On this day in comedy on November 21, 2001 Martin Lawrence’s Black Knight was released by 20th Century Fox
This Martin Lawrence vehicle is about a black theme park employee transported back to Merry Ole England. When Lawrence falls in the moat at his job at Medieval World, he believes he’s at the rival theme park, Castle World. All the villagers look like actors to him until somebody gets their head cut off and then it gets real. Lawrence realizes he’s in deep crap, but with the help of a drunken ex-knight and a chambermaid, he assumes an identity so he keeps his dome intact. Telling them he’s from Florence and Normandie (South Central in the house) they assume he’s a French Moor. He then calls himself Skywalker (high school nickname) and becomes the king’s head of security after accidentally saving him from assassination. It’s all good until Lawrence finds out the king is scum and the former queen needs to be restored to the throne. So, he teaches the villagers football and wrestling moves from the future and the climactic scene finds the king overthrown.
Black Knight features Tom Wilkerson as the drunken knight. Marsha Thomason as the chambermaid. Kevin Conway as the scummy king and Vincent Regan as the scummy king’s bodyguard. Daryl Mitchell is also featured. The film was shot in North Carolina, which as everybody knows, bears a striking resemblance to England.
Directed by Gil Junger, Black Knight was critically panned. Junger was known more as a sitcom director and it was said the film looked lazy. However, it was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing / Music, but on a budget of $50 million dollars Black Knight only grossed $39,976,235 at the worldwide box office.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: