Thursday, February 7, 2013

History in Film: Ironclad

I'll say one thing for the movie Ironclad, its graphic and bloody. I'll say another thing, it was definitely trying to be something else other than a real account of the siege of Rochester Castle. The movie starts off telling the story of the civil war waged in England resulting in the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. What followed became known as the First Baron's War which lasted for two years. There are elements of the siege which hold true in the movie. The biggest would be the burning of the pigs underneath the keep of Rochester Castle. This holds to historic fact and key element of the war that I'm sure most British people remember best. I really felt the movie was working extra hard to recreate the movie King Arthur in a different yet similar setting. A single moral hero and his amoral group roughnecks try and save the day against barbarism and tyranny. Sounds like King Arthur to me. There is no evidence I could find of Templar Knights fighting at the castle, in addition history tells us that nearly 100 men were defending the castle yet the movie only depicts around 20.

As a man it was a fun movie to watch; simple plot, lots of action. Paul Giamatti as King John and Brian Cox as Baron William d'Aubigny help to solidify the film with their superb acting although at times I felt Giamatti was overdoing it. Overall I probably would not recommend the movie however if you would like other opinions than my own than I encourage you to read The Armed Historian Blog who gives a wonderful critique and even links an additional critique within his blog.

Entertainment Value - 3.5 out of 5
Historical Accuracy - 2.5 out of 5


  1. I watched it not familiar with the story. The thing I think it did capture was how awful and brutal large european hand to hand combat weapons effect another human being. Also Giamatti was so perfect and over the top.

  2. That's a good point, it did capture the bruality of hand to hand combat. Thanks for comment.


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