Robin and Marian (1976) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)



I don't know if I can judge this one accurately. I really like this film, as scripted by James Goldman, the author of "The Lion in Winter" and "They Might be Giants", and scored by John Barry of the 130+ composing credits, but most people are unaware of this movie's existence, despite the fact that it pairs up two of the greatest stars in Hollywood history, and represented Audrey Hepburn's return to the screen after nearly a decade of retirement.

Sean Connery plays Robin Hood as an old man here, embittered by the crusades, disenchanted by the bloodlust of his crazy king, and trying to tie together some of the pieces of his ideals. The familiar characters are also still around, including Rob's old nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film features an engaging performance from Robert Shaw as the sheriff, who is malicious, but also honorable, respectful, and probably the smartest man in England!

For male viewers, the most interesting thing about the movie is the insights it offers into the nature of heroism. The point is that Robin and the Merry Men were heroes because of what they believed in, and their courage, not because they won all the time, and not because they could shoot the straightest and run the fastest.

At the point in their lives pictured here, 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. They lose. But they are still heroes because of what is inside of them. 


  • male: a brief butt-shot from Connery as he swings down from a tree
  • female: none
Female viewers may tend to view it more as a love story, because Robin and Marian fall in love again, and who has more charisma than Hepburn and Connery? It was Audrey Hepburn's comeback after nine years out of the public eye. She looked beautiful and she was cast to perfection as the aging Marian.

The ending always gets to me. Robin and Marian lie dying when Robin shoots an arrow out of the window and says to Little John ,"Where this falls, John, Put us close, and leave us there." The film ends focused on the arrow in flight. Then the closing credits roll over an image of three withered apples (right). The backdrop for the opening credits (shown on the top of the page) had been three ripe apples. I like to see a little of that visual poetry in films. It seems to me a good thing when film recognizes that it is the literary medium of our time, and not just an entertainment medium.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen anamorphic transfer, but no features.

Robin and Marian is not a great film ... not a Grand Illusion or anything, but just a nice execution of a simple, touching concept.

This may also be the most complex and real characterization Connery ever brought to one of his larger-than-life heroic roles.

Unless you count Darby O'Gill, of course.


Director Richard Lester was an interesting and complicated guy. He had a very solid career, directing such excellent and diverse entertainment pictures as Help!, A Hard Day's Night, Superman 2, and The Three Musketeers. When one of his actors died during a 1989 filming, he vowed to quit directing, and did.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.6. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B-. It is a forgotten classic with uniform appeal spanning all ages, spanning genders. Or maybe it's a film that I love more than I should. One or the other.

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