing it.
I think one of the most attractive aspects of the film is the character of Philippe. Neither a particularly virtuous nor honest young man, he nevertheless shows he has some sense of right and wrong, a sense which Navarre and his hawk’s plight brings to the forefront of his character. Also, his continual irreverent dialogue with the Almighty during the movie’s run is so much fun to watch!
Of course, another thing that made the film one of my favorites is the music (see the video above)! I am a real sucker for a good tune, no matter where it is from!
The Mithril Guardian