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Robin Hood

Patrick Bergin , Uma Thurman , John Irvin    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Film buffs may remember the tangled tale of competing Robin Hood projects in 1991. Kevin Costner, riding high from his Oscar wins for Dances with Wolves, had his pick of projects at the time, and he juggled his interest in parallel Hood films that were under development at different studios. Costner chose Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, of course, directed by his friend Kevin Reynolds, while the other production (the one described here), attached to veteran British director John Irvin (The Dogs of War), ended up on cable television with another Yank, Patrick Bergin, in the lead. Comparisons were inevitable, even though the two films were very different from one another. A little harder edged and more surprising than Reynolds's work, the Irvin-Bergin movie made all that medieval heroism seem more an effort of the heart than previous versions. Roughing things up a bit is Uma Thurman as a bratty Maid Marion, not quite the traditional damsel in distress of yesteryear. Irvin keeps the adventure quotient up, but this is simply a darker, grittier variation on the old tale. With Jürgen Prochnow, Jeroen Krabbé, and Conrad Asquith. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Robin Hood yet filmed... July 9 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Patrick Bergin is a dynamic Robin Hood, hitting the mark with the perfect mix of arrogance, compassion, charm and devil-may-care, hell-bent glory-seeking. Sure, there's a list of noble reasons why Robin Hood takes to the forest to fight Norman oppression and protect the unfortunate Saxon serfs from tyranny. But let's face it, Robin is a hero who enjoys what he does. He loves nothing more than laughing at danger and tweaking the nose of authority. It's easy to see that Bergin enjoyed the part, and his pleasure translates to the screen, making it an enjoyable romp for viewers.
Bergin shares Sherwood with a fine cast. Uma Thurman is a surprisingly strong Marian. Owen Teale is an excellent, fun-loving Will Scarlett, and David Morrissey is the best Little John I've seen yet. Jeff Nuttall is also a picture-perfect Friar Tuck. On the Norman side, Jurgen Prochnow is the malicious knight, Sir Miles Folcanet, who pursues Robin through the forest, and Jeroen Krabbe is Baron Daguerre, a greedy lord with a conscience. There's a brief, but impressive, appearance of Edward Fox as the would-be King John.
The movie boasts excellent swordplay, good costuming, authentic-sounding accents ... and some great pagan symbolism.
This film also has immense respect for the history behind the legend. While we may not know much about the real Robin Hood -- if there even was one -- we do know a lot about the time period in question, and Irvin keeps his cameras focused on the truth of feudal Britain. This is a Robin Hood I can believe in without reservation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down the best Robin Hood Movie so far... May 18 2004
By ARH
Format:DVD
I keep watching for people to do it right when it comes to film adaptations of classics. For example, there has still never been a great "Tarzan" movie, but they got it as right at anyone could when they put together the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and the A&E "Hornblower" series is top-notch. What do those have to do with this version of "Robin Hood"?
THEY GOT ROBIN HOOD RIGHT! The setting, the dress, the hygiene, the politics, the action, and the characters are all spot on. Sure some people wonder about casting Bergin in this role, but he does an awesome job throughout, with just the right combination of panache, bravado, and, at the same time, reliance on friends and sometimes enemies to pull off being Robin Hood.
I particularly appreciated the muted colors throughout the movie followed by the breaking of spring at the end as the story's political and interpersonal conflicts are resolved.
Now to wrap this review up, I have watched this movie 20+ times, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it each time. It's a staple of my collection. If you are like me, and you like smart (though not necessarily glitzy) action films, then this movie might be for you, too!
5 - stars, no question (and I don't give 5 stars to just any movie) -- ARH
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best version of "Robin Hood" April 27 2004
Format:DVD
Some people enjoy the Kevin Costner-Alan Rickman version of the Robin Hood legend, with its treehouses, American stars (faking horrendous Brit accents), Sean Connery cameo and even a wicked-witch-in-the-cellar. I am not one of those people.
This Bergin-Irving "unknown" version was released a few months before the Costner version. Sadly, it aired only on television for fear of competing with the star-filled, "event" film. And yet, this smaller film is vastly superior to the big-budget Costner "epic" on every single level.
This is a somewhat different version of the legend than what you saw with Costner and Disney. The political background to this tale matters: the uneasiness between the two peoples of England. It involves the Saxons, who had held power for centuries, and the more recent arrival and comeuppance of the French-based Normans. Basically, the Normans are now taking power in England and they're not being too nice to the displaced Saxons.
Early in the film we meet two noblemen who are friends: Baron Daguerre (played superbly by Jeroen Krabbe of "The Fugitive") as the Norman lord of the local province and Sir Robert Hode, a Saxon landowner. Soon, however, Daguerre's aide-de-camp, the brutal knight Sir Miles Falconey (Jurgen Prochnow in another great performance) gets into a tiff with Hode. Hode openly rebels against his former friend (Daguerre) and what follows is a neat retelling of the Robin Hood legend - replete with cross-dressing Uma Thurman as Maid Marian.
This film is beautifully scripted and wonderfully shot. The costumes, acting, and sets feel gritty and authentic. In other words, this is not a Hollywood production. It is simply a great film that nobody saw. I am ecstatic that is coming to DVD.
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2.0 out of 5 stars MY APOLOGIES TO MR. COSTNER & CO. Sept. 16 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have a confession to make. When I first saw ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES back in '91, I missed the point too. Let's face it, if there is one reason why so many of us didn't like it when we first saw it it's because we didn't understand what the folks at Warner Bros. were trying to do when they made it. PRINCE OF THIEVES was never intended to be a strictly-by-the-numbers version of the Robin Hood legends. The producers' purpose for making that film was to present a modern retelling of the famous tale for today's audiences, period. In that respect it is no different than all the other swashbucklers that have since followed (THE MASK OF ZORRO, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, etc.), except that this particular film is probably the best.
That same year, as you know, there was another Robin Hood movie in the works that was intended to rival PRINCE OF THIEVES at the box office but wound up on TV instead. On closer observation it is obvious why it suffered that fate. It's very clear from the start that the rocket scientists at 20th Century Fox who made that dud were more concerned with beating Kevin Costner to the theaters rather than making a good film. The plot is too simple and uninvolving for modern audiences. No sign of originality whatsoever. The "action" is presented in a tame and somewhat comical manner that is more appropriate for a made-for-TV family film. Even the 1938 Errol Flynn version is more exciting and suspensful!
The choice of casting Patrick Bergin for the leading role simply because he sported a mustache kinda tells you how disconnected the makers of this film were with movie audiences.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bon film
Bon film
Published 7 days ago by Daniel Mérineau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
tout était parfait
Published 24 days ago by francois bisson
5.0 out of 5 stars A very unique approach makes this movie a refreshing and ...
A very unique approach makes this movie a refreshing and very entertaining movie, among the many films of the same title.
Published 3 months ago by thomas kerr
3.0 out of 5 stars Didnt hate it but.....
So it was not the action packed film I had hoped for! One or two funny bits. Seemed like it was made in the 70's.
Published 5 months ago by Dena
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good version of Robin Hood ......
This is a darker, grittier version than Kevin Costner's. I still really like the Kevin Costner version. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I really appreciated the chance to own this movie on DVD, but I wish the company put out a copy of the televised version, which had more scenes.
Published 20 months ago by Laurie Mulcaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Far above Costners
This film is one of the best RH films done it certainly is far superior to the joke that Costner did! Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Cybele A. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great action packed movie!
Man oh man this movie is just so great beyond movie borders. A must see!
Published on July 3 2004 by ini
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet!
This is a great movie in all the areas it could be. It is kind of a love story between Robin and Marian and a war between Robin and the merry men against the Normans. Read more
Published on July 3 2004 by ini
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great movie!
This is such a great movie and not just because it's about Robin Hood, but because it has every ingredient to make it a superb movie. A true, must see classic!
Published on July 3 2004 by ini
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