movieThemes: Alan Rickman
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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Cast: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater, Geraldine McEwan, Michael McShane, Sean Connery
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Producers: John Watson, Pen Densham, Richard B. Lewis
Screenplay: Pen Densham, John Watson
Cinematography: Doug Milsome
Music: Michael Kamen
Approximate Running Time: 142 minutes
Warnings: Adult themes, some nudity
Rating:

Alan Rickman as the dastardly Sheriff of NottinghamCategory: Drama/Comedy/Action

The Plot: Robin of Locksley returns from the Crusades of the 12th Century to find his people living in fear of The Sheriff of Nottingham. Furthermore, the Sheriff has plundered Locksley Castle and killed Robin's father. After a few encounters with the Sheriff's henchmen, Robin retreats to Sherwood Forest where he encounters a restless band of outlaws. With their help, Robin plots to return everyone to their rightful status as freemen.

Comment: It's a Kevin Costner film, does anymore have to be said? Once you have suspended reality due to the glaring inaccuracies, the film becomes a likable adventure. Lots of camera filters and and fire's produce a cozy glow throughout the film that belies the warm clothing everyone is wearing. The film rolls along at an unstoppable pace with only a few slow moments when Robin pauses to dwell on the welfare of Lady Marion.

Kevin Costner isn't quite believable as the young Robin Hood, who left as a lad to fight in the Crusades and returns six years later as a middle-aged man (that or he aged incredibly in the Crusades!) but produces a fair performance as he leads his rough band of outlaws to their freedom. Morgan Freeman puts in a grand performance as the 'painted man', Azeem, who returns from the Crusades with Robin after Robin saved his life. That said, his role seemed entirely gratuitous, bit of a 'shock' factor if you will (and a nod to Hollywood political correctness...). Christian Slater seems to revel in his role as the ruffian, Will Scarlett.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio illuminates the screen as the fair and plucky Lady Marion, whom Robin falls in love with. She is very convincing as she portrays both the strong maiden capable of defending herself, and yet a genteel lady awaiting the right man.

But the screen belongs to Alan Rickman and his sensational interpretation of the mad Sheriff of Nottingham... His command of the film is absolute, Hollywood was abuzz before the films release with rumors about Kevin Costner cutting several of his scenes. But, you can't edit out the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Rickman is left to deliver his wicked lines with flourish and panache. From him, such gems are uttered like, "Locksley, I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!" after Robin escapes from him after their first encounter, later followed by him sneering, "At least I didn't use a spoon" after skewering his cousin with a Spanish sword. And yet, the Sheriff is known to give into paranoia - biting his nails, and anxiety attacks around his oracle... And it is to Rickman we owe the entirely memorable and hilarious scene where he separates Lady Marion's legs as he attempts to rape her. That brief scene alone is worth any price to see this movie!

If you are looking for pure escapism, some laughs and actions, you really can't beat Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

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