Feb 27, 2009

Men in Tights

I've been keeping an eye on the shenanigans surrounding Russell Crowe's next film project - because dammit, there's nothing I love better than a Robin Hood movie.

Seriously. The film buffs who take themselves waaaayyyy too seriously will roll their eyes, but Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains one of my top three, all-time favourites (along with Gone With the Wind and Some Like it Hot). As far as I'm concerned that movie is FLAWLESS and I will brook NO ARGUMENT.

I'm also a big fan of The Adventures of Robin Hood, the original 1938 Technicolour masterpiece in which Errol Flynn donned the green tights and took on Basil Rathbone in the best onscreen sword fight ever. I still giggle at Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights ("I have a mole?!?!"); I have enjoyed the bits and pieces of the BBC's Robin Hood series that I've seen (mostly due to the delectable inclusion of Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne); and I remember the animated kids' version (where Robin was a fox - the best characterisation ever) was one of my childhood faves.

So it's been with some interest that I've followed progress on Nottingham, which was to be director Ridley Scott's creative re-imagining of the story, with Russell Crowe as a heroic Sheriff of Nottingham, taking on the menacing thief of Sherwood and his gang of Merry Men Gladiator-style. I was intrigued by this concept, not least because it could allow for a slighly more historically accurate depiction of Richard Coeur de Lion (the biggest show pony in English history - YES I TOTALLY WENT THERE).

But it now seems the whole thing is getting re-jigged again. As in, back to the usual story of the noble outlaw who fights for justice and the poor and shit. And Russ has decided to ditch the Sheriff role and play Robin Hood instead. And Cate Blanchett has come in to play Maid Marian. And they might even change the title too.

What's going on?

I don't think I WANT Russell Crowe playing Robin Hood. I was perfectly happy to have him get in there as the Sheriff, in his best ruggish, thuggish manner, and start kickin' some medieval arse. Laying the 12th century smacketh down on some drooling toffee-nosed nancy fannying about Sherwood Forest with a suspicious crew of highly-strung Saxon bandits. Hanging, drawing and quartering Friar Tuck for one too many nips of the sacremental wine. Defiling Maid Marian in the time-honoured way - by surprise in the murder hole of Nottingham Castle.

And really, Cate Blanchett. Haven't you made me jealous enough with your Oscars, your delicate yet otherworldly beauty, your playing Elizabeth the Fracking First, and your commitment to the Australian theatre industry? ISN'T YOUR LIFE PERFECT ENOUGH CATE BLANCHETT?

As far as I can tell, there's only way to redeem this version - and that's to bring Alan Rickman back as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The arty film wankers who by now have condemned me as a philistine for daring to find Kevin Costner an appealing Robin Hood - even they cannot disagree that Alan Rickman was the Best. Sheriff. Ever.

Who's with me?


  1. I actually heard that Rusty originally was playing both Nottingham *AND* Robin Hood. Perhaps they're one in the same person ? I do not know. I don't think that's the case anymore though.

    I was more interested in the original plot too, this new standard plot really doesn't do much for me.

  2. 'Men in Tights' was the only film I've ever walked out on. (Although I did come distressingly close in Eddie Murphy's 'Metro')

  3. "I'll cut out his heart with a spoon!"

    "Why a spoon? Why not a knife or a..."

    "Because it'll hurt more you IDIOT!"

  4. See? Classic lines, every one.

    And Dan, you must watch "Men in Tights" all the way through one day. All the best shit's at the end.

  5. Prince John: Such an unusual name, "Latrine." How did your family come by it?
    Latrine: We changed it in the 9th century.
    Prince John: You mean you changed it TO "Latrine"?
    Latrine: Yeah. Used to be "Shithouse."

    ah... solid gold

  6. Ahh Alan Rickman can do ANYTHING as far as I'm concerned, so long as I hear THAT voice!

  7. ahh but what about the 80 series with long haired robin, people wearing stag heads, and magic being part of the setting.
    ie Robin of Sherwood
    and here is a youtube bit in case you never saw any of it

    Michael Fitzhywel

  8. I think I'm with Sleepydumpling on this one... that voice does good things to my insides!

    He was also delightfully mean/evil as Sheriff Nottingham, he is the best character in that film.

  9. There was a song oooh a long time ago that went:
    Robin Hood, Robin Hood.
    Riding through the glen (side saddle)
    Robin Hood Robin Hood
    With his band of men
    Feared by the bad (Ooooh)
    Loved by the good (Oh Hullo!!!(a la Charles Hawtry))
    Robin Hood
    Robin Hood
    Robin Hood

  10. Quite the can of worms you have opened here.

    Yes am looking forward to seeing Mr Ridley 'Blade Runner' Scott's take on the ol' men in tights.

    I'd just like to add I think the Sheriff's role is one that can be made the most interesting.

    Starting with how Brilliant Robert Shaw's Sheriff was in the 1976 'Robin & Marion' (which I really liked).

    I enjoyed Kevin's 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'(I wouldn't dare risk your wrath by suggesting anything else) it came out at the same time as Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman which I enjoyed more.

    And of course it was Robin of Sherwood that had the theme 'Robin the Hooded Man' as sung by Irish band Clannard.

    And before 'Men in Tights' there was the TV series 'When things were rotten' penned by Mel Brooks. Which began with the song "....so when other legends are forgotten, we'll remember back when things were rotten. Yah for Robin Hood.".

    and I really liked 'Maid Marian and her Merry Men' a TV series where the real hero was Marian played by Kate Lonergan and supporting my thesis that the sheriff is the best role in this series it was played by none other than Black Adder's Tony Robinson.

    anyone else go any Robin Hood movies we left out?

  11. "Cancel Christmas" a golden moment...lovely

    Well good old Rusty wouldn't say "Bring a friend" he wouldn't have enough phones to throw.

    Is it possible that deep in the psyche of New Zealand's Russell Crowe there is a closet and from that closet we may hear a little voice calling "I want to come out"....
    I mean consider... all the big butch film roles ,
    72 inches of grunt (or whatever) the hurling of phones and he owns half of South Sydney

    By the way I say "New Zealands Russell Crowe" because we dinkum Aussies are real men (hawk spit) and just do Sheilas

  12. Just came home from Wet & Wild... turned on ABC2... voila!

    "Robin Hood" the BBC version. Richard Armitage looking DIVINE. Gee, he wears black like a god.


    Also, I've seen in DVD sections a movie starring Keira Knightley as Robin and Marian's daughter who has to fight someone to do something. Should rent it out one day...

  13. I'm still partial to the Disney animated Robin Hood myself. And like you, I find it tough to beat the original Errol Flynn movie.

    Possibly the one Robin Hood bit I like other than these was the Blackadder time travel 'add-on' where Blackadder meets Robin Hood as portrayed by Rik Mayall. Blackadder convinces the Merry Men to kill Robin Hood, IIRC.

    Odd-with Mayall, one would expect a Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Adrian Edmondson, to ride up and beat him to death with a frying pan.

  14. Oh yes, YankeeDog - Rik Mayall as Robin Hood was genius casting. Have you ever seen "Bottom"?, the sitcome Mayall and Edmondson did in the early 90s? It's violent, crude genius. I love it. ;)

    Also - people partial to that Robin Hood and his Merry Men song mentioned above should DEFINITELY check out Oliver Stone's movie "W", as it's used unexpectedly but perfectly in that...!

  15. There was a show on the ABC I enjoyed a great deal. It was 'Maid Marian and her Merry Men' or something. Anyone else remember that? Robin was pretty and stupid, and Marian was the brains of the operation. 'Twas cool.


  16. without reading any of the other comments: prince of theives is so awesome it is otherwordly; and alan rickman is a god amongst men who will NEVER be eclipsed by ANYONE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF ALL TIME (past, present and future) as the sheriff.

    (i think that was my longwinded way of saying: "i totally agree with you")

    til next....
    ~kits~ (will continue loitering unless provoked again)

  17. I'm glad you chose to raise your head on such an important issue, Kits. And rest assured, I seem to have sufficiently scared everyone against making anti-POT comments. ;)

  18. Natalie, I have the 'Bottom' series on DVD. Great crude alt-comedy!

    It's really amazing, the Robin Hood legend as portrayed by the filmmakers. In reality, they were likely a bunch of amoral, wretched, foul-smelling cutthroats, none of them with a decent set of tights to their name.

  19. Rickman was indeed the best ever. And we've just been watching the foxified Disney version with the kiddlies this week, they love it. Especially the thumb-sucking lion Richard.

  20. Alan Rickman is an isle of calm in what is otherwise a river of poisonous diarrhoea; he was the right Nottingham in the wrong Robin Hood movie. As someone has previously mentioned the BBC series Maid Marion and her Merry Men was fantastic. As for Throw-the-Phone Crowe, does there really need to be another Robin Hood movie? I’m not sure I understand Hollywood’s obsession with the legend, for every time they attempt to depict it, the historians and tour operators become increasingly embarrassed. It’s almost as bad as Hollywood depictions of Shakespeare, or worse still…Beowulf (do not get me started)!