Review: ‘Robin and Marian’

Robin and Marian is a disappointing and embarrassing film: disappointing, because Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, the brilliant Robert Shaw, Richard Harris and a screenplay by James Goldman ought to add up to something even in the face of Richard Lester's flat direction; embarrassing, because the incompatible blend of tongue-in-cheek comedy, adventure and romance gives the Robin Hood-revisited film the grace and energy of a geriatrics' discotheque.

Robin and Marian is a disappointing and embarrassing film: disappointing, because Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, the brilliant Robert Shaw, Richard Harris and a screenplay by James Goldman ought to add up to something even in the face of Richard Lester’s flat direction; embarrassing, because the incompatible blend of tongue-in-cheek comedy, adventure and romance gives the Robin Hood-revisited film the grace and energy of a geriatrics’ discotheque.

Connery’s Robin and Nicol Williamson’s Little John return to England after Harris’ King Richard dies abroad; back home, Shaw’s Sheriff of Nottingham is still in office, now nominally subservient to nobleman Kenneth Haigh who was appointed by Ian Holm’s bad King John. Hepburn’s Marian has retired to a nunnery, eventually becoming Mother Superior there when Robin didn’t return from the Crusades.

The idea of picking up the Robin Hood legend 20 years later seems okay at first consideration, but Goldman and Lester never got beyond the premise.

Robin and Marian

UK

Production

Columbia/Rastar. Director Richard Lester; Producer Denis O'Dell; Screenplay James Goldman; Camera David Watkin; Editor John Victor Smith; Music John Barry; Art Director Michael Stringer

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Sean Connery Audrey Hepburn Robert Shaw Richard Harris Nicol Williamson Denholm Elliott
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