Ladyhawke (1985)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Ladyhawke is an enchanting tale of a beauty, a knight – and a pickpocket known as the Mouse. Once the knight and the lady were lovers. Now the curse of an evil bishop keeps them “always together, eternally apart”. By day she is a hawk, by night, he is a wolf. To end the evil spell, the knight vows to break into the bishop’s stronghold, with help from the Mouse.

‘Ladyhawke’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Ladyhawke (1985)**”LADYHAWKE”**
A 1985 Richard Donner film set in 13th-century medieval times but featuring 1985 music and dialogue.

Part action, part love story, and part fantasy, the film follows the story of Philippe Gastone, aka “The Mouse” – a petty criminal, pickpocket, and thief played by Matthew Broderick. The movie opens in the prison of Aquila where Philippe manages to escape through the sewers. Once out, the Bishop of Aquila orders a manhunt for his guards to find Philippe.

While on the run, Philippe is about to be caught when he receives unexpected help from a mysterious stranger named Navarre, played by Rutger Hauer. Navarre is a warrior who rescues Philippe from the guards and, in return, wants Philippe to help him enter Aquila prison. It turns out Navarre used to be the captain of the guards at the prison until he was punished and forced out by the Bishop.

During their travels, they are always accompanied by a hawk that seems to watch over them. On their first night seeking shelter, Philippe is attacked by a farmer who tries to kill him. Suddenly, a fierce black wolf attacks the farmer, saving Philippe’s life. Stunned by what has happened, Philippe goes to the barn to warn Navarre but finds a beautiful woman instead.

The beautiful woman, named Isabeau and played by Michelle Pfeiffer, seems to have descended from heaven itself. Despite Philippe’s warnings about the dangerous wolf, Isabeau ignores him and goes outside. Philippe watches in silence as both Isabeau and the wolf walk together through the forest.

The next day, Philippe wakes up to find Navarre has returned, but Isabeau is gone. Navarre explains that he needs Philippe’s help to enter Aquila and kill the Bishop. He believes it is divine intervention that brought Philippe to him. During their travels, they are ambushed by the prison guards. Both Navarre and the hawk are shot with arrows, but while Navarre seems unharmed, the hawk falls from the sky.

Wounded but alive, Navarre instructs Philippe to bring the hawk to an old castle where a priest named Imperius will know what to do. Philippe sets off on Navarre’s horse, cradling the hawk until he reaches the castle. There, he meets Imperius, an exiled monk living in the run-down castle. After explaining his mission, Imperius tells Philippe they must wait until sundown. When the sun sets, the hawk transforms back into Isabeau, and Imperius removes the arrow, saving her life.

Confused by these events, Philippe asks Imperius for an explanation. Imperius reveals that the Bishop was in love with Isabeau but she loved Navarre. When a drunken priest unintentionally revealed Isabeau’s love for Navarre to the Bishop, the Bishop cursed them. By day, Navarre is human and Isabeau is a hawk. By night, Navarre transforms into a wolf, while Isabeau becomes a woman.

Navarre wants revenge against the Bishop, but Imperius claims to know how to break the curse. He explains that killing the Bishop will not lift the curse, but if Navarre and Isabeau confront the Bishop together in human form, the curse will be broken.

Navarre initially doubts this possibility but decides to follow Imperius’ advice after a near-death experience. They devise a plan to enter Aquila and confront the Bishop. Philippe sneaks into the cathedral, Navarre enters in wolf form with Isabeau and Imperius, and the guards allow them to pass, believing the Bishop wants to personally kill the wolf.

The climactic showdown takes place in the cathedral, where Navarre surprises everyone by crashing through on his horse. As the fight ensues, a solar eclipse occurs, exactly as Imperius predicted. When the church bells chime, signaling Imperius to kill the hawk, Navarre realizes the truth of Imperius’ words. He attacks the Bishop, and Isabeau appears beside him in human form, breaking the curse.

In a fit of rage, the Bishop attempts to stab Isabeau with his cross, but Navarre intervenes, killing the Bishop with his sword. With the curse lifted, Navarre and Isabeau can finally be together. Philippe and Imperius, watching proudly, decide to celebrate with a drink. As for Navarre and Isabeau, they embrace their newfound freedom to be together.

And that’s **”LADYHAWKE!”**

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Our Rating

Warner Bros released Ladyhawke on April 12, 1985. Richard Donner directed the film starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

User Rating: 2.02 ( 3 votes)
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