Sunday, May 30, 2010


Saw the new Robin Hood film this week and unfortunately, Hollywood has still yet to make a great (or accurate) Robin Hood flick.

1. R
OBIN AND MARIAN (1976) Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn., Robert Shaw and Richard Harris. This is the best cast of any Robin Hood movie. This is actually an "after-the-legend" story. Robin is approaching fifty years old, and he is a captain in the army of King Richard the Lion-Heart. After the King's death, Robin and Little John return to Sherwood Forest to discover that Marian had joined a convent.

I cannot spoil the story by telling you the rest of the plot. Rest assured the story is NOT swashbuckling, it is about the enduring love between two opposite, middle-aged people. Marian's speech to Robin at the end is one of the greatest "I love you" moments in cinema. Robin and Marian is one of the most romantic movies of the 1970s, and very few people have seen it.

2. ROBIN HOOD (1973) Disney's animated version. Despite the fact that all the characters are portrayed by humanoid animals (some with hick Southern accents and others with proper English accents) this is actually one of more accurate portrayals of the Robin Hood legend.

3. WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN (1975) Okay technically, this is not a film, it was an ABC-TV series that ran for 13 episodes, and is still one of my all time favorite shows. Created and Produced by Mel Brooks, this was his warm-up for 1993's Robin Hood: Men In Tights

The production was run by the same team responsible for the hit Get Smart! The idea was: Robin Hood and his merry men were all idiots! One of the running plotlines was King John's attempts to establish a monopoly of the olive oil market. "Anyone who wants to make a salad will have to come to me!" Still one of the funniest sitcoms of all time!

4. ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (1993) Pale theatrical version of aforementioned When Things Were Rotten.

5. ROBIN HOOD (2010) Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and Max Von Sydow. Gladiator in Sherwood Forest! If you don't care about a logical plot, or care about the Robin Hood legend, you will love this movie. Lots of fighting, treachery and derring-do! Even though it makes no sense. The main complaint though: it's a prequel! The movie ends at the point it should actually begin!

6. THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The first big Hollywood treatment set the standard (and storyline) for the next 50 years. But these days it comes across as silly and amateurish.

HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991) Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater. Awful. Boring. Depressing. Costner uses an English accent with certain words, but the rest of the time doesn't bother. What a disaster!


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