Ladyhawke [1985]

This lushly produced fantasy has gained a loyal following since its release in 1985, and it gave a welcomed boost to the careers of Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Rutger Hauer. You have to ignore the overly aggressive music score (critic Pauline Kael aptly dubbed it "disco-medieval") and director Richard Donner's reckless allowance of anachronistic dialogue and uninspired storytelling, but there's a certain charm to the movie's combination of romance and heroism. Broderick plays a young thief who comes to the aid of tragic lovers Isabeau (Pfeiffer), who is cursed to become a hawk every day at sunrise and Navarre (Hauer) who turns into a wolf at sunset. The curse was cast by an evil sorcerer-bishop (John Wood), and as Broderick eludes the bishop's henchmen, Navarre struggles to conquer the villain, lift the curse, and be reunited with his love in human form. The tragedy of this lovers' dilemma keeps the movie going, and Broderick is well cast as a young, medieval variation of Woody Allen. --Jeff Shannon

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