August 30th, 1985


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Still of Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Flesh+BloodFlesh+BloodFlesh+BloodStill of Tom Burlinson in Flesh+BloodStill of Tom Burlinson in Flesh+BloodStill of Tom Burlinson in Flesh+Blood

A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son...

Release Year: 1985

Rating: 6.7/10 (7,643 voted)

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Stars: Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson

A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son. As the plague and warfare cut a swathe of destruction throughout the land, the mercenaries hole up in a castle and await their fate.

Writers: Paul Verhoeven, Gerard Soeteman

Rutger Hauer - Martin
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Agnes
Tom Burlinson - Steven
Jack Thompson - Hawkwood
Fernando Hilbeck - Arnolfini (as Fernando Hillbeck)
Susan Tyrrell - Celine
Ronald Lacey - Cardinal
Brion James - Karsthans
John Dennis Johnston - Summer
Simón Andreu - Miel
Bruno Kirby - Orbec
Kitty Courbois - Anna
Marina Saura - Polly
Hans Veerman - Father George
Jake Wood - Little John

Taglines: In a savage time, torn between two rivals she fought for survival with the only weapon she had... herself.

Release Date: 30 August 1985

Filming Locations: Belmonte, Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,500,000(estimated)

Gross: $100,000 (USA) (1 September 1985)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Netherlands:  | Sweden:

Did You Know?

Nastassja Kinski and Rebecca De Mornay were considered for the part of Agnes. De Mornay was rejected because she demanded that her then boyfriend, Tom Cruise, be cast as Steven. Jennifer Jason Leigh was ultimately handpicked by director Paul Verhoeven himself.

Factual errors: After drinking from the contaminated well, several characters immediately fall ill from plague. Plague by any vector has an incubation period of at least one day.

Hawkwood: I didn't see the damn thing!
Martin: I did sir
[helps Hawkwood]
Martin: .
Hawkwood: Bless you Martin, your reward is in heaven.
Martin: I'd rather get paid sooner sir if you don't mind.

User Review

Machiavellian, Violent, Amoral and Hypnotic Adventure in the Middle Ages

Rating: 9/10

In 1501, in the Western Europe, in a period when the black plague is jeopardizing the populations, an army of mercenary peasants leaded by Martin (Rutger Hauer) fights side-by-side with the noble Arnolfini (Fernando Hilbeck) to retrieve his castle, with the promise of a huge reward. However, the band is betrayed by Arnolfini, and decides to pay him back, assaulting and stealing a caravan under the command of Arnolfini and his son and student, Steven (Tom Burlinson). In one of the wagon is traveling the fiancée of Steven, Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is accidentally kidnapped and later raped by the group. Agnes becomes Martin's mate, and the mercenaries decide to invade a castle, without knowing that the army of Arnolfini is chasing them.

"Flesh & Blood" is one of the best movies in the Middle Ages I have ever seen: it is a Machiavellian, violent, amoral and hypnotic adventure, indeed very brutal, with the peasants being poor and ignorant people, with dirty clothes, spoiled teeth, living in dirty and muddy villages. Therefore, a vision totally different from Hollywood movies, with fancy castles and villages with beautiful people. The direction of Paul Verhoven is efficient and perfect as usual, and the entire cast has magnificent and very natural performances, highlighting the amazing Rutger Hauer in the role of Martin, and Jennifer Jason Leigh who has one of her best performances, in the stunning role of a young woman that uses her body to fight for survival in a hostile environment. I have this movie on VHS, but I bought the DVD recently released in Brazil by the distributor Continental, and it was a worthwhile investment, since the widescreen image and the sound are excellent. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Conquista Sangrenta" ("Bloody Conquest")