Robin and Marian

Robin and Marian (1976-03-11)

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 106m
  • Popularity: 10.382
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $5,000,000
  • Revenue: $0
  • Vote Average: 6.4
  • Vote Count: 194

  • Wuchak

    _**Robin Hood returns to England in his grey years**_ Coming back from the Crusades, Robin Hood and Little John (Sean Connery and Nicol Williamson) are still serving under King Richard the Lionhearted (Richard Harris) in France before finally making it back to England and reuniting with Marian (Audrey Hepburn) and their old nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw). Directed by Richard Lester, "Robin and Marian" (1976) has an odd tone, combining the brutal realities of Medieval Europe with subtle humor and nobility. The fun element is low-key and meshed with melancholy, but such ‘dark comedy’ is lost on many today (even I had to acclimate). However, if you think about it, the blockbuster “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” (1991) had a similar mixed tone. In any case, the movie emphasizes the betrayal of aging; how the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Past glories and past loves are yearned for, but the passing decades have changed everything forever. On top of this, you get real-life castles, authentic Medieval garb and a great, realistic swordfight between two aging men before the controversial close (controversial to others, not me). Pompous King Richard’s shocking atrocities in the opening act are contrasted by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Shaw), who has mellowed with age and has leaned something of compassion and respect. He’s older and wiser now, less disposed to unfair treatment. His present reign seems to be rather benign and not overly oppressive. He has a limp along with the generally slower movement that comes with age. When he comes to the edge of Sherwood Forest with his small army his strategy is to wait Robin Hood out for surrender, presumably to spare Robin's life and allow his followers to simply go back to their farms or what have you. This is a welcome surprise and shows that this is not just Sean Connery’s movie, but Shaw’s as well. Notice how, after a prayer in the field before their mano a mano duel, Robin assists the Sheriff to his feet before they begin. Concerning King Richard, his fate in the movie is similar to the way it went down in real life, except that it was by a vengeful boy using a crossbow and, like in the film, he was using a frying pan for a shield. The kid’s name was Pierre Basile and the incident happened at the siege of Châlus-Charbrol in central France on March 26, 1199. Although Richard generously forgave him and set him free, he was flayed alive the day Richard passed away on April 6, 1199 at the order of Richard’s infamous mercenary captain Mercadier. This rendition of Robin Hood features perhaps the best depiction of Little John by Nicol Williamson, at least as far as getting to know the character and caring about him. You’ll note that he too loves Marian, albeit secretly. Speaking of Marian, this was Hepburn’s first film in almost a decade after taking a break to raise her family. If you appreciate “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” or “Robin Hood” (2010), be sure to check this one out as it’s a quality interpretation of Robin in his older years. True, Connery was only 45 years-old during shooting and Russell Crowe was the same age when he did his version, but 45 was fairly old in Medieval times. The only negatives are the aforementioned curious tone, which you have to get used to, and the lack of lushness in the locales, which betrays that the flick was not shot in England. The film runs 1 hour, 46 minutes, and was shot in the Navarra region of northeastern Spain and Villalonso, Zamora, Castilla y León in northwestern Spain. GRADE: B+