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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

#2 - 1991 Box Office: Gross $165,493,908

Sometimes the only way to uphold to break the law
During a prison escape with his friend Peter, Robin of Locksley (Kevin Costner) saves the life of Azeem (Morgan Freeman) and the two survive thanks to Peter's self-sacrifice.  Azeem follows Robin back to England to pay back the debt of saving his life, however Robin's homecoming is tainted by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) who has killed Robin's father.  Robin meets Little John (Nick Brimble), Will Scarlet (Christian Slater) and a bunch of other Merry Men in Sherwood Forest and soon leads them to fight against the Sheriff, who himself has begun to aggressively court Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), sister of the dead Peter, who Robin promised to protect.

Trivia (mostly courtesy of the IMDb)
  • In its opening weekend, the film earned $25,625,602 and held the #1 spot for two consecutive weekends, being knocked into 2nd place in its third weekend by The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
  • When the Celts are attacking Sherwood, nearly every Celt who is hit by an arrow and killed is played by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard
  • The shot of Robin shooting the flaming arrow was shot at 300 frames per second (normal scenes are shot at 24 fps)
  • The scene where Azeem first shows Robin his telescope is similar to a scene in Dances with Wolves, also starring Costner
  • "Sadiq," the name that Azeem calls Robin, means "friend" in Arabic
  • The songs the characters sing and hum within the film are actual Medieval melodies. For example, the song Friar Tuck sings is set to the tune of a song called Bacche Bene Venies, from the 13th century Codex Buranus
  • Cary Elwes was offered the lead role but turned it down because he thought the movie's plot was too contrived. He did however portray the character in Mel Brooks' spoof Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas
Alan Rickman sure does know how to play a baddie—whether it's as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Professor Snape in the Potter films, or the Sheriff here, he perfectly oozes evil in every scene. Unfortunately, the film isn't The Sheriff of Nottingham: King of Douches.  Costner, as an American-voiced Robin Hood is pretty boring—the story is kind of muddled (I didn't even realize Marian was Peter's sister until reading the Wiki page earlier!) and the action isn't anything special.  If anything, I enjoyed this film for the way it made me appreciate Robin Hood: Men in Tights more—the "I'm drowning!" joke in MiT never landed for me, but now I understand why it's there.  The Adventures of Robin Hood from 1938 is a much grander adventure and at nearly an hour shorter, it was much more enjoyable than this mess.

Ponch's Rating:

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