The Lion of Flanders war movie
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The Lion of Flanders war movie

The Lion of Flanders (1984, Belgium)

Original / alternative title: De Leeuw van Vlaanderen

Categories: cavalry movies knights movies

The Lion of Flanders

Director: Hugo Claus

Czas: 90 minut

Laguages: Dutch

war movies info
2022-06-19 / 2022-06-19

French king Philip IV tries to discipline the rich Flemish cities, who enjoy their special status under his rule. But his actions lead to an open revolt.

French king Philip IV, called the Fair, receives envoys of Flemish cities, who under his rule enjoy special status and partial independence. But this meeting turns the relations sour - under influence of his wife, queen Joan of Navarre, Philip decides to imprison the envoys until they will fully surrender to his rule. Among the arrested was Guy of Dampierre, whose son Guy of Namur, became one of the leaders of uprising that was brewing among the Flemish people. While up to this point they were mostly just trying to make the life difficult for French forces that they saw as occupants of their land, now they were ready to stand up and reach for arms. The problem was that the Flemish people were merchants, butchers, carpenters, farmers, but not soldiers. Nevertheless with French cracking down on the liberties and committing atrocities against civilians, Flemish revolt was about to explode.

Film based on 1838 novel under the same title, The Lion of Flanders was made as close to the original text as it was possible, which was one of the problems with this movie. While the underlying theme of Flemish independence and start of a nation was easy to show, the way the story unfolds is not only outdated, but also a bit confusing for someone who does not fully understand the background story. The direction, narration, camera work, all of it was a bit off in this production - the story sounds like 19th century propaganda piece (which in fact it was), the characters are one-dimensional, there are some questionable scenes that are hard to grasp what they have to do with anything. For example bedroom scene between Philip IV and his wife was a bit bizarre, the slow motion scene of women riding into town was detached from everything else, the narration sometimes is too naive, sometimes scenes lack the context. All of it made The Lion of Flanders, one of the most expensive films ever made in Belgium and Holland, a commercial and critical flop.

Our rating


Film value

4 / 10

Realism factor

4 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Historical accuracy

4 / 5

The Lion of Flanders 1984 war movie

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The Lion of Flanders

Creators of The Lion of Flanders

Hugo Claus movies

Hugo Claus


Hugo Claus movies

Hugo Claus


Cast of The Lion of Flanders

Frank Aendenboom movies frank-aendenboom

Frank Aendenboom

as Robrecht van Bethune

Jan Decleir movies jan-decleir

Jan Decleir

as Jan Breydel

Julien Schoenaerts movies julien-schoenaerts

Julien Schoenaerts

as Pieter De Coninck

Theu Boermans movies theu-boermans

Theu Boermans

as Jacques de Chatillon

Josine van Dalsum movies josine-van-dalsum

Josine van Dalsum

as queen Joan of Navarre

Jules Croiset movies jules-croiset

Jules Croiset

as Robert d’Artois

Jo De Meyere movies jo-de-meyere

Jo De Meyere

as Bauden de Vos

Hans De Munter movies hans-de-munter

Hans De Munter

as Adolf van Nieuwland

Herbert Flack movies herbert-flack

Herbert Flack

as Willem Van Gullik

Maxim Hamel movies maxim-hamel

Maxim Hamel

as De Valois

Peter te Nuyl movies peter-te-nuyl

Peter te Nuyl

as King Philip IV

Events depicted in The Lion of Flanders

Franco-Flemish War (1297-1305) Battle of the Golden Spurs (11 Jul 1302)

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