- The movie is set in the south of
France and, based on certain astronomical events that
occur, can be dated to 1239.
- Warner Brothers falsely marketed
the movie as being based on a true medieval legend. Edward
Khmara took the issue to the Writers Guild
Association and was awarded a cash settlement from
Warners, but the medieval legend claim wasn't dropped.
- Richard Donner originally
wanted to cast Rutger Hauer as the evil captain
of the guard while casting a younger actor, Kurt
Russell, as Navarre. Hauer wasn't interested in
that role, but expressed interest in playing Navarre.
When Russell dropped out a few days before principal
photography began, the part was handed to Hauer.
- In one scene, Navarre tells
Philippe to ride his horse to Imperius' castle and slaps
the horse's rear to make it ride. However, the first
time the scene was filmed, Rutger Hauer slapped
the horse too hard and it took off over the hill and off
into the horizon. The horse was too powerful for Matthew
Broderick to stop, so all everyone could do was
sit and wait for him to come back.
- The breed of horse that Navarre
rides is a Friesian stallion that originated in the
Netherlands, Rutger Hauer's native country. The
breed was popular among medieval knights. The most
prominently used horse was a 19 year old stallion called
- The hawk featured in the movie
went under the name Spike II and worked in the Universal
Bird Show until 2000 when she was transfered to the
National Audubon society and became an Audubon
Ambassador until she died in May 2007. Several different
hawks were used. One to sit on Rutger Hauer's
arm and another for the flying scenes. A third proved to
be mostly unusable, as it enjoyed Hauer's
company so much that it would ruffle it feathers when
seated on his arm, making it look more like a chicken
than a stately hawk.
- In the Bishop's garden, he is
seen hand-feeding a dancing woman (played by Constume
Designer Nanà Cecchi). The pattern on the
sleeves of her gown is drawn from the plumage of a hawk,
and she employs bird-like motions in her dancing.
- Navarre's sword was made for the
film. It is a style a generation older than the assumed
date of the plot events (1239) and was on display at the
Worldcon in Anaheim in 1984. The sword, and the short
sword, the dagger, and the crossbow were, and perhaps
still are, on the wall above the fireplace in Richard
Donner's family room.
- Matthew Broderick and John
Wood also starred together in the John Badham film
"War Games" (1983).
- In the film "Conspiracy Theory"
(1997), also directed by Richard Donner, there
is a scene where Mel Gibson's character runs into a
movie theater in an attempt to get away from his
pursuers. The film that is playing on the screen is "Ladyhawke".