Tag Archives: Robin Hood

The Set of 400: #90 – My Favorite Cross-Dressing Fortune Tellers

Today! Because they call me a slob, but I do my job –

Robin Hood (1973)

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman (x3)

Starring Brian Bedford (x2), Peter Ustinov, Phil Harris (x2), Andy Devine (x2), Roger Miller, Terry-Thomas, Monica Evans, Carole Shelley, Pat Buttram, Ken Curtis (x2), George Lindsey, J. Pat O’Malley (x3), Barbara Luddy (x2)

I never considered myself a particularly big fan of Robin Hood as a character or the rote Robin Hood story, which doesn’t vary much from film to film, but lo and behold, here is our third foray with the Merry Men on this list. Sure, the first one was #395 Mel Brooks’ Men in Tights parody, and the second was the primary source of that comedy – #293 Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves, so I guess this is the only one harkening back to the more traditional variety of forest rogue, the Richard Greene sort. The Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland/Basil Rathbone classic version did almost fight its way onto this list, and I’m kinda glad it didn’t in retrospect. 1% of the films being Robin Hoods seems like a lot.

It does feature the best sword fight in the franchise

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies

The Set of 400: #395 – My Favorite Medieval Malcolm X

Today! Because we didn’t land on Sherwood Forest, Sherwood Forest landed on us –

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Directed by Mel Brooks

Starring Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Dave Chappelle, Roger Rees, Tracey Ullman, Amy Yasbeck, Mark Blankfield, Patrick Stewart, Mel Brooks, Isaac Hayes, Dom DeLuise, Dick Van Patten, Robert Ridgely, Eric Allan Kramer, Megan Cavanagh, Matthew Porretta, Avery Schreiber, Clive Revill

While far from the best Mel Brooks outing, it is the last good movie he’d direct (in fairness, this was only followed by the thoroughly meh Dracula: Dead and Loving It), and it was on TV constantly in the early/mid nineties. But I’m not trying to make excuses for its inclusion here – there is a lot to like about Men in Tights. Cary Elwes was perfect for this sort of comedy – only really on display here and in Hot Shots! – and effortlessly carries the mayhem along. I also can never keep straight whether he appeared in Mel’s Dracula or Coppola’s Dracula that inspired it, so solid is he at both types of movies. Sure, it revels in the dated, Catskills-style jokes Mel would lean more and more into as the years wore on, but between Chappelle’s great early work here as Ahchoo, Tracey Ullman uglying it up as the witch Latrine, and Richard Lewis doing his best Richard Lewis impersonation as Prince Johnthere is plenty to enjoy. Does it have the laugh-out-loud highs of Mel’s early films? Not really, but it also pushes harder on parody, and really dials up the number of jokes per minute. So what if the success rate is 50/50? I still really enjoy Men in Tights. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies