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SCA Unofficial  Newbies Handbook 

SCA Unofficial Hand 

First things First
About the SCA

First event
What to take
What you'll do
's Who
What's What

Second Event
Setting a better table
What is a Peer

Kingdom Specific Stuff

Other interesting things
SCA Movie Night

People that Make it Happen
Greggor Of Vulpine Reach
Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill

Here is my list of SCA movies. Some are hard to find and some are not directly related but so often seen by scadians that they have there own vocabulary inducted into our society. I'll try and give a reason why each movie should be seen. As always these are just my personal choices.


Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland,

Basil Rathbone (someone found a sale on taffeta, but the story and fight scenes are neat)

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) - Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison

Alexander Nevsky (1938) - silent, directed by Sergei Eisenstein. The movie is relates the battle between the Teutonic Knights and Prince

Nevsky's forces, both in the woods on a frozen lake.

Anne of 1000 Days (1969) - Richard Burton, Genevieve Bujold. Avoid like the plague, bad garb, bad acting Army of Darkness (1993) - ‘Pure obnoxious hilarity’ A modern-day man travels back to medieval time to fight an army of the dead.

Becket (1964)- St. Thomas a' Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry II. Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud

Black Adder I (Video) (1983, 1986) - British comedy

Blood of Heroes (1988) - Rutger Hauer. A Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic world

Brave Heart (1995) - Mel Gibson movie, fair but I'd not make garb from it. William Wallace, a commoner, unites the 13th Century Scots in their battle to overthrow English rule.

Brother Cadfael series - BBC, available on VHS, occasionally rerun on PBS

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1973)- Zeffirelli, Fairly accurate story of Saint Francis of Assisi. Some good costumes, especially the Bishop's cope. Alex Guinness as the Pope

Captain Blood (1935) - Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland Anything with Basil Rathbone.- these are some of the best screen fights I’ve ever seen. Most people won't be able to rent them but if you can grab and watch.

Charlemagne BBC Miniseries- one of the must sees for all scadians.

Charlemagne (5 Vols.) This is the 1994-95 French series (English dubbed) on the life and times of Charles, the King of the Franks. The recreation of the armour is some of the best for the period depicted that I have seen. The script lies some where between "Lion in Winter" and "Gettysburg" in its attention to the characters portrayed, historical accuracy and minutiae of life.

Conan the Barbarian (1982) - Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones,

Max von Sydow Not real accurate but a great adventure that everyone has seen. Underrated in my opinion. Court Jester, The (1956) - Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone,

Angela Landsbury. A great comedy that everyone should see.

Dangerous Beauty (1998) - story of an Italian courtesan, good story, excellent costumes

El Cid (1961) - Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren. Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz

Elizabeth (1998) - Cate Blanchett, fantasy loosely based on history, good garb

Elizabeth R (1971) - Glenda Jackson. BBC series, available on tape excellent stuff

Eric the Viking (1989) - Tim Robbins, Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt, John Cleese. A Pythonesque satire of Viking life.

Ever After (1998) - Anjelica Huston, Drew Barrymore. Cinderella story, good costumes (once you figure out that the costumes are Italian, even though the story is in France.)

Excalibur (1981) - Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson. Not a garb movie but if you want to see the Camelot legend come to life in plate armor this is the movie for you.

Fire over England (1937) - Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh. Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada.

First Knight (1995) - Sean Connery, Richard Gere. This is a perfect movie for showing how not to do anything in the SCA. But it has a couple of good STAGE fights and the Machine, a device used in the movie to train fighters. And our Squires thought they had it tough just having to jump through hoops.<g>

Flesh & Blood (1985) - Rutger Hauer, a band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord.

Gladiator (2000) - When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by a corrupt prince, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Hamlet (1948) - Laurence Olivier

Hamlet (1990) - Zeffirelli. Mel Gibson, Glenn Close (costumes are excellent, but cover a wide range of centuries; the last fight scene in particular is outstanding.)

Hamlet (1996) - Kenneth Branaugh

Hamlet (2000) - Bill Murray as Polonius??

Henry V (1944) - Laurence Olivier.

Henry V (1989) - Kenneth Branaugh. If you don't know who he is, this is a good way to find out.

Highlander (1986) - Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery

The Hobbit (1978)- animation. It's good for back ground into the history of the SCA and Where some of the terms we use came from. (reading the books is better of course)

Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) - Lon Chaney

Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) - Charles Laughton, Maureen O-Hara

Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre Dame de Paris) (1956) - Anthony Quinn,

Gina Lollobrigida Better then Disney

Ivanhoe (1952) - Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor. Better then A&E and CBS Mini-series Ivanhoe for A&E (1999?)

Ivanhoe 1982 for TV CBS - Both watchable but I like the 1952 version better.

Knightriders (1981) - movie about Knights on motorcycles. Real campy but a movie that has been at more then one SCA movie night.

Knights of the Roundtable (1953) - Robert Taylor, Eva Gardner

Knights of the Teutonic Order (Polish-1960) (aka Black Cross) - This is the epic ala Cecil B. Demille presentation the events leading up to the and including the Battle of Grunwald, 1410, at which the Poles defeated the Teutonic Order. It was for the time the capstone for Polish cinema with a large portion of the Polish army being used for the battle scenes. What is even more of interest is that the Poles modeled most of their props off pieces in the state museums. The plot plods a bit (mainly due to the use of English sub-titles) but over all it is an excellent effort.

Lady Jane (1986) - with Cary Elwes and Helena Bonham-Carter, the Eight day queen of England. Good garb and depiction of living conditions. Not historically accurate.

Ladyhawke (1985) - Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfieffer. A fantasy movie that almost everyone has seen. I love the horse and the Hawk.

Legend (1985)- Tom Cruise. This one is another "everyone saw it" film. Also the music in it is used for one of our dances.

Lion in Winter (1968) - this was the film that first got me hooked on the Metal Ages. (not a Typo) Katherine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole.

Christmas, 1183. Not totally, historically accurate, but good garb, great lines.

A Man for All Seasons (1966) - Paul Scofield, Susannah York. The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Man in the Iron Mask (1998) - Leonardo DiCaprio, King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)- Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson. I like this one, it's about Mary and Elizabeth's Rivalry, not historically accurate

Merlin of the Crystal Cave: (BBC-1991) 1 volume VHS. edition of the BBC series based on Mary Stewart's _The Crystal Cave_. This is a reasonably good retelling of Ms. Stewart's first volume in her Merlin series. The sets (especially the living history Dark Ages Britain village) and props are the usually high quality BBC effort.

Much Ado About Nothing (1967) - Zeffirelli, with Maggie Smith, Derek

Jacobi (English)

Joan of Arc (1948) - Ingrid Bergman

The Messenger: the Story of Joan of Arc (1999) - Milla Jovovich, Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway

Joan of Arc (1999/TV) - Leelee Sobieska, Gives a Good overview of her life, Helps to explain her a bit (at least to me) might make it to the good column for the combat if I knew more about that style combat. 

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) - Supposedly 932 AD, an Arthur tale. A cultural icon to some.

The Name Of the Rose (1986) (aka Der Name der Rose) - Follows the book pretty well, and has *Sean Connery* and Christian Slater.

Otello (1986) - Zeffirelli. One of several operatic versions with Placido Domingo

The Prince of Foxes (1949) - Tyrone Power, Orson Welles. about Cesare Borgia in 1500

Princess Bride, The (1987) - Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin. It's every single rapier fighters perfect fight. The origin of the I'm not left handed quote.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) - Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland (bullet bra Elizabethan, but good acting)

Queen Margot (1994) (aka La Reine Margot) - Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil in the Dumas classic. A bloody depiction of the lives of the Catholic Queen Margot and her Protestant husband Henri around the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, August 24, 1572.

The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) - Gérard Depardieu. In medieval France, some villagers challenge a man's claim of identity when he (as he says) returns home from some time in the army Richard III (1954) - Olivier, Gielgud, Richardson

Robin and Marion (1976) - Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn

Robin Hood (1991) - by Irvin, with Bergin and Thurman

Robin Hood (1973) - animated versions

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - Kevin Costner, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)- Parody of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Rob Roy (1995) - Liam Neeson, the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s

Romeo and Juliet (1968) - Zeffirelli’s, with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey (good costumes for the 60's, great fight scenes.)

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990) - Tom Stoppard, Director. I was told to watch this one but haven't got around to finding it.

Royal Deceit (1994) (aka Prince of Jutland) - This is a Danish made version of the Hamlet legend. It is, however, not the English play by Shakespeare, but the original tale told as by Saxo Grammaticus in his "Gesta Dannorum" from which WS cribbed. The sets used for Elsinore are also living history venues recreating an early Medieval Danish stead.

Six Wives of Henry VIII (1971) - Keith Mitchell as Henry, BBC series, on tape (excellent costumes, excellent historical depiction)

Shakespeare in Love (1998) - Gwyneth Paltrow, neat garb

Spartacus (1960) - Stanley Kubrick, dir., Kirk Douglas and all star cast. The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman empire.

Star Wars 1 & 4-6 (1977, 1980, 1983, 1999) - This is the classic good guy, bad guy movie, it has the same stock characters as the Arthurian Legends. It hold many quotes that you will here tossed around a site including the force jokes and references to light sabers.

The Tale of Genji (1966) (aka Genji monogatari )- anime, period tale. Baroness Murasaki was a Japanese writer and court figure. She wrote the celebrated romantic novel Genji-monogatari (The Tale of Genji, completed a.d. 1003), one of the first great Japanese works of fiction, and considered to be one of the world's earliest novels. Genji traces the lives of the fictional Prince Genji, his wives and their children, and subtly delineates a complex society.

The Taming of the Shrew (1967) - with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (Zeffirelli again) (aka La Bisbetica domata)

Three Musketeers (1948) - Gene Kelly, Van Heflin, Vincent Price, Lana Turner

Three Musketeers (1973) - Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York

Four Musketeers (1974) - Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York these are great Rapier Films. Michael York Can fight if he has to. 

Three Musketeers (1993) - Disney, with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, etc.

13th warrior (1999)(aka Eaters of the Dead) - Antonio Banderas in a Nordic film. Again this one is because its a "everyone saw it" film. In AD 922, Arab courtier Ahmad Ibn Fadlan accompanies a party of Vikings to the barbaric North. (Vaguely based on a historical document.)

The Viking - Another cinema oddity is this 1929 _color_ film. It is presented in the original two-strip technicolor version, silent. The film itself is the precursor of the later film with Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas titled "The Vikings". Like most films of its era, it is long on action and short on direct historical research; however it gives one a good idea of the "trueisms" that formed the basis of the SCA in the early years.

The Vikings (1958) - with Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, a pretty good movie about the Vikings.

The Warlord - Popular in some groups not in others. Not a Must see unless you are in one of those groups. Great Norman hair styles.


By Greggor of Vulpine Reach  And  Ari Wilhelmsen

with input from:
Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill
Cathal mac Edan na Faeled
Ximena Yannez
Stefan (Iron Mtn.)
Qaylah bint Aamir


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