Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Overlooked Movies: Robin and Marian

I get all verklempt just thinking about this movie.  It's not the Robin Hood of Errol Flynn at all.  Or maybe it is.  The thing is that Robin (Sean Connery) and Marian (Audrey Hepburn) and the Merry Men are much older now.  Everyone else is, too, but they're still around, including King John (Ian Holm) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw).

The movie opens with a scene that's quite unflattering to Richard the Lionheart (Richard Harris).  When Robin and Little John (Nicol Williamson) refuse his orders to take a castle that's home to some women and children and one old man, Richard has the inhabitants killed and orders the execution of Robin and Little John.  It doesn't happen, though, and Richard himself dies.  Robin and Little John go home to England, where King John is still causing problems and where Marian has become an abbess.  Naturally there is trouble, and naturally Robin is caught up in it.  

[SPOILER ALERT]  Robin and the sheriff eventually engage in single combat.  Robin is wounded and taken to the abbey where Marian takes poison and gives him some to drink as well. [END OF SPOILER ALERT]

You probably all read the spoiler, or maybe you've seen the movie.  If so, you know why the movie wasn't a huge hit.  It has just about everything it needs -- fine performances from all concerned, action, a good story -- but the ending is not the kind of thing guaranteed to get people into the theater  It's a fine, elegiac conclusion, but it didn't send people out with a song in their hearts.  Really good movie, though. 


Dan said...

I had the remarkable experience of seeing this riht after watching the Flynn ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD on TV, which made it all the more poignant.

Unknown said...

That would be a nice double bill for some revival theater.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you can't go wrong with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, as far as I'm concerned.


Undine said...

I love that movie, and thought the ending was perfect for the film.

I've always thought this was one of Sean Connery's best roles, and while (hold your outrage!) I've never found Audrey Hepburn very interesting, she was enchanting here.

Thanks for reminding us of a really lovely and underrated film.

Ronald Tierney said...

One of my favorites — adventurous and romantic without getting mushy.

Unknown said...

Glad to see this one has fans. I should've mentioned that it was written by James Goldman, William's brother. I have a paperback of the screenplay.