Gothic in Every Way – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

In the year 1991, the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves saw the big screen and created quite a wave with young ladies of the time, such as me.

I became captivated by the folktale of Robin Hood and wanted to know more about the medieval time and its beauty and terror.

So here is my review of the first movie that had me fall for medieval times and Gothic history.

Original 1991 Summary

Nobleman crusader, Robin of Locksley, played by the fantastic Kevin Costner, breaks out of a Jerusalem prison with the help of Moorish fellow prisoner Azeem interpreted by the exceptional talent of Morgan Freeman and travels back home to England.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

Then, upon arrival, he discovers his dead father in the ruins of his family estate, killed by the vicious sheriff of Nottingham, acted by the late and beloved, Alan Rickman. Robin and Azeem join forces with outlaws Little John, played by Nick Brimble and Will Scarlett represented by Christian Slater, to save the kingdom from the sheriff’s villainy.

Storyline

After being captured by Turks during the Crusades, Robin of Locksley and a Moor, Azeem, escape back to England, where Azeem vows to remain until he repays Robin for saving his life.

Meanwhile, Robin’s father, a nobleman loyal to King Richard the Lionhearted, has been murdered by the brutal Sheriff of Nottingham, who helped install Richard’s treacherous brother, Prince John, asking while Richard is overseas fighting the Crusades.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Trailer – 1991

When Robin returns home, he vows to avenge his father’s death and restore Richard to the throne.

Even though Maid Marian, his childhood friend, cannot help him, he escapes to the Forest of Sherwood where he joins a band of exiled villagers and becomes their leader. With their help, he attempts to cleanse the land of the evil that the Sheriff has spread.

Written by Graeme Roy, IMDB

A Tale for Adults

When I first saw the movie, I was so young that my mother cut the first few scenes and started the movie when Robin is back home in England. So, let’s skip to the first time I saw the entire movie as a teen. 

Robin, volunteering himself to have his hand cut off by a dungeon master instead of another war captive, had me almost barfed in my mouth at the time.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

However, Robin found a way to create so much chaos in the dungeon that he found himself capable of freeing all men from the Turks and cut off the hand of the executioner.

There were other troubling scenes that had me understand why my mother was hesitant to have me watch the movie at nine years old—thought it picked my curiosity about human history.

I couldn’t understand all that was going on; however, I developed a nerdy side for ancient times at a very young age. I enjoyed the sceneries and the clothing, the furniture and the simplicity of the time—that gave them the name, Dark Ages.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

I wanted to know if Robin Hood was real and if there was, in fact, such a hero that existed to save the people from famine, illnesses, and never-ending pain and sadness. I admired the hero that Robin Hood represented and to this day, debates exist among historians to figure out the truth.

Twenty-Three Years Later

I watched the movie not too long ago, my husband never liked it not because of the casting, of course, but because he maintains that Robin Hood’s tale was overdone and he couldn’t stand the story on the
screen again.

However, to me, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is the only proper representation of the hero that became a legend once back in the Early Middle Ages.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

The very thought of a man capable of standing against greater evil, inspiring others strong enough to stand by his side is necessary for humans to survive. Robin Hood represents: justice, fairness and equality. Three words that to this day we fight to keep real.

The movie filmed in various places such as England and two towns in France was true to its time as an overall visual effect. The scenery, always majestic and splendid, represented the feel of the time well. It almost felt as if you could smell the fresh air, the aroma of farm country with horses walking around and livestock.

I won’t lie, the visual of the movie is stunning and this I say, even after twenty-seven years. The clothing and artisan-ship behind all the details from the robes to the jewelry and weaponry was right on point with the twelfth century we are set in. I believe the director and crew put much time and the meticulous work in creating the perfect setting of the time was wroth it.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

The music composed by Michael Kamen is impeccable and unforgettable. It does fit the period like a glove and soothes every scene of the movie with grace and add to every single action posed by the actors.

The movie is two and a half hours of a pure Gothic classic folktale, and I can say that it doesn’t seem that long when watching it. The story, well presented and quite well thought of from the beginning is a delight. Every single detail is meticulously present, and every scene is necessary to the telling of Robin Hood’s story.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

Also, what is impressive, is that Prince of Thieves showcase the backstory of Robin of Locksley, overlooks Prince John and instead, focuses on the rivalry between Locksley and the Sheriff. Perfect choice.

The pacing of the story is perfect; there’s time to adjust to every change and action taking place. I also still enjoy the subplots with Marian, her right-hand woman who is brave and courageous and of course, other supporting characters that reveals to be quite charming while others are playing their roles well to be despised by the viewer.

Everything I Do

Of course, the classic and timeless song sang by Bryan Adams, Everything I Do, I Do It For You is still to this day my favorite song of all time. Ever since I watched the movie for the first time, I promised myself it would be my wedding song, and two years ago, when the big day took place, it was.

The song was so perfect and became an instant classic because of the movie. The love between Robin Hood and Marian is quite palpable despite not entirely being the center of attention throughout the movie.

Bryan Adams – Everything I Do I Do It For You – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

It represents the folklore so well that to this day I believe it is a perfect tribute to the hero Robin Hood was and so Marian as she was a great help to her people too, defending orphans and protecting young girls to
their adulthood.

Overall

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves to me is a solid 9.5 out of 10. It used to be one of my favorite movies of all time and to this day still stands. The performance of the cast was perfect.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

I didn’t speak of Marian much either, but throughout the movie she is a heroine worthy of mention. She is victim of forced marriage, close to face rape in front of a corrupted priest ready to marry her to a man she hates, the Sheriff.

We also see the brave side of her, the fighter, when helping a woman to give birth, protecting girls and women the best she can and working her land to help her people relying on her to survive.

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - 1991
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – 1991

The presence of Marian is more than one of a simple love interest, one can understand why a hero like Robin of Locksley would fall for a warrior like her.

Also, despite Kevin Costner failing the English accent after taking courses, is still a great Robin Hood. The movie was a box office success and for a great reason. It was an epic Gothic movie.

The OCD Vampire,
Alexa Wayne

NEXT WEEK: Robin of Locksley, The Legend.


4 thoughts on “Gothic in Every Way – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

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