Robin and Marian – 1976 – English
Film directed in 1976 by Richard Lester, and starring Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw, Richard Harris, Ian Holm, Nicol Williamson, Denholm Elliott, Kenneth Haigh, Ronnie Parker, Bill Maynard, Esmond Knight, Veronica Quilligan, Peter Butterworth, John Barrett, Kenneth Cranham, Victoria Abril…
Synopsis: It is twenty years after Robin Hood’s heroics against Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Since then, Robin (Sir Sean Connery) has spent all his time outside of England, fighting as Richard the Lionheart’s right-hand man in the Crusades and in France. His only connection to his past life in Sherwood Forest is his faithful companion, Little John (Nicol Williamson). However, Richard the Lionheart is now dead and a war-weary, middle-aged Robin decides to return to England. His first priority: rekindle his relationship with Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn). However, if he figured on a peaceful life, he didn’t bargain on the machinations of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) and King John (Sir Ian Holm).
Review: The title of the film is very appropriate, because it is first and foremost a love story. Secondly, it is a story about death: the death of youthful dreams, the death of legends, the death of an “heroic” age to be superseded by the age of greed and pragmatism. Thirdly, it is an excellent comedy. What it is not is an escapist film where immature audiences can forget their humdrum existence for a moment to revel in the might and glory of a superhero who “kicks butt”. The protagonists in this film are real people. Their weaknesses, self-deceptions and errors are shown, in a humane and often very funny way. Overlaying every scene is a deep sense of melancholy, but also of optimism. This is in no small part due to the music score which mesmerizes and grips you emotionally. The acting of Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery has never been better. The ending was as sad as it had to be. Nevertheless, you will leave the cinema in an uplifted mood. The love between Marian and Robin is stronger than death, after all.