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  • This is a lovely tale chronicling the autumn days of Robin Hood's life and his rekindled romance with his lost love, Marian. The only reason I didn't rate it higher is that I was hoping for more scenes with Robin & Marian together, as opposed to the men's exploits. The movie relates Robin's story from an unusual perspective, not as the legendary dashing young archer & outlaw, but as an aging hero with some physical infirmities, making him all the more appealing. But Robin Hood still has some fight left in him...

    The much older Robin has returned from the Crusades to Sherwood Forest, accompanied by his faithful friend and constant companion, Little John. His old love, Marian, is by this time a nun, in fact the Mother Superior of an Abbey. Politically, King Richard the Lionheart and his brother, Prince John, are basically greedy idiots and definitely no asset to the peasants. Robin's old nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham, is as menacing as ever, and Robin must again summon a band of loyal followers (including his old cohorts, Will Scarlett and Friar Tuck) to protect the innocent from the Sheriff's tyranny.

    The two stars are perfect in this mature love story, with its dramatic ending that I won't give away here. Sean Connery makes a sympathetic and compelling but weary hero, as Robin comes to grips with his aging, his physical limitations, and his mortality. Audrey Hepburn with her ageless beauty is radiant, dignified, and graceful as Marian. The pair are absolutely beautiful together on screen.

    Actually, the most engrossing relationship in this film might just be between the two old adversaries, Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham, who form a sort of bond and develop mutual respect. Robert Shaw is absolutely perfect in his role as the Sheriff, who seems almost sympathetic & honourable here, not quite his usual completely villainous self. Their struggle culminates in a dramatic sword duel. Another relationship well developed is the one between Robin and his faithful friend, the gentle giant, Little John, who is portrayed by Nicol Williamson. Richard Harris plays the malevolent King Richard, though I am uncertain as to the historical accuracy of the depiction.

    This movie has beautiful cinematography and musical scoring. Though Robin is no longer the daring young adventurer of old, this story is much more compelling than some other adaptations, notably the vastly inferior Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner. Perhaps less exciting derring do than other tales, this film (to its credit) tends to humanize the mythical medieval hero. It is a touching, bittersweet, and melancholy tale of autumn in Sherwood Forest...for Robin's band of Merry Men, his lady, his foe, and especially the legendary hero himself.
  • Most people are unaware of this movie's existence, despite an all-star cast. It is one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Robin Hood is an old man now, trying to tie together some of the pieces of his ideals. The familiar characters are also still around.

    The most interesting thing about the movie is the insights it offers into the nature of heroism. Robin and the merry men were heroes because of what they believed in and their courage, not because they could shoot the straightest and run the fastest.

    The gang can't jump fences or climb walls any more, or do much of anything that requires physical exertion. Their efforts are sometimes comical. But they are still great men because of what is inside of them.

    Audrey Hepburn is wonderful as the aging Marian, and look for the visual poetry of the three apples which are pictured in the opening as ripe and in the ending as withered, as are Rob and Johnny and Marian. There are many such metaphorical presentations which are not often seen in movies. I like to see a little of that visual poetry, even if it is a bit clumsy.

    Not a great film ... not a Grand Illusion or anything, but just a nice execution of a simple, touching concept.
  • GulyJimson30 December 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    It brought Audrey Hepburn back to the screen after an absence of eight years. It brought Sean Connery and Richard Harris back together again after their teaming in "The Molly Maguires" and it even brought back Connery and Robert Shaw fourteen years after they fought to the death in "From Russia With Love". Unfortunately at the time of its release it did not bring back audiences to the theaters. For a movie going public acclimatized to the likes of "Jaws" and "Rocky", a film concerned with aging and loss, corruption and mortality was not likely to find very wide acceptance. Today it is generally regarded as a classic and one of the best adult love stories ever filmed. What do heroes do when it's time to call it a day? This is the problem confronting Robin Hood, a legend in his own time, on his return to Sherwood Forest after twenty-five years of fighting in the Holy Land. Should he, as old soldiers are said to do, quietly fade away, or go out in a blaze of glory? Unfortunately Robin is, as his great adversary, The Sheriff of Nottingham wisely observes, "A little in love with death." So it is unlikely he will slowly fade away. And Death hangs over the film like an unseen presence. This central theme is given visual emphasis in one of the opening shots. We see three apples set in an open window. Perfect at first, then suddenly an abrupt jump cut showing them rot. This motif of aging and corruption is repeated for the closing of the film as well. We hear Will Scarlett sing about, "Following Jolly Robin to the grave." The mortally wounded Richard Lionheart confides to one of his lieutenants his dislike of the cold and dark; when Little John expresses his desire to go see his father again, he is ruefully informed by Friar Tuck that, "He died years ago, John..." The wistful reaction on Little John's face eloquently expresses regret too profound for words. Visually and verbally death is a constant presence. Indeed, the original script was titled, "The Death of Robin Hood." With a title like that it was not going to be a rehash of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. And perhaps that also added to the films lackluster performance at the box-office. Audiences brought up on "The Adventures of Robin Hood" simply could not accept seeing these two beautiful star-crossed lovers ravaged by time, even if they were portrayed by the likes of Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn.

    However like the Flynn film, "Robin and Marian" boasts a superb cast. Sean Connery gives one of his great performances. His Robin refuses to acknowledge the approaching infirmities of old age, and like a great ex-athlete attempts to make a comeback in a world that has long since left him behind. Nicol Williamson, woefully under-used in most films has one of his best roles as Little John, the terrible gentle giant who follows Robin with the unquestioning simplicity of a child. He and Connery have the essential chemistry necessary and make an incredibly good team. Robert Shaw brings intelligence, sensitivity and danger to the Sheriff of Nottingham, a man who will ultimately be undone because of those very virtues. Richard Harris does a magnificent turn as King Richard the Lion-hearted. Even though burnt out by years of chasing after glory, he still retains the after-glow of greatness. Ian Holm as his brother Prince John is a wonderful contrast, anxious and insecure, scheming and pleasure loving. His scene with the ambitious, equally scheming Sir Ranulf, the marvelously supercilious Kenneth Haigh, highlights another of the film's themes; the passing of the chivalric age. This is signaled by the death of King Richard, continues with the death of The Sheriff, and is completed by the deaths of Robin and Marian. Prince John and Sir Ranulf symbolize the ascendancy of the modern, hollow man, ambition without vision, loyal only to power and expediency. Prince John, is King as CEO interested only in profit, Sir Ranulf, like the armor he sports, a soulless, mechanical bird of prey. Denholm Elliot as Will Scarlett and Ronnie Barker as Friar Tuck complete Robin's band. Elliott was an actor who could express more with a simple look than most actors can with pages of dialog, and Barker has some nice ironic moments as the Friar. Finally "Robin and Marian" brought Audrey Hepburn back to the screen, as radiant and lovely as ever. Seeing her first in her nun's garb recalls her appearance in, "The Nun's Story" sixteen years earlier. Some people have an ageless beauty and Audrey Hepburn had that quality. She and Connery may be the best tragic lovers since Humphrey Bogart told Ingrid Bergman to get on that plane in "Casablanca". Their scenes together are magic. When Marian asks Robin why he followed Richard during all the years of terrible carnage, Connery sums up his life with a simplicity that is breathtaking; "He was my King..."

    The film is wonderfully elegiac and the melancholic sense of time irretrievably lost is heartrending. James Goldman's screenplay is quite simply his best, surpassing his own adaptation of his play, "The Lion in Winter". Unlike that film Goldman refuses to indulge in pithy witticisms at the expense of period flavor. John Barry's bittersweet score and Richard Lester's austere direction never descend into sentimentality and underscore the tragedy of the two lovers reunited after spending half a lifetime apart. David Watkins's gritty cinematography beautifully captures the squalor of life in the medieval age. "Robin and Marian" is a bittersweet adult love story for discriminating viewers of all ages.
  • Oh what a wonderful idea. A new telling of the Robin Hood legend with his merry men, Maid Marion, and the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham thrown in. The twist was that the characters were all older and starting to slow down and realize their youthful adventures were long past them. The core of the story is the bittersweet love story between the title characters.

    The true core of the film and what makes it so special is the casting. Sean Connery plays Robin Hood as the hero we all know who is slowing down despite his attempts to keep going. Audrey Hepburn is perfect as Marian. She reminds us of her eternal beauty and how truly a good actress she was. This was her first theatrical film in 9 years and it's a shame she was so little seen in that time. Actually, she was little seen after that appearing only in a few more films and none that were very memorable. Nicol Williamson plays Robin's ever faithful right hand man still trying to fight the good fight and always remaining by Robin's side. And Robert Shaw plays the Sheriff in a role he was born to play. The final swordfight between him and Robin is a highlight.

    Then we come to the ending. I won't give it away save to say that it's a good, albeit, very bittersweet ending. The point comes across in a way that Shakespeare may have written.

    It's a sweet and sometimes exciting film that is most underrated and deserves to be seen.
  • Maltin doesn't seem to like this movie yet gives it 3 stars.

    The movie is very well done.It is a bit of a downer to see old versions of these classic heroes, villains, and heroines, but is a welcomed different take on the Robin Hood story. I would take one of these any day than a bad remake like Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

    Sean Connery is great as a weary Robing Hood back from the crusades who suddenly is rejeunivated when he meets up with Marian and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Robert Shaw is as usual, perfect in his role as the sheriff. You hate him but you can't hate him too much. He's Robert Shaw. You love to hate him.

    Nicol Williamson is a very good Little John, who is Robin's constant companion.

    Richard Harris is perfect as malevolent King Richard.

    Of course only Audrey Hepburn's Marian could play opposite Connery's Robin without coming off as slight.

    The movie takes no easy or unrealistic turns. It is a very and realistic look at Robin Hood.

    Warning you might not like the ending, but after you think about it for a while it makes sense.

    Lots of potent imagery.
  • Robin and Marion is a bittersweet look at the last days of Robin Hood. Sean Connery was born to play Robin Hood and his easy going charm and grace gives fact to this. Audrey Hepburn gives a stunning portrayal of Maid Marion who has arrived at a point in her life where she is not happy but content. Robin has returned from the crusades and he is neither happy or content King Richard is dead and the throne has returned to King John and the Sheriff of Mottingham wonderfully played by Robert Shaw is once again doing the King's dirty work. Robin returns home to England only to find he's a legend and a hero and that a tyrant once again sits on the throne. Robin brings the merry men back together but finds that old age has crept up on them and nothing is easy. Then King John orders all priests and nuns jailed and churches closed because if they do not support him he considers it treason and Robin finds out Marion is now an nun and her abbey is targeted by the sheriff. Robin and his men rescue her only to find shes bitter and angry at Robin. But you know the rest they are still in love and there is one final well put together sword fight with the sheriff. And then the Death of Robin Hood in what has to be one of the most emotionally packed scenes I have ever saw. This is not Errol Flynn's Robin Hood but this one deserves to stand beside it as one of the greatest Robin Hood films of all times.
  • One needs to say straight off the bat that if one wants lots of typical Robin Hood swashbuckling then one is better off seeing the Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner or one of the countless lesser films of Robin Hood. There is not much action here. However, the shortage of action is really quite appropriate to this particular film, which can be seen as a sequel to almost any other version you've seen. 'The Last Days Of Robin Hood' would have been as good a title as the one we have.

    This being a Richard Lester film, there are plenty of humorous touches. Here, they seem somewhat out of place,as the general tone of the film is bittersweet. We have a Robin Hood who is aging and aware of it, yet still has to fill the role of a legendary hero. The film portrays even better than El Cid the passing of somebody into legend, and a sense of destiny- it's more important that Robin fulfill his than opt out and not have the risk of things ending sadly. Sean Connery never did change that accent, but he could be a superb actor at times, as indeed he is here. The supporting cast is a virtual Who's Who of fine British character actors of the time, but Robert Shaw stands out as the most menacing Sheriff Of Nottingham on film.

    There is much in this film that is immensely touching, especially when Robin and Marian start resuming their romance which supposedly ended 18 years previously. David Watkin's gorgeous photography of the countryside is essential in giving the film it's autumnal quality. Despite the overly lengthy build up to it, the final Robin/Sheriff duel is well worth the wait, a really realistic, convincing brawl. The film is aided immensely by John Barry's music- his main theme is beautiful and deserves to be ranked among the more famous themes this great composer has written. One could easily find a more exciting and even more entertaining Robin Hood film than this, but probably not a more touching one.
  • Yes...that title was a direct response to the king of middlebrow criticism, Leonard Maltin. Let me say at the onset that this film was simply superb, one of the best films of 1976.Richard Lester works the same magic here that he worked in his wonderful Musketeers films..he breathes new life into a timeless myth. James Goldmans script is, in fact, a meditation on old age and the passing of heroic values.Audrey Hepburn is incandescent in this, her last performance. Sean Connery, Robert Shaw , and Nicol Williamson are uniformly excellent. Connery portrays Robins heroic desperation and his undying tenderness for Marian.Nicol Williamson embodies dogged, simple minded loyalty.Robert Shaw is a stupendous villain. He interprets the Sheriff of Nottingham as a prototypical servant of the emerging nation state.In short, this is a terrific film, perhaps the greatest reworking of the legend since Errol Flynn.
  • Pamsanalyst4 May 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    The little things in this wonderful movie send the messages we need to hear. The idiotic King Richard destroying the castle for a worthless piece of stone, and then like any King, ordering the messengers, Robin and John, to be executed.

    This folly repeats itself at the end, when Robin takes the Sheriff and his aides at their word that their duel will decide the day, but with Nottingham dead and Robin mortally wounded, we see Robin's peasants being chased and slaughtered.

    Lester is one of the few directors that shows how exhausting fighting with swords can be. Here the final duel to death bears resemblance to that between Michael York and Christopher Lee in 4 Musketeers.

    Lester and the camera catch the crow's feet in Marian's eyes as she rekindles the flame. This is so touching. And he does the impossible by letting us have a certain sympathy and respect for Nottingham, a man with a pompous idiot for a king.

    Who else but Goldman would have Little John lamenting that it is always Robin that gets the girl. His scene with Marian when she tries to convince him to stop Robin from the final fight is almost as painful as the last meeting of Marian and Robin, and how Little John defends the two. What a boon friend he is.

    Everyone has noted that Goldman also wrote Lion in Winter, but all fans of "Robin" should find his "They Might Be Giants", which is another look at a legend,Sherlock Holmes, and mature love.

    Critics don't always get it right. I recall Newsweek's rewriting his review of Bonnie and Clyde, and I wonder if she were alive today if Pauline Kael would do this same for this wonderful film.
  • The film picks up the Robin Hood legend some twenty years after with Robin and his sidekick Little John return to their old Sherwood Forest embittered by King Richard, by the Crusades and their sickening brutality…

    They're informed by former friends Friar Tuck and Will that the lovely Maid Marian now lives nearby, where she has become the abbess… And the sheriff is as powerful as ever and rules the country…

    Marian greets Robin's return with mixed feelings, and tells him that, in the passed two decades, she worked hard studying herbs and medicines, and she loves her life and she won't give it up…

    Of course, after the return of Robin, Marian could not imagine herself living in the world again, or even wanting to… But after he rescues her from his long time enemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham, who tries to arrest her on religious grounds, the two become lovers once again…

    As Robin, Connery is a little bit in love with death… He flirts, he teases, he challenges his strong enemy to a single combat to the death...

    As Marian, Hepburn felt so little for so long
  • This is a real collector's item. A literate script by Bill Goldman's older brother, Jim, something of an anglophile despite being born and bred in Chicago - he'd already weighed in with The Lion In Winter, both stage and then screenplay plus the novel Myself As Witness, about King John, so he was right at home in the territory. Thirteen years after From Russia With Love Robert Shaw and Sean Connery are back as adversaries though this time around there's a healthy dose of the love-hate aspect now obligatory since The Prisoner Of Zenda brought it off to a fare-thee-well. The autumnal feel is palpable from the first image of decaying fruit and is reinforced by the muted, pastel rather than oil pastoral settings. This leaves only the playing which runs the gamut from more-than-competent to exquisite. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness indeed, in spades. 9/10
  • This is Sean Connery's other great performance (besides THE HILL) that was inexplicably ignored by too many film critics and other "film lovers". I suppose with this one, the reason is too many people can't bear to let go of their pristine version of the Robin Hood legend, the 1938 Errol Flynn Hollywood film. It's a shame, because ROBIN AND MARIAN manages to open up the legend in fascinating ways while still showing a great deal of affection for Robin Hood and the heroic vision that so many, both in the 13th century and today, need to believe in.

    Still, great jobs by Connery, Hepburn (truly the template for a beautiful mature woman), Williamson, Shaw, Holm, Barker, Elliot, Harris and the rest of the actors. I think Goldman's script was a brilliant light companion to THE LION IN WINTER, but only light on the surface; underneath was a mature and fully realised meditation on all our twilights. And the direction by Richard Lester was yet again masterful, one of the many reasons why he will always be among my favorite directors. And finally, the music by another master, John Barry, shows the maestro at the top of his form.

    One of my 100 favorite films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The above description may strike some as odd, or a clash of discordant elements.Indeed one of the most frequent criticisms(misjudged, in my opinion) of 'Robin and Marian' is that it mixes elements that don't fit together. I suspect that many viewers expected a typical swash-buckling Robin Hood film, and judged this film by those standards. Such an expectation will lead to disappointment, since 'Robin and Marian' doesn't put an emphasis on action scenes(though there are a few)or serve as purely escapist entertainment.

    Instead it is concerned with questions of heroism and ideals that one lives by, and how they can be out of sorts in a cruel world(this is something Robin has come to realize after years of serving Richard the Lionheart in the Crusades). But at the center of the story is the reunion of Robin and Marian, and the revelation that their love is what has ultimately endured. Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn are radiant together, both turning in some of the strongest work in their careers(the scene where Marian examines Robin's scars and removes her nun's habit is especially lovely). The two great leads are strongly supported by some of the best English character actors.

    My only quibble with the film is the rather rushed pacing of the last half; it could've benefited from taking a bit more development with preparation for the final battle and the sad yet affirming conclusion(those offended by the ending are clearly unfamiliar with the medieval Robin Hood ballads). But this doesn't hinder my enthusiasm for, or make me hesitate to recommend "Robin and Marian".
  • If Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn had a child together, he or she would probably be the best-looking kid ever. I assume that is what was going through the casting director's head when she approached this film.

    "Robin and Marian" shows us a Robin Hood story we haven't seen before. Rather than an origin story, we get an outcome story. This is a welcome approach to a tale that has been told so many times that it could easily become dull.

    In other Robin Hood films, such as the 1922 silent film staring Douglas Fairbanks, 1991's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" starring Kevin Costner, and 2010's "Robin Hood" staring Russell Crowe, Robin's adventures begin after he returns from the Third Crusade. We're asked to believe that a crusader who had fought alongside the king in the Holy Land would settle down in Sherwood Forest to frolic with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and the Merry Men.

    In "Robin and Marian," we learn that Robin's best-known adventures passed 20 years before the events in the film--before Robin joined the crusade. Robin (Connery) has become disillusioned with the crusade after King Richard the Lionheart (Richard Harris, Dumbledore from the first two Harry Potter films) orders his men to attack a crummy, undefended castle for a treasure that doesn't exist. After Richard dies, Robin returns to Nottinghamshire and resumes his relationship with Maid Marian (Hepburn), who has since become a nun, and his rivalry with the Sheriff, all of whom are older and wiser. Robin's old gang comes back to him, and they dream of rising up against the notorious King John (Ian Holm, Bilbo Baggins from "The Lord of the Rings").

    The youthful innocence of Robin's adventures in Sherwood and his love with Marian is long gone. We learn that Marian attempted suicide after Robin left her. Robin's experience in the crusade has also caused him to mature. Even though Connery is 45 in this movie, he doesn't look a day over 63. Their love now has the maturity of an old couple, and there is no denying there is real chemistry between Connery and Hepburn, which allows the characters to rise above the material.

    The Sheriff is played by Robert Shaw, resuming his adversarial role against Connery that commenced in the 1963 Bond film "From Russia with Love." Shaw is grim, but sympathetic, as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and is the best Sheriff of any Robin Hood film.

    "Robin and Marian" is a fun film. With the exception of some heavy- handed dialog early on in which the characters talk about historical events that would have been well-known in their day in order to educate the audience, the movie is both playful and touching. The film has effective situational humor throughout, using both slapstick and irony.

    The scenes between Connery and Hepburn all find the right tone, and the film has a somewhat faded look that helps create a nostalgic atmosphere. However, the fights look clumsy. Director Richard Lester could have taken tips on staging fights from Connery's earlier Bond films. Another technique Lester often employs is to show someone shooting an arrow, cut away, then have the victim with an arrow through his head fall into the frame. This is about as gruesome as the filmmakers could get considering the PG rating (this was before PG-13 was created).

    Unlike the most recent Hollywood Robin Hood film, this one doesn't pretend so much to be historically accurate, so I won't complain about historical inaccuracies such as Kings Richard and John speaking English, rather than French, or Robin Hood speaking in a thick Scottish accent.

    Movie connections: Sean Connery would go on to play King Richard in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," as well as appear with Ian Holm in "Time Bandits"--another film with the Robin Hood character. His son, Jason Connery, played Robert of Huntingdon in the British TV series, "Robin of Sherwood."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Several reviewers have noted the superb cast all of whom were working at top form in this film. Robin and Marian is, in my opinion, the best Robin Hood film ever made or that ever will be made. I would refute the criticism that it is for an older audience. When I saw it first I was 27 tears old and working as a projectionist in a theatre that ran the film shortly after release. Forty years later the sublimity of its vision has only deepened though it was apparent right from the firs. Let us now, however, consider its director, Richard Lester.

    No director has ever had a career of perfect films but Lester's has a few more than many.Starting with The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film that showcased the antics of the Goons (yes, folks, there was a predecessor to Monty Python) and The Beatles' two movies, Lester built a style and competence in storytelling with a mix of humor, drama and great humanity. His The Three and Four Musketeers remain the best Musketeers movies ever made and Juggernaut is the sole disaster movie made in the late 1960s and 1970s that remains worth watching decades later. Add to those Petulia, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, How I Won the War, The Knack and The Ritz and you have a body of work of which any director could be proud.

    We may love Errol Flynn's Robin Hood or Alan Rickamn's Sheriff of Nottingham but no prior or subsequent film is anything like as beautiful as this film. The whole film is worth watching for the scene between Connery and Hepburn when she discovers the battle scars on his body or for Robert Shaw's disdain of the ignorant noblemen who've come to him from Ian Holm's sniveling King John. Like the arrow shot from Nicole Williamson's bow in the final scene this film rises up into the sky and simply never comes down.

    I don't care how old you are or at what stage your love for another has reached you do yourself and your lover a disservice if you do not sit down and watch this along with what I consider the rest of the eight most romantic films of all time: City Lights (1931) It Happened One Night (1934) The Philadelphia Story (1940) The Princess Bride (1987) Moonstruck (1987) Il Postino (1994) Afterglow (1997)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is simply the most beautiful love story ever made - ever. It is both profoundly moving and incredibly funny - remember Richard Lester, after all, directed it. The script is witty, literate and Audrey Hepburn's passages are simply the most beautiful dialog written for a woman in love - delivered as only the elegant queen she was could do. Everyone is at the top of their game in the movie; Sean Connery at his wry, world-weary most heroic - Audrey Hepburn as the only woman on earth capable of being loved by such a figure; Robert Shaw, Nicole Williamson, and Richard Harris -- all wonderful in terrifically drawn characters.

    There's a beautiful, elegiac score by John Barry.

    I've seen the movie a dozen times and love it more every time I see it. It's amazingly under rated.
  • The title of the film is very appropriate, because it is first and foremost a love story. Secondly, it is a story about death: the death of youthful dreams, the death of legends, the death of an "heroic" age to be superseded by the age of greed and pragmatism. Thirdly, it is an excellent comedy. What it is not is an escapist film where immature audiences can forget their humdrum existence for a moment to revel in the might and glory of a superhero who "kicks butt". The protagonists in this film are real people. Their weaknesses, self-deceptions and errors are shown, in a humane and often very funny way. Overlaying every scene is a deep sense of melancholy, but also of optimism. This is in no small part due to the music score which mesmerizes and grips you emotionally. The acting of Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery has never been better. The ending was as sad as it had to be. Nevertheless, you will leave the cinema in an uplifted mood. The love between Marian and Robin is stronger than death, after all.
  • Robin Hood as a character has so completely become a part of our culture in the English speaking world that it's almost become a necessity that he did in fact exist.

    I remember years ago going to the Reno, Nevada area and had the opportunity to visit the Ponderosa ranch house. Of course this was the set that Bonanza was shot on, but it was advertised as going to see the Cartwright estate. Though it took only a dozen or more years and with the help of electronic media in place of the bards, it's like the Cartwright clan of Nevada were real people.

    The years after Robin Hood helped stop Richard the Lion Hearted's throne from being usurped by Prince John didn't quite work out for a happily ever after ending. Remember in the Errol Flynn classic how the grateful Ian Hunter gave his ward Olivia DeHavilland to her true love Flynn on the understanding that they would wed?

    Well according to Robin and Marian, they didn't. Robin and Little John took off on the crusade and came back after Richard's death. In fact that part of the story is where we begin with Sean Connery and Nicol Williamson as Robin Hood and Little John with Richard I after he died of blood poisoning from a wound taken besieging a castle.

    Remember the bloodthirsty Anthony Hopkins as Prince Richard in The Lion in Winter? The same writer, James Goldman, did the script for Robin and Marian and Richard Harris as the king is Anthony Hopkins quite grown up now and full of the same blood lust. It characterized his performance in The Crusades as well. Harris gives a remarkable performance, the best in the film.

    Anyway after his death in the French part of the Plantagenet empire, Connery and Williamson return and find Audrey Hepburn as Maid Marian having taken the vows. Of course she forgets them right quick enough when Connery returns, who could blame her.

    Unfortunately Connery has absorbed a lot more of his late king that he would like to admit. The usurper Prince John is now King in fact and his old local nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham is still the local law in Robin's bailiwick. Robert Shaw is the sheriff and his is another good performance.

    Richard Lester directed an outstanding group of players in Robin and Marian. It's a look at middle-age in the Middle Ages and a lot of the same problems occurred back then as they do now.

    This is one of the outstanding films, one of the five best in Sean Connery's career. It should receive a lot more acclaim than it has.
  • mroselli27 October 2004
    I was so happy to notice that the overwhelming majority of reviews for this film was positive. I have always regarded Robin and Marian as an under-rated classic. In it we have two major film actors at their best in legendary roles with a different spin: Robin and Marian, famed medieval lovers, separated for many years, then reunited in middle age. Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn perfectly embody these roles with a depth of realism. They take these mythical figures and make them live. Marian was the perfect role for the 46 year old Hepburn to portray, and no doubt it was the quality of the script and the fascinating premise of the story which were able to lure her back to the silver screen after a nine-year absence. (Unfortunately none of her subsequent film roles were of this caliber.) The supporting cast is solid, a real ensemble of some of the greatest British actors. Richard Lester's direction is masterful. The screenplay brings great romance and irony to the relationship of Robin and Marian. The cinematography is beautiful without painting the tragic nature of the tale in rosy hue. The music of John Barry, as is always the case, wonderfully accompanies every mood and moment of the story.
  • Sherwood forest 20 years later , Robin Hood (Sean Connery , he was the oldest actor to play him up to that point) along with Little John (Nicol Williamson) , aging none too gracefully , return exhausted from the Crusades , a land of mud and grime . After a long separation , Robin is reunited with Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn , she took the role , in part, from the insistence of her sons) who is now a nun . Robin attempts to woo and win Maid Marian one last time . Love is the greatest adventure of all , as their dormant feelings for each other reawakened ; then , Robin spirits her to Sherwood forest . But the wicked sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) is still in there kidnapping nuns , and oppressing peasants .

    Credit this retelling of the Sherwood legend with attempting to be something different , including elderly Robin and Marian as well as a veteran collection of Merrie men . The movie has adventure , romance , great action sequences well staged with stylish and vitality , grueling as well as pulsating combats , blood stuff , and results to be pretty entertaining . Although is a little revisionist and twilight about characters , history and time when is developed the action in a dirty , gritty Middle Age ; as a lot of spectators disapproved the changes of Robin Hood's classic canon . Too long in places doesn't hurt an otherwise enjoyable film . The action is reasonable well staged though of it is so unlikely as not be thrilling . Interesting and inspired script by James Goldman , he had already written The lion in Winter (1968), which included the characters of Richard and John Plantagenet in their younger years , besides : Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine .

    Connnery is nice as exhausted Robin ; however , the producers originally wanted Albert Finney to play Robin and Sean to play Little John . This was Audrey Hepburn's first film in nine years after she had taken a break to raise her family , here she gives a marvellous acting . Richard Harris agreed to play the cameo role of King Richard the Lionheart as a favor to Sean Connery, whom he had befriended while filming Molly McGuire (1970) . Connery himself later made a cameo appearance as Richard the Lionheart in Robin Hood , prince of thieves (1991) . Excellent support cast such Ronnie Barker as Friar Tuck , Kenneth Haigh , Kenneth Cranham , Ian Holm as King John and brief acting by Victoria Abril as Queen Isabella . In addition , including four Oscar nominees : Richard Harris, Denholm Elliott, Ian Holm and Robert Shaw . Being this one of three movies starring Sean Connery and Denholm Elliott , being the other two Cuba (1979) and Indiana Jones and the last Crusade (1989). Sean Connery and Robert Shaw previously played adversaries in Fron Russia with love (1963) . Sensitive and thrilling musical score by the classic composer John Barry . Colorful cinematography with breathtaking scenarios by magnificent cameraman David Watkin , shot in Spain : Pamplona, Navarra, and Villalonso, (Castle) Zamora .

    The motion picture was well directed by Richard Lester providing attractive images in its own right , being filmed in his peculiar style coupled with typical surrealist comic touches . At the beginning Lester directed various Beatles vehicles and subsequently made known comedies : ¨The knack¨ , a satire : ¨The bed sitting room¨ and a drama : ¨Petulia¨ . He got a big success with ¨The Three Musketeers¨ (1973), which he shot simultaneously with ¨The Four musketeers¨ (1974) for producer Ilya Salkind , resurrected his career . When the Salkinds (Ilya and his father Alexander Salkind) were in the midst of filming ¨Superman¨ (1978) simultaneously with its sequel, Lester was hired as a supervising producer, then took over the filming of the sequel, ¨Superman II¨ (1980), when original director Richard Donner was fired . The sequel was a financial and critical success , and he was hired to direct the far-less successful ¨Superman III¨ (1983). At the end of the 1980s, Lester returned to the storyline that had revitalized his career back in the early 1970s, filming a second sequel to "The Three Musketeers" titled : ¨The return of the musketeers¨ . However, after his close friend, actor Roy Kinnear died during the shooting , Lester seemed to lose heart with the movie-making business , he has not directed another film.

    Other versions about this famous personage are the followings : ¨Robin Hood price of thieves (1991) ¨ by Kevin Reynolds with Kevin Costner , Alan Rickman and Morgan Freenan , the same year was exhibited ¨Robin Hood¨ by John Irvin with Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman but was a flop though the critics considered best adaptation . Plus , ¨Robin Hood¨ (2010) by Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe , Cate Blanchett , Mark Addy , Kevin Durand . The classic rendition is ¨The adventures of Robin Hood¨ by Michael Curtiz with Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland.
  • Downer drama depicting a middle-aged Robin Hood. What one would hope for in a Medieval tale, sweep and pomp and grandeur, is replaced by unhappiness and discontent. As presented, the film is also unbelievable and anticlimactic. Robin Hood (played in a straightforward manner by Sean Connery) is still battling the Sheriff of Nottingham, and he's loved again by Maid Marian, who has since become an abbess. Return to the screen of the incandescent Audrey Hepburn (absent since "Wait Until Dark" in 1967) is worth savoring, but Marian's apparent dark side--what is perceived and what is implied--is hardly appealing, and Hepburn's glow is incongruous with such matters. The film has bits of nostalgia which are hurried passed, and moments of sentiment undercut with dreary melodrama. The film is too long and draggy to be a classic, with brackish cinematography that isn't lyrical and a villain who is so tyrannical and lusting for blood that he's no fun. Robert Shaw plays the Sheriff in a vile-spewing manner, with death to all; he's well cast, and his final battle with Connery (his nemesis in "From Russia with Love") is staged for a rousing effect, yet by this point the movie has pretty much imploded. It interests us with built-in good will, but dashes all our hopes. *1/2 from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had a rare and pleasant movie experience tonight!

    Turner Classic Movies is running Sean Connery movies tonight. The latest one was "Robin an Marian" (1976). Of course, having never seen it, I was expecting another rehash of Errol Flynn and little fluffy gay guys running around in bright green tights: but I can say that I was pleasantly disappointed!

    As we all know Sean Connery, born 1930, made his mark in films during his 30's in the 1960's doing James Bond. Unfortunately, the scripts were horrible, the acting was hackney, and he wore a nasty 'rug' on his head during those films. But fortunately for his future ... and ours ... those roles propelled him into the beginnings of stardom. During the mid 1970's he abandoned the mainstream and grew into more serious roles worthy of major note. He also grew his trademark beard and threw the 'rug' in the garbage.

    So back to Sherwood Forest: the film is set as a comeback of Robin Hood to Nottingham and Sherwood as an aged Robin returning home after spending two decades in the Crusades. Disillusioned, tired, and old; just looking to come home. 'King' John is still ruling the roost and Marian has joined a nunnery as an implied rebuke to Robin's deserting her. Of course, the storyline is obvious: Robin Hood (Sean Connery) fights with the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) to win back Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn) and live happily ever after. The standard Sherwood Forest gang is there in support as expected.

    My concern was that this would just be a regular Hollywood 'men-in- tights' rendition: spandex tights, overdone makeup, hokey swordplay, awful dialog, and cheesy punchlines. Much to my relief it wasn't!

    DIALOGUE: Not the best but acceptable. One redeeming factor was that the script writers spared us a load of 'thee' and 'thou's of the expected old English verbiage. Down to earth without verbosity.

    SCREENPLAY: Actually very well written. The continuity was well laid out without any logic gaps or leaps of faith. Believable.

    STAGE AND PROPS: Excellent is the only word for it! Everything was totally believable as to being period and authentic. Houses, saddles, swords, kitchenware, housewares, 'honey' pits, forest paths, weapons of combat, and the arena of battle were completely true. This really surprised me!

    MAKEUP: So well done you couldn't notice it. Ms. Hepburn couldn't pass up her essential eye makeup but thankfully she left the curling iron, lipstick, and nail polish at home. When Robin mussed up her hair: it stayed mussed. Rather than paint thick gooey layers of paint on the actors to represent the realistic lack of showers the director must have just had the actor roll on the ground for a bit; a relief from modern makeup attempts.

    COSTUMES: All period and extremely realistic: right down to Robin's 'under'clothes. No tights to be seen ... except for on one of King John's 'favorite' boys as he heads off to France. Of note is that Robin wears Saracen armor in the final battle scene: an aspect other directors would miss.

    CINEMATOGRAPHY: This was my major disappointment. The whole film was done in subtle sepia with all exterior shots slightly blurred. It was 'fad' for this era in English film-making to use the "Fairies in the Glen" effect. Just not my choice: makes the film look cheap. Though, thanks to the director, the compositions were well considered and effective.

    ROLES: Sean Connery was absolutely stellar, Hepburn generally less so but still very good. Robert Shaw also gave Connery a run for his money; well played without the stereotype slimy sheriff thing. The rest of the cast performed adequately.

    Probably the best part of the movie was the final fight scene between Robin and the sheriff. Better than classic swordplay with broadswords weighing 30+ lbs. (no superheroes on that battleground!!!)

    Of course we all know how it is supposed to end up ... but don't leave before the final act! It doesn't end the way you expect. TRUST ME!

    Overall: a tour d force for Sean Connery! One of his best. No wonder he rates as one of the top 5 actors of the 20th Century in my book.
  • This is one of my personal all-time favorite movies. If you read the "Memorable quotes," you will see a few reasons why. It has some wonderful expressions of love. It has pithy moments of humor. The legendary Robin Hood -- I admit that I grew up watching every episode of the TV series with Richard Greene -- was always larger than life for me. By 1977, I had been settled in career, divorce, some success and some failures -- just like millions of baby-boomers -- and it was enlightening for me to see a more real and human imagination of my "hero:" A Robin Hood humbled by his failures, his false hero, his lost love, and the ordinary aging process. Of course, the acting by Hepburn & Connery is outstanding. So I believe that this film -- not well known and rarely shown on TV - will stand the test of time.
  • A marvellous revisionist telling of Robin Hood - 20 Years After. Sean Connery is perfect as the idealistic, but not too smart and defintitely aging Robin, and Audrey Hepburn is enchanting as the middle-aged Marian, who has become an abbess during Robin's long absence. Robin returns from the Crusades to England after King Richard's death just in time to see the Sheriff of Nottingham come to arrest Marian. Nobody wants him to be a hero anymore, especailly Marian, who is perfectly willing to be taken into custody, but he insists on "rescuing" her. It is just wonderful to see Robert Shaw, as the world-weary Sheriff, lean over the pommel of his horse and say imploringly, "Robin, we don't have to do this." In fact, Robert Shaw has many fine moments in this movie: check out his exasperated effort to show his men how to get serious about swordfighting, or his attempt to warn an idiot Sir Guy about the dangers of Sherwood. There are many delights here. When Robin and Little John escape a trap at the Sheriff's castle by climbing the castle gate, they do not scamper up effortlessly Errol Flynn style, but huff and puff and struggle like real middle-aged men. Another plus is the fighting, which captures as no other film has how brutal, difficult, and exhausting medieval battle was. The duel between Robin and the Sheriff near the end is an eye-opener. And the end of this movie is perhaps one of the most movingly romantic ever put on film. Listen to Marian's final speech -- it will stay with you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I WANTED to enjoy this movie so much. I love adventure movies and Sean Connery yet I was shocked the movie seemed so lifeless and unengaging. Part of this is due to the dreary and deadly serious plot--Robinhood returns after a very long absence to find that Maid Marian is old and you just can't go back. Talk about depressing! I bet Errol Flynn's Robinhood wouldn't have behaved that way--he would have swept Marian off her feet and gone on 1001 NEW adventures. Well if that's what you are looking for, find another movie. No, this one's just dreary and ultimately culminates in Marian killing herself and Robin. Huh?! Did they REALLY need to go THERE with the plot?
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