Ladyhawke (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985) - Michelle Pfeiffer

Philipe Gastone, a thief, escapes from the dungeon at Aquila, sparking a manhunt. He is nearly captured when Captain Navarre befriends him. Navarre has been hunted by the Bishop’s men for two years, ever since he escaped with the Lady Isabeau who the Bishop has lusted after. Navarre and Isabeau have a curse that the Bishop has placed on them that causes Navarre to be a wolf during the night and Isabeau to be a hawk during the day. Navarre insists that Philipe help him re-enter the city to help him kill the heavily guarded Bishop.

Ladyhawke is a 1985 American fantasy film directed by Richard Donner and starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leo McKern, John Wood, Ken Hutchison, Alfred Molina and Giancarlo Prete.

About the Story

In twelfth century Europe, Philippe “The Mouse” Gaston is a thief facing execution who escapes from the dungeon of Aquila via the sewers, and flees to the countryside. The corrupt Bishop of Aquila is furious because no one has ever escaped from his prison. He sends his Captain of the Guard, Marquet, to hunt down Philippe. At a country tavern, Philippe offers to buy a drink for anyone who will celebrate with him, for he is the only man to have seen the inside of Aquila’s prisons and lived.

Ladyhawke (1985)

Unfortunately for him, Marquet and his men are drinking in disguise. As they try to apprehend Philippe, they are foiled by a mysterious black knight who reveals himself to be their former Captain, Etienne of Navarre. Marquet rides back to Aquila to warn the Bishop of Navarre’s return. The Bishop summons Cezar, the wolf trapper.

Navarre travels with a well-trained hawk. He saved Philippe because of his boast about escaping from Aquila’s dungeon and needs Philippe’s unique knowledge to lead him inside Aquila to kill the Bishop. That night, Philippe is saved from a murderer by an enormous black wolf. He also encounters a beautiful blonde woman, who mysteriously greets the wolf as though they are old companions.

Navarre and the hawk are wounded by crossbows in another encounter with the Bishop’s men. Navarre sends the hawk with Philippe to the old monk Imperius to heal her. At Imperius’ ruined castle, Philippe places the hawk on a table. When Isabeau appears in the hawk’s place, with a crossbow arrow through her left breast, Philippe realizes that she is the hawk.

Imperius reveals that the hawk is a woman named Isabeau d’Anjou, who came to live in Aquila after her father, the Count of Anjou, died fighting in the Crusades. All who saw her fell in love with her, including the Bishop, but Isabeau was already in love with Etienne, with whom she secretly exchanged vows.

Ladyhawke Movie Poster (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

Directed by: Richard Donner
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leo McKern, John Wood, Ken Hutchison, Alfred Molina, Giancarlo Prete
Screenplay by: Edward Khmara, Michael Thomas
Production Design by: Wolf Kroeger
Cinematography by: Vittorio Storaro
Film Editing by: Stuart Baird
Costume Design by: Nanà Cecchi
Art Direction by: Ken Court, Giovanni Natalucci
Music by: Andrew Powell
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: April 12, 1985