(Richard Donner, USA, 1985)


Since the behind-the-deals TV series Naked Hollywood, it has become virtually obligatory for commentators on the mass media to deride any slightly expensive American film which appears to sport a market-driven high concept and be the product of a committee of script doctors.

The problem with this fashionable viewpoint is that, logically, it must end up dismissing virtually every film made within the Hollywood system, present or past.

Ladyhawke is a good case in point. Its original writer tells a typical horror story about how it was transformed from a modest, medieval, romantic fable to a galloping super-entertainment, complete with hilarious wisecracks, epic action scenes, and a handsome star for the teen market (Matthew Broderick).

These elements happen to be, however, precisely what give the film its considerable energy and charm.

MORE Donner: Assassins, Conspiracy Theory

© Adrian Martin January 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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