Guess the Movie!

I’m going to try something a little different today.  I’ve always liked movies that appear to fit into a particular genre on the surface but in reality the stories are actually from a completely different genre.  Sometimes this is intentional, as one setting can be used as an allegory for another, but sometimes it’s just that the trappings of a film hide the fact that the movie isn’t actually about what you think it’s about.  One of my favorite films in particular seems to fit this mold, in that it’s nominally about one thing and fits in one particular drama, but the story we’re watching is actually about something completely different that would fit into a different genre.  So in the spirit of that idea, I’ve rewritten the story for a particular film in the genre and setting in which I feel it best fits, and your challenge is to guess the movie!  I’ve changed the character names and some genders, as well as deleting some subplots or details that would have too easily have given it away.  Hopefully this will make you look at the movie (and others if this proves popular) in a different way.  So see if you can figure it out:

No, it’s not Dragonslayer… the whole point is that this is a different setting and genre than the film is actually in.


Once upon a time there was a land that lived under constant attack by dragons.  There was no way to stop the dragons, no warning when they attacked, and the indiscriminately killed villagers and ravaged the countryside.  Years ago a young girl named Josephine watched as the biggest, most fierce and most legendary dragon destroyed her home and killed her father.  From that day on she devoted her life to studying the dragons hoping to one day find a way to rid the land of them and to protect the other villagers.  She eventually met up with William, a man who was on a similar quest and who has a supernatural ability to see into the mind of the dragons and anticipate their movements.  Together, Josephine and William gathered a band of followers to help them in their quest, wizards, alchemists, blacksmiths and researchers, and together this fellowship began to design a mythical weapon that would finally allow them to slay these beasts.  Josephine and William fell in love, but their headstrong personalities clashed and eventually William left the group and Josephine before the weapon was completed, becoming a simple teacher in a local village.

One day, however, William meets back up with the fellowship when they pass by his village, hoping to clear up some unresolved issues with Josephine.  Once he joins them, they reveal that they’ve created four magical spears based on his designs that they hope can slay the dragons.  William is unable to resist joining their hunt, and the group sets off together.  Along the way they encounter Judas, a former member of their group.  Judas abandoned the fellowship, taking copies of the weapon plans to the king, who knighted him, gave him an entourage of the finest craftsmen throughout the land, and together they built their own magical spears.  However, Judas doesn’t care about slaying the dragons or protecting the people, he’s more interested in currying favor at court and gaining fame and wealth from his endeavors.  William hates Judas for the betrayal, and vows to help Josephine finally slay the dragons.

The two groups set off, with William using his special ability to track the dragons and anticipate their actions and Judas following behind, hoping to take advantage of William’s gift.  Josephine and William find and attack a dragon, but find themselves outmatched and barely escape, but their first magical spear is shattered in the attempt and Josephine’s horse is killed.  They later come across a pair of dragons, but once again just manage to escape with their lives.  However, the excitement of the chase slowly starts to bring William and Josephine back together.  After their last encounter, they decide to stop at Josephine’s Uncle’s home nearby for food and rest, where they sit around the campfire eating and telling stories of their adventures throughout the years.  Before they can even finish their meal, however, a messenger arrives with word of another dragon nearby.

The fellowship sets off again, and after another, particularly close call another of their magical spears is destroyed, seemingly unable to penetrate the dragon’s hide as it was designed.  Josephine starts to lose hope and reveals to William that she feels like the dragons are coming after her personally, rather than just indiscriminately killing and destroying.  William understands her desire for revenge but reminds her that killing herself won’t bring her father back.  That night they take shelter in an inn, which is attacked and destroyed by a dragon.  The fellowship hides in the cellar as the building falls apart around them, wounding several and destroying most of their supplies.  After the attack, they realize that the dragon has continued in the direction of Josephine’s uncle, and they race to save him.  They arrive at his house, which has been demolished by the dragon, who has since moved on.  They manage to extract her uncle from the rubble of the house, but he is gravely wounded.  They realize that this latest dragon is in fact the same one which killed Josephine’s father years ago, and as the healers work on her uncle he charges her with ending the beast once and for all.

Josephine can’t figure out why the magical weapons won’t work against the dragons, until a sudden inspiration leads her to discover one final enchantment that will solve the problem.  The fellowship works together to enchant the last two spears, and head off after the legendary dragon who was responsible for so much suffering.  They catch up to it, but it is so big as to block out the sun, and it shoots flame at them while hurling anything it can get its claws on in their paths, from livestock to boulders to entire houses.  They attempt to attack the dragon, but their third spear is shattered, leaving only one.  As they try to regroup they see Judas charge ahead with his own spears.  All previous animosity is set aside in the face of such a fearsome beast as they call to him to let him know the weapons need an additional enchantment, but he ignores them and goes in for the attack.  However, he is careless and lacks William’s instincts, and the dragon impales him on his spiked tail before burning him in flames.

With their final weapon, Josephine and William charge the beast, dodging all of its attacks, and finally manage to plunge the spear strait into its heart.  In the throes of death it flails and roars, doing as much damage as possible before it meets its end, but ultimately collapses.  Josephine and William, emerging from the rubble, kiss and begin planning where to go from here as though they had never separated.  The fellowship rejoices, both at their final success and at the reunion of their friends, but they all know there is much work to be done in a land still infested with dragons.  However, armed with their new knowledge they look forward to a day when dragons no longer rule the land and the villagers are safe at last.

What do you think?  What movie am I describing?

4 thoughts on “Guess the Movie!

  1. Pingback: In Memoriam: Bill Paxton | The Love Pirate

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