Movies for Gamers #9: Ladyhawke

This is part of a series of reviews of movies particularly interesting or inspiring for role playing. Because of their setting, style, characters, editing or story. Read the introduction here or here if you are new to this series.

Modern music can make a movie, like in A Knight's Tale. Or it can make it very hard for the movie – like in Ladyhawke. If you see it (again) please try to look through the eighties synthesizer sounds. Once you do, you'll see a lovely adventure.

Ladyhawke has a special place in our group, for several reasons. Firstly it features a Dutch actor in the lead: Rutger Hauer. We are Dutch too. Hauer plays captain Navarre, knight by day, and wolf by night. He is cursed. And so is his love of his life Isabeau, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She is a stunning woman by night, and a ladyhawk by day. Hence the name of the story.

Secondly, the story struck such a chord with my friend and co-designer of Dark Dungeon, that he started playing Navarre in a role playing series. It became one of his most favorite. He used a different name, but the basis was there. And hey, as a player he looked a bit like Rutger then. A few years later he even got a girlfriend with the eyes of Michelle Pfeiffer. It was uncanny. She now has ended up as my wife. Don't worry, we still are best friends. Today is my friend's birthday.

Mouse, played by Matthew Broderick – who you might know from the Cold War nightmare teenage film “Wargames” – Mouse is a lovable thief who guides the two lovers through the story. To a place where night and day are one. At times he has lovable private conversations with God – or is it the audience? They're funny and sweet at the same time. One of our common friends is a lot like Mouse – with similar humour, and similarly always a bit alone. And he played a similar role in our lives.

Even the setting found a way into our games. One of the main cities in many stories was Aquilla – “Eagle”. It came straight from this movie.

Did I already tell Ladyhawke was special to us? It is. Maybe you feel the same about some movies - no matter if the story was good or bad. Maybe they also found their way into your games. Maybe one of your favorite movie characters became your favorite role playing character too.

How is that with you? Were there special movies that really inspired you deeply? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Yep, been thinking about doing a gamer-specific version of http://www.moviesforguys.com/
    Though I might have to "egalitarize" the section called T&A or run afoul of the female gamers ;-)
    Sounds like I should get to it.

    Ladyhawke...well sentimental value, absolutely. But even at the time I kinda thought the "fantasy" aspect was over-subtle...if not outright meagre. I'm not sure this film has weathered the ages well.
    Still: it taught us young gamers four important facts:
    - Throwing your sword at the bad guy should always work (in the final reel);
    - Bishops are always secretly evil;
    - Rutger Hauer just sort of has to stand there and still be kewl.
    - She may not act much, but Michelle Pfeiffer pins you in her high-wattage stare anyway :-)