"Patrick Bergin is a dynamic Robin Hood, hitting the mark with the perfect mix of arrogance, compassion, charm and devil-may-care, hell-bent glory-seeking. Sure, there's a list of noble reasons why Robin Hood takes to the forest to fight Norman oppression and protect the unfortunate Saxon serfs from tyranny. But let's face it, Robin is a hero who enjoys what he does. He loves nothing more than laughing at danger and tweaking the nose of authority. It's easy to see that Bergin enjoyed the part, and his pleasure translates to the screen, making it an enjoyable romp for viewers. Bergin shares Sherwood with a fine cast. Uma Thurman is a surprisingly strong Marian. Owen Teale is an excellent, fun-loving Will Scarlett, and David Morrissey is the best Little John I've seen yet. Jeff Nuttall is also a picture-perfect Friar Tuck. On the Norman side, Jurgen Prochnow is the malicious knight, Sir Miles Folcanet, who pursues Robin through the forest, and Jeroen Krabbe is Baron Daguerre, a greedy lord with a conscience. There's a brief, but impressive, appearance of Edward Fox as the would-be King John. The movie boasts excellent swordplay, good costuming, authentic-sounding accents ... and some great pagan symbolism. This film also has immense respect for the history behind the legend. While we may not know much about the real Robin Hood -- if there even was one -- we do know a lot about the time period in question, and Irvin keeps his cameras focused on the truth of feudal Britain. This is a Robin Hood I can believe in without reservation."
Far above Costners
C. A Baker | Santa Rosa CA United States | 07/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is one of the best RH films done it certainly is far superior to the joke that Costner did!
I do have a correction that is pretty important, there is no Sherriff of Nottingham or Guy of Gisborne in this version. The Director chose to use the conflict of Norman Vs Saxon as the stronger plot drive and instead had two noble Normans playing the heavys. While it was a surprise to me the first time I watched the film I understood the choice. It makes it much easier for veiwers to see what was the actual conflict of Robin Hood, and not have too many people thinking of Alan Rickman or Basil Rathbone's potrayals of the heavys from the two more well known versions of RH.
Worth seeing, far more historically acurate than either of the other films and Uma's Marion could go head to head with Oliva's and totaly wipeout MEM from Prince of Thieves, or as I call it Robin Hood: Dances With Arrows."
Very Historically Accurate and Well Done English Film!
Tom Knapp | 03/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For students of medieval history, this English version of Robin Hood is a VERY accurate re-telling of the classic Sir Robert Hode, 4th Earl of Huntington (a real person) legend. Reminiscent of the swashbuckling classics made in the thirties and forties, this film transports you back to 12th century England, when the mighty Normans ruled with an iron hand. Sir Robert Hode (Patrick Bergen) is a Saxon nobleman who insults the sinister knight Sir Miles Falcanet (Jurgen Prochnow) and is branded an outlaw. Clever and quick witted, he changes his name to Robin Hood and a legend is born. Robin becomes an outlaw hero, celebrated across the land for his dashing heroism. He ambushes the tax collectors of the greedy Baron Roger Daguerre (memorably played by Jeroen Krabbe), and gives the money to the poor. Then with his true love, Maid Marian (Uma Thurman) about to be married to Falcanet, Robin and his band of loyal men embark on their boldest adventure yet, to storm the Baron's castle and rescue Marian from a fate worse than death. Well written and adapted for the screen, expertly cast, (too many memorable performances to mention here) and superbly directed by English director John Irvin, this relatively low budget production has never received the accolades it deserves. This movie is a thrilling medieval adventure filled with action, romance and humor. If you saw the disappointing "Hollywood formula" American version with Kevin Costner, but prefered the original with Errol Flynn, and missed this one, give it a try! It is an opportunity to be transported back to another place and time, to see an accurate glimpse of medieval history come alive on film. A must see film for all history buffs... Excellent!!!"
The best "Robin Hood" movie ever made!
Alan R. Holyoak | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who's the best Robin Hood...Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner, or Patrick Bergin? I say that Bergin wins hands down!It was a crime that this movie was released the same year that Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" came out. It was, as a result, released on broadcast TV instead of in theaters. I would have dearly loved to watch this movie on the big screen. Alas, it was not to be. The atmosphere, the costumes (for the most part), the characters and their interactions, the music, the degree of cleanliness and lack thereof of characters and their abodes, and the version of telling of the tale of Robin Hood ring most true and fun in this movie than in any other I have seen. Think about the main contenders...Errol Flynn in his perfectly form fitting tights, and Kevin Costner in his consistently clean and styled hair simply can't match the presentation of Robin Hood that Patrick Bergin brings off.I thought that the representation of the "splitting the arrow" in this movie was excellent. I also liked the fact that the Baron Deguerre wasn't really aware of the political situation he lived under -- John versus Richard -- and, in the end he makes up his own mind...though I wonder whether his head would later demanded by John(?). Uma Thurman makes a great Marion...headstrong, determined, defiant, and free-spirited. Her decision to leave the castle and see what's happening in the real world makes the movie believable. Finally, the filming of the movie, with a sort of an overcast hue throughout (until the very end) provides a sense of winter breaking into spring, representing hopelessness giving way to hope for the common person.I have watched this movie several times, and I know that I will watch it many more times. It's a great telling, without excessive killing or violence, language is not an issue, and there is only a limited amout of innuendo regarding Robin and Marion.At the same time, it must be said that there are a few missteps in technical portions of the film...the falling scaffold scene is the most noticeable.A solid 5 stars for acting, atmosphere, and story.Top-notch!Alan Holyoak"
A version that will keep viewers riveted!
Anthony Scheinman | Forest Hills, NY USA | 01/03/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This verison (which was first made as a theatrical film for European cinema, then shown on FOX TV, and then shortened for video by about forty minutes) stars Patrick Bergin as the outlawed Earl of Huntington (portrayed with some touches of humor and plenty of physical action and presence); Uma Thurman as a very independent Lady Marian; Jeroen Krabbe as the Norman lord who was once Robin's friend but must now hunt him down; and Jurgen Prochnow as an extremely pouty and self-important Guy of Guisbourne. This version does not attempt to clean up the legend of Robin Hood (as in some previous versions), but instead reveals it in all its down-and-dirtiness, especially when showing all the opression that Robin is fighting against. If it could be released in its full length, this would be a must for any collection, but even in its shortened state it's well worth seeing. END"