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Film / Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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"I've seen knights in armour panic at the first hint of battle. And I've seen the lowliest unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body, to defend a dying horse. Nobility is not a birthright; it's defined by one's actions."
Robin of Locksley

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a 1991 period-ish action-adventure movie based on the Robin Hood myth, directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Kevin Costner in the title role.

The story is familiar; Robin, a Crusader, escapes Jerusalem alongside a Muslim named Azeem (Morgan Freeman), and they return to England. They discover that Robin's father (BRIAN BLESSED) has been killed by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman), who is also now apparently a devil worshipper and is assisted in his evildoing by his cousin, Guy of Gisborne (Michael Wincott). Robin and Azeem become outlaws, and steal from the rich and give to the poor. Men are made merry, bucklers are swashed, and they all live Happily Ever After (except the Sheriff, obviously). It's also fairly dark compared to most Robin Hood adaptations.


The movie opened to decent reviews, was a box office success and was nominated for quite a few awards, including an Oscar. Noted for Kevin Costner Not Even Bothering with the Accent and Alan Rickman's gloriously hamtastic performance.

The Mel Brooks 1993 parody Robin Hood: Men in Tights largely lampoons this movie, although it acknowledges other elements of the legend.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The movie excises Prince John entirely so as to give Robin a single, more direct nemesis in the Sheriff of Nottingham. It also pares down what are, in some versions of the myth, Loads and Loads of Characters from the Merry Men.
  • Adaptation Expansion: At the same time, the movie strives to give Robin and those Merry Men a much more thorough background, pulling aspects from various other adaptations and adding a few new ones of its own.
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  • Affably Evil: The Bishop acts with the manners of a good priest at all times, such as when he's lying to Robin, or trying to convince Marian to marry The Sheriff.
  • Against My Religion: Azeem, a Muslim, is forbidden by his faith from drinking alcohol. Friar Tuck doesn't have this limitation.
    Friar Tuck: Let us open a bottle and do our best to save each other's souls.
    Azeem: Alas, I am not permitted.
    Friar Tuck: Fine, then; you talk, I'll drink.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Mortianna is this trope perfectly when she encounters Azeem (the 'painted man' she's been dreaming will kill her).
    Mortianna: Please sir, have pity! Don't harm an old woman...!
  • Altar the Speed: The Sheriff rushes Marian up to the Bishop's chambers and orders him to marry them. He keeps telling him to go faster and faster as Robin is pounding down the door.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: The Sheriff blackmails Marian into marrying him by threatening the lives of the children he captured in the raid on the Merry Men's camp.
  • Arc Words: "I would die for [you/her]." Also shows up in the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You."
  • Arrow Cam
  • Arrows on Fire: It's a Robin Hood movie, after all.
    • The Sheriff's men also use flaming arrows (and flaming catapults) when trying to kill the outlaws in the forest. Robin and the other Merry Men are appropriately horrified.
  • Arch-Enemy: Robin Hood has Sheriff George of Nottingham as usual, but with the added touch of the latter killing the former's father.
  • The Artifact: The Bayeux Tapestry being shown, since ultimately the Saxon-Norman conflict (made famous by Walter Scott) does not feature in this Robin Hood film.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Robin and Azeem somehow get off a boat in Dover to the South, wander all the way to the north of England and Hadrian's Wall (which is somehow within 5 miles of Locksley Manor), then double back to Nottingham (which is nearly a 200 mile trip even without the detour) in less than a day.
  • Artistic License – History: Has its own page.
  • Artistic License – Religion: In the audio commentary, Morgan Freeman admits to not having done enough research to know that Muslims do not pray with hands clasped, as Christians do.
  • Attempted Rape: As soon as the bishop declares them man and wife, the Sheriff proceeds to force himself on Marian, or try to at any rate. Of course, this wouldn't be considered rape back then, although still unkind.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the middle of the Celts' raid on the Merry Men's camp, Robin starts dumping chestfuls of gold coins on the bloodthirsty marauders. They stop right in their tracks to pick up said booty, every last one of them, seeming to completely forget about the raging battle surrounding them that they initiated. Of course, they are explicitly identified as "hired thugs".
  • Audience Surrogate: Guy of Gisborne. After Nottingham delivers his "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!" line, the scene switches to some undefined time later, with Guy asking the question that is now on every audience member's mind.
  • Award-Bait Song: "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You." Originally written from Maid Marian's point of view, the original draft was rejected by Annie Lennox, Kate Bush and Lisa Stansfield before the song was reworked and given to Bryan Adams to become his all-time biggest hit.
  • Badass Preacher:
    • Friar Tuck is just as good a fighter as any of the other Merry Men. When he's sober, anyway.
    • Azeem counts as a rare positive Muslim example in Western media. He not only talks about his love for God all the time and is devout enough to observe the tenets of his religion, he believes in fighting for justice and has an egalitarian view of race and ethnicity.
  • Bastard Angst :Will Scarlett is Robin's half-brother. Robin forced his father to break things off with Will's mother, which resulted in Will's illegitimate status. Will interpreted this as their father choosing his brother over him, and resents Robin for it
  • Berserk Button: Many characters have them. Most notable is Friar Tuck, who is righteously angry at the corrupt Bishop.
  • BFS: Robin's father's sword. The Sheriff dominates most of his fight with Robin while wielding it, slicing through anything that gets in his way, including Robin's own sword.
    • Azeem's scimitar is a lesser example. There's even a scene where he draws it and his opponent simply turns tail and runs off screaming.
  • Big Bad: Sheriff George of Nottingham, Robin's Arch-Enemy who wants to rule England.
  • Big Brother Instinct/Take Care of the Kids: Marian's brother Peter's last words were to beg Robin to look after her.
  • Big Brother Worship: Her reaction to his death suggests that Marian loved her brother Peter dearly.
  • Blatant Lies: When Robin first meets 'Marian' (actually Sarah pretending to be Marian) again after his time away during the Crusades, he is surprised at her appearance.
    Robin: The years have... been kind.
  • Blown Across the Room: By a thrown sword, no less.
    • Remember, though, that it's a very large sword thrown by a powerful man into a tiny woman. Not as bad as it could have been
  • Brass Balls: John remarks that Robin's are made of solid rock following their quarterstaff duel.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: While he's actually addressing Marian and Robin, Friar Tuck looks right at the camera and appears to be speaking to the audience with the last line of the movie.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Sheriff of Nottingham embodies pretty much any and all indicators of cartoonish supervillainy, up to and including Satan worship.
    • In his defense, it more seems to be Mortianna involved in those things; she raised him, so she naturally had an influence on his belief system. The Sheriff goes to her for advice and (somewhat reluctantly) goes along with certain things, but there's little to show he actively practices any of it himself.
      • Case in point, he does insist on a Christian priest performing his wedding to Marian. Heck, the fact alone that he waits to be officially married before forcing himself on her shows that he does have some standards.
      • However, in the extended cut of the film, there is a scene where Mortianna advises him to "Recruit the beasts that share our god." It should also be noted that said Christian priest is a willing stooge of the Sheriff, albeit more out of cowardice than conviction. Make of it what you will.
      • Realize also that a marriage performed by a pagan priest would not have been recognized by the Church of England and he would have been outright declared a rapist and pagan and refused what he wanted - nobility.
  • Cat Scare: When Marian is trying to locate the source of a sound, a hissing cat leaps onto the table before her, just before a soldier throws her down onto it.
  • Catapult to Glory: Robin and Azeem are thrown over the castle wall by catapult after the Sheriff orders the gate closed.
  • Character Development: Very few people who knew Robin as a child appeared to have liked him back then, so he must have done a lot of growing up while off in the Crusades.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A ton. Say what you will about the licenses the film took with history, but by the standards of a blockbuster it's practically a masterclass of economy in storytelling.
    • Perhaps the most crucial is the knife Nottingham gives to Marian. She gives it to Robin, who uses it to stab Nottingham in their climactic fight.
    • Similarly, the statue that the Sheriff had made of himself, which gets used as a battering ram in the climax. Also counts as a Chekhov's Gag, as various characters pause to look at the scar that someone added to the statue after Robin and the Sheriff's first fight.
    • The portrait of a young Robin seen hanging in Locksley Hall early in the film. It looks an awful lot like Will Scarlet, who is secretly his illegitimate half-brother.
    • Another simple, almost literal example is in the scene when the first refugees come to Sherwood Forest. The arrow Robin uses to fend off Will Scarlet's attack is noticeably separate from the others in his quiver the entire scene.
    • In the same scene, Robin promises to any who would seek the Sheriff's mercy that "he will stretch your necks, one by one." This is precisely the fate from which Robin must save many of his men during the climax.
    • Averted due to a reappropriated scene: at one point, Marian pointedly requests out of nowhere that Robin "take a bath." However, due to needing an explanation for how Robin got into the castle during the climax, the triggering scene where he rubs crap on his cloak and distracts the guard by Obfuscating Stupidity was moved to the climax. This is not only long after the request was made, but after Marian sees Robin honoring her request.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Firing an arrow amidst distractions.
  • Child by Rape: What Mortianna wants the Sheriff to beget by Marian. When he drags her into the chapel for the forced marriage, Mortianna declares that Marian is "ripe" and will produce a son.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Robin cuts off a lock of the Sheriff's hair during the final fight.
  • Composite Character: The Sheriff has a similar personality and appearance to the Sheriff from Robin of Sherwood, but adds the black magic activities of the show's other villain, Baron de Belleme.
  • Corrupt Church: The Bishop of Hereford is a textbook example. He willingly works with the Satan-worshiping Mortianna and the Sheriff of Nottingham to sanction marital rape; previously, he had helped to accuse their enemies (like Robin's father) of witchcraft so they could be justifiably murdered. He did it all for money. After Robin and Azeem interrupt the ceremony, the Bishop flees into another room and starts trying to pack up as much treasure as he can before escaping. Of course, that's when Friar Tuck comes in...
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: The Trope Namer. Guy of Gisborne eventually works up the nerve to ask the Sheriff why he wouldn't just use a knife...
    Nottingham: Because it's dull, you twit! It'll hurt more!
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • A fair chunk of this compared to most Robin Hood adaptations, with some brutal/gruesome deaths and blood, this version of the the Sheriff being one of the cruelest and using witchcraft, and a rape attempt.
    • The NES video game, believe it or not, is much grittier and darker in tone than the movie without its signature style of humor and quirks. Which is rare for an early-90s home console video game.
  • Death by Childbirth: Averted, but Fanny comes awfully close until Azeem steps in.
  • Death by Materialism: The corrupt Bishop might have been able to escape the castle... if he didn't try to pack up as much treasure as he could before leaving. Unfortunately for him, this gives Friar Tuck enough time to catch up with him. This ends poorly for the Bishop.
  • Defiant to the End: Robin's father finds that he is alone against a few dozen men loyal to the Sheriff, who give him one last chance to join them.
  • Destination Defenestration / Disney Villain Death: How Friar Tuck deals with the corrupt Bishop.
    • Robin performs a rare inversion, swinging in through a window to save Marian.
  • Disney Death: Robin swings from a burning rope. It breaks; he falls; everyone assumes he's dead. Guess what. Later, Mortianna appears to die when Azeem stabs her with a spear, but comes back to try and kill Robin.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lord Locksley was one to Will, explaining his resentment of Robin. In the Re-Cut, Mortianna is shown to be the Sheriff's birth mother. Though his birth father is not revealed, he's implied to possibly be Satan.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Mortianna tries to kill Robin after the Sheriff dies, but is killed by Azeem.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • When Robin gets home and finds out what's become of his father in his absence, his first action (after he gets over his very understandable freak-out) is to give his father a proper burial.
    • Later, the same care is given to those who lose their lives during the woodland invasion, including Duncan.
    • Robin keeping his promise to Peter, to deliver his ring to Marian and offer her his protection, may also count as this trope.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Robin's father and Peter both charge down a crowd alone before their deaths.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: When Marian and Sarah happen upon Robin taking a bath, the men try to cover their eyes. Marian... declines.
  • Exact Words: When Friar Tuck confronts the corrupt bishop, he promises not to "strike a fellow man of the cloth." He then loads him up with his ill-gotten gold and defenestrates him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After all the horrible things he's done, the Sheriff is outraged at the notion of forcing himself on Marian before they are properly married. He seems to have no problem with forcing her after they're married (though at that point he probably thinks it's just his right).
    • He also balks at recruiting the Celts, noting that "they drink the blood of their dead".
    • While the Sheriff is in the middle of trying to rape Marian, Mortianna gives him a pillow to put under her head.
  • Evil Is Petty: "Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings... and call off Christmas!"
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Michael Wincott as Guy of Gisborne.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Duncan, Lord Locksley's retainer, had his eyes cut out because he refused to believe the accusations leveled at his master. The fact that he's the only servant left on the Locksley estate when Robin arrives suggests he might have been the only one who resisted.
    • Robin kills the executioner by shooting him in the eye with a flaming arrow to keep him from executing the outlaws.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Robin stabs the Sheriff in the heart, using the dagger that Marian had given him - which the Sheriff had previously given her.
  • Fanfare: Michael Kamen's main title theme is a powerful flourish of brass instruments.
  • Fatal Flaw: The Sheriff's is his arrogance. Rather than kill Robin immediately once he's cornered, he takes a moment to gloat, looking at Marian. That moment is all Robin needs to turn the tables.
  • Faux Affably Evil: For all his Large Ham and Laughably Evil tendencies, the Sheriff of Nottingham is worse here than he is almost ever portrayed. He is not only a murderous asshole, he worships the devil.
  • Foil: Between Nottingham's and Robin's wedding to Marian. Nottingham's wedding is cold, dark, secluded within the confines of a castle, not to mention she's being forced into this marriage. Oh and it's being done in wake of satanism. Meanwhile, you have Robin's wedding where everything is bright, warm with so many friends as the attendees, out in the open of Sherwood Forest, with the smell of freedom in the air. To top it all off, Robin and Mariam's wedding has King Richard's blessing.
  • Foreshadowing: When Robin reveals his name to the future Merry Men at the river, the camera focuses on Will Scarlet shooting him a Death Glare.
  • Friend to All Children: Friar Tuck. When the Sheriff's men infiltrate the forest dwelling, he rounds up several of the kids and herds them to safety.
    Friar Tuck: This way, my lambs.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Sheriff invites the Celtic chieftain to the council with his allies, one questions his abilities. The chieftain takes a burning log out of the fireplace and calmly presses it against his own palm. Others are impressed and the council continues, while, in the background, the chieftain is visibly stifling a scream, even biting his hand.
  • Give Away the Bride: King Richard requests that he be allowed to do this when he interrupts the wedding of Robin and Marian just before Friar Tuck declares them to be husband and wife. No one objects.
  • God Help Us All: As the Celts prepare to attack the village, Azeem gasps, "Allah be merciful."
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Presumably the unseen and unmentioned Prince John.
  • Groin Attack:
    • This is how the brief fight between Robin and an armored Lady Marian ends.
    • Also, part of how Robin defeats Little John in their fight is to sneak up on him and hit him in the crotch with the staff.
    • During the final fight between Robin and the Sheriff, Nottingham says that he will be the only one "doing the taking". Marian responds by throwing hot candle wax on his crotch.
  • Heroic Bastard: Will Scarlet, who is Robin's illegitimate half-brother.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Sheriff is stabbed by the knife he gave to Marian, who later gave it to Robin. Subverted when Mortianna survives being stabbed by the spear with which she had attacked Azeem.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Bishop.
  • Horseback Heroism:
    • Robin steals the Sheriff's horse and uses it to escape while stealing food from a marketplace to feed his men, before the woodland encampment is properly established.
    • Later, Duncan gets a variant of this when Marian is captured by the Sheriff's men; he gets a horse from the stable and manages to find his way back to Robin's camp despite being blind. Unfortunately, he has no idea that the Sheriff's men are following him.
  • I Owe You My Life: Azeem's whole reason for being in England.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: A rather amusing use of this, as the recently-blinded Duncan curses the Moors and Saracens, with Azeem sitting right next to him.
    Duncan: Curse those Moors and Saracens. Were it not for their ungodly ways, Master Robin would never have left. [beat] What manner of name is "Azeem"? Irish? Cornish?
    Azeem: Moorish.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Mortianna is on the receiving end of this from Azeem, who's using the same spear she tried to kill him with seconds before.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Both played straight and subverted. The subversion is in Robin actually missing a shot. Sure, he was Distracted by the Sexy (so to speak), but come on. He's Robin Hood.
    • Just before the forest battle, several watchmen fire into a crowd of people around Robin and come within inches of hitting them while firing warning arrows.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: The Sheriff of Nottingham punches out an unfortunate henchman who's wearing a helmet and a chain mail coif, and doesn't even flinch.
  • Ironic Echo: Robin intervenes when Guy of Gisbourne has chased a young boy up a tree. Guy tells Robin to butt out, as they are on the Sheriff’s land. Robin (who doesn’t know yet that the Sheriff has murdered his father and seized the family lands) retorts that they are actually on his land, therefore the tree and everything in it belong to him.
    Guy: [annoyed] Might I have the pleasure of your name, before I have you run through?
    Robin: [smugly] I’m Robin of Locksley.
    Guy: Well, well... Locksley. Welcome home. [to his men] Kill him!
    [Robin proceeds to single-handedly wipe out Guy’s men and ends up holding Guy at swordpoint on the ground.]
    Robin: Now, sir... if you will be so kind as to tell me your name, before I run you through...
  • Join or Die: The Sheriff of Nottingham gives Lord Locksley the choice to join up or die. Cue Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Kick the Dog: The Sheriff of Nottingham embraces his role as the bad guy:
    Sheriff of Nottingham: Wait a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public, and they love him for it?
    [Scribe nods]
    Sheriff: That's it, then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans. No more merciful beheadings. And call off Christmas!
  • Large Ham:
    • Alan Rickman, so very much. He only took the part on the condition that he got to play it however he wanted.
    • BRIAN BLESSED AND Sean Connery are in the movie. AND they each only have one scene. Sean Connery isn't even listed in the credits!
    • Nick Brimble (Little John) sometimes seems to be making up for BRIAN BLESSED only having one scene by doing a damn good imitation of him in half his own scenes.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...:
    Sheriff: Just a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public... and they love him for it?!
  • Licensed Game: Received a video game adaptation for the NES. Spoony reviews it here.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Mortianna attacks Azeem with a spear, and lodges it in his leg when he tries to deflect. After a struggle, Azeem ends up with the spear and Mortianna impales herself on it. Later, after Robin kills the Sheriff, Mortianna reappears, charging him with the same spear.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: As mentioned under Re-Cut, below. The Sheriff grew up thinking Mortianna raised him after he was orphaned, but she reveals that she's actually his birth mother. She's a Bride of Satan, and her master plot is to have the Sheriff wed Marian, steal the kingdom from Richard, and father the next King of England - putting her bloodline on the throne.
    • From the theatrical cut there's the reveal, nearly two thirds of the way through the movie, that Will is Robin's half-brother from Lord Locksley's affair with a servant woman after Robin's mother died.
  • Makes Us Even: The Sheriff invokes this by slashing Robin's chin with his sword before their Final Battle begins as payback for the scar Robin left on his cheek.
  • Mama Bear and Papa Wolf: Fanny and Little John, who are this way about each other as well as their kids.
    John: What are you doing, woman? Where's the little 'uns?
    Fanny: They're safe, they're with my mother.
    John: You gone and bleedin' cracked, girl? You'd get hurt!
    Fanny: I've given birth to eight babies, don't you talk to me about getting hurt, you big ox! Anyway, I'm not gonna just sit here and let one of 'em die, am I?
    John: You should be bloody well mindin' the other seven!
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Dukes whom the Sheriff is bribing to help him overthrow the king.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Wulf, the eldest son of Fanny and Little John, has seven younger brothers and sisters (the youngest of whom is born midway through the film). Wulf is the only one whose name is ever mentioned.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The witch is shown faking several of her tricks, but a few others are left unexplained.
  • Medieval Morons: Most of the Merry Men.
  • Multishot: Robin fires two arrows at the same time.
    • There's even a nice nod to the improbability of this as a quick shot shows Robin biting some of the fletching off one of the arrows, presumably to make it go wide and hit a second target.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Sheriff of Nottingham somehow makes the order to "close the gate" sound utterly badass. Also the lines "Get some troops in here!" and "What are you waiting for?! Get on with it!"
  • Neutral Female: Mostly, though not entirely, averted during the final fight between Robin and the Sheriff. Marian (who is unarmed) does her best to stay out of the way, which is exactly what she should be doing with those big broadswords swinging around. However, she doesn't hesitate to throw whatever she can get her hands on at the Sheriff when his back is to her. She even appears to be preparing to strangle him with her bare hands at one point, though he disrupts the attempt. She also trips him up by kicking a bench at him and burns him with a candle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Wulf recognizes Will in the crowd on his way to be hanged. Angry over his apparent betrayal, he attacks him. The Sheriff recognizes Will in the scuffle and, upon hearing of Will's "failure" to kill Robin, adds him to the condemned. When the hangman comes up short a noose due to the addition, he ties Will to the planted barrel of gun powder. Now Robin can't shoot the barrel to save them.
  • Nice to the Waiter: We know Marian's a good person because she treats her servants well and she brings purses full of money to church on Sunday to give to the poor. Conversely, we know the Sheriff's a jackass for many reasons, but among them are the way he treats his scribe and Guy of Gisborne (who is his own cousin in this).
  • The Nicknamer: Azeem has a knack of referring to Robin as "the Christian" more than his actual name due to his crusader background, even after they move to England and it's redundant since pretty much everyone else is Christian.
  • Noodle Incident: We never learn what caused Azeem to be imprisoned, other than that it involved a woman named Jasmine.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Costner's Robin Hood mostly sounds like he's from Nebraska.
    • Also Sean Connery, but that goes without saying.
    • For some reason, Christian Slater doesn't get a tenth of the mockery that Costner does, but this might have more to do with his not being in the central role, and at least making an attempt at the accent, dropping his R's and pronouncing short A's as Ah's. But this only serves to make him sound sillier.
    • Hence, Mel Brooks did the famous Take That! when in Men in Tights, his Robin comments "Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent". Then again, the language used in England in the 12th century was nothing like what we call English today (Received Pronunciation/Standard English being recent developments). In fact, the language of the English nobility of the time was Anglo-Norman French; Richard himself didn't speak English at all.
    • Averted with American actors Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Mike McShane, who both offered very passable English accents as Marian and Friar Tuck, respectively.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Duncan's reaction to learning, belatedly, that Azeem is a Moor.
    • A more serious one is after the Merry Men defend their forest home from hired thugs. Robin looks out towards the Nottingham soldiers in the distance, with flaming arrows and trebuchets, and says "My God" in sheer terror.
    • Also when Mortianna and Azeem see each other for the first time, each having heard all the horror stories about the other (and, in Mortianna's case, having had prophetic dreams about Azeem).
      Mortianna: The painted man!
      Azeem: The witch!
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: Gender reversed.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Fuck me, he cleared it!"
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Right before throwing the corrupt Bishop out of a window, Friar Tuck offers this beauty.
    Tuck: (adding one more pouch of coins to the bundles he's already shoved into the Bishop's arms) Here's thirty pieces of silver... to pay the devil... on your way to HELL!!
  • Produce Pelting: As the sentenced-to-hanging men are led out to the gallows, many of those watching throw assorted vegetation at them.
  • Reality Ensues: Robin and the Merry Men are able to operate for so long by using guerrilla tactics like hiding in Sherwood Forest and attacking passing convoys. Once the Sheriff hires the Celts and has his men use burning arrows and cannonballs to attack their base in a full frontal assault, the outlaws are almost all killed or captured.
  • Re-Cut: The extended version adds in 12 minutes of new footage, including an entire subplot with the Sheriff and Mortianna. She's his biological mother and using him as a pawn in her Evil Plan to get Nottingham on the throne in King Richard's absence.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: Disney uses the main fanfare in the promotional clip that plays as soon as one of their DVDs is loaded.
  • Relative Button: Guy of Gisbourne intentionally pushes the button, mocking the death of Robin's father to make Robin attempt to fight him right then, when Guy is surrounded by mooks, and be duly slaughtered. Fortunately for Robin, Azeem is there to talk some sense into him.
    Guy: Your father died a coward, cursing your name and squealing like a stuck pig!
    Azeem: [grabs Robin as he starts to move toward Guy] You will bring no justice to your father by dying today!
  • Renaissance Man: The Sheriff's scribe serves as his bookkeeper, surgeon, advisor, assistant, and also informant about the public's opinion on Robin.
  • The Resenter: Will Scarlet towards Robin. In the latter half of the movie, we find out why when Will reveals that he's Robin's illegitimate half-brother.
    Will Scarlet: I have more reason to hate you than anyone.
  • Role Called
  • Rousing Speech: Azeem's speech to the people of Nottingham, which doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
    Azeem: ENGLISH! ENGLISH! Behold, Azeem Ibn Bashir Al-Bakir! I am not one of you, but I fight! I fight with Robin Hood! I fight against the tyrant who holds you under his boot! If you would be free men, then you must fight... join us now! Join Robin Hood!
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Marian is King Richard's cousin, making her a member of the Plantagenet royal family. She refuses to leave her home and join her mother in London because "I am the King's cousin; it is my station to look after his people while he is away!" She gives refugees the freedom to camp on her estate and distributes money to the poor. She's also quite the Action Girl, as shown in her introductory scene.
  • Running Gag: Robin seems incapable of meeting anyone without getting in a fight.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Marian is introduced masked, and it's not until she lets out a high-pitched scream when Robin sticks her hand in a candle that her identity is revealed.
  • Say My Name: Marian's infamous "Robiiin!" and his slightly more restrained "Marian!" In the beginning, Lord Locksley uses this as a Battle Cry, screaming his loyalty to King Richard during his last fight. Then the famous moment when Robin reveals to all he still lives when he saves Wulf from the hangman's noose...
    Sheriff: Locksley...
    Marian: (screams) ROBIN!!!
  • Scary Black Man: Azeem to the British. Less so to audience, considering he's played by Morgan Freeman.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Kevin Costner in the movie poster.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The Sheriff and his conspirators.
  • Shoot the Rope: To save the kid! Played with in that Robin has to shoot it twice, as the first arrow only frays it. The second one saves Wulf, and reveals to the Sheriff and Marian that he's still alive after the Sheriff was told by Will that Robin was dead after the Celts attacked Sherwood Forest.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Friar Tuck allows the wedding guests a chance to object to the marriage of Robin and Marian, but after the moment of silence and before Tuck pronounces the couple as husband and wife, King Richard steps in to prevent the marriage from taking place unless he is allowed to Give Away the Bride. None object to the king's wish.
  • Spiritual Successor: To both Robin of Sherwood and Robin and Marian in its own ways.
  • The Starscream: Given that Prince John is presumably the ruler in King Richard's absence at the time of the film, the Sheriff of Nottingham is this to him, as he plans to take over the country.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Robin and Little have this conversation after they're both knocked into the water after a quarterstaff battle:
    Robin of Locksley: Do you yield?
    John Little: I can't bloody swim!
    Robin of Locksley: Do you yield?
    John Little: Yes!
    Robin of Locksley: Good. Now put your feet down.
    John Little: [finds that he is standing in less than 2 feet of water] I'll be buggered.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Stout Strength: Friar Tuck is able to pull a horse cart full of beer barrels after Robin takes him hostage and makes him pull the cart back to the outlaws' hideout.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Little John can't swim at all, and concedes defeat to Robin when he thinks he might drown. It turns out that the water in which he's floundering only comes up to his thighs.
  • Swashbuckler
  • Sword over Head
  • Sword Sparks: Mostly against stone pillars.
  • The Teetotaler: Azeem is offered mead from Little John.
    With regret, I must decline. Allah forbids it.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Azeem sees the Celtic hordes through his telescope, he dryly procalims, "Allah be merciful".
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Azeem chucks his sword at Mortianna while she is in full sprint, and hits her square on. And she goes flying across the room and hits the wall! It's hinted there may be something mystical at work here, as Mortianna prophesies that Azeem will be the one to kill her, something he seems to feel as well. Averted a few minutes before this, when Robin's sword breaks a little above the hilt, and he throws the remainder at the Sheriff.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Lord Locksley's medallion to Robin. Later, briefly, to Marian as well when she believes Robin to have died during the battle at the woodland hideout.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Well, they're not peaceful, and they're not villagers, but they're farmers who have no combat training.
  • Tree Top Town: The outlaws and their families dwell in one in Sherwood Forest.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: When the Sheriff's men apprehend Marian and turn her entire household upside down, they specifically let the elderly and blind Duncan escape so he can lead them back into Robin's encampment.
    Will Scarlet: (with more pity than malice) Poor old fool led 'em straight to us.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: Duncan is allowed to escape so that he can be followed back to Robin's camp.
  • Tsundere: Marian at times.
  • The Un-Favourite: Will Scarlet, who was the son of Robin's father and a woman with whom he was involved after the death of Robin's mother. Lord Locksley broke it off with the woman (and basically abandoned his second son) because the affair upset Robin; as Robin himself notes when relating the affair to Marian, he did it "for the love of a twelve-year-old boy who would never forgive him." However, the novelization of the film reveals that Will was born after Lord Locksley broke off the affair, and Will’s mother never told Lord Locksley she was pregnant, suggesting that he was entirely unaware of the child's existence.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Friar Tuck's above-mentioned line about "thirty pieces of silver" is a Biblical reference; this was the amount of money that Judas Iscariot was paid to betray Jesus Christ. However, the way the line is delivered and the shocking defenestration which follows are both so incredibly badass that some viewers didn't really catch the reference.
  • Viewers Are Morons: As the Mis-blamed and Not Even Bothering with the Accent entries can attest, the absence of a British accent on most of the cast is the butt of many jokes, despite the fact that it would not be historically appropriate either.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Sheriff goes through one of these after Robin and the outlaws put paid to a large chunk of his Evil Plan to overthrow the King.
    Sheriff: In ten days' time, the barons are coming. Robin Hood has stolen what I was to pay for their allegiance, and I am surrounded by fools who do not realise my obligations!
  • Violent Glaswegian
    Mortianna: Recruit the beasts that share our god.
    Sheriff of Nottingham: Animals?
    Mortianna: From the North.
    Sheriff of Nottingham: You mean Celts. They drink the blood of their dead.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: During the movie, there's a shot of a wanted poster for Robin Hood (with his name as "Robin of the Hood"). It's a "dead or alive" version, with the reward being 1,000 gold coins.
  • Waterfall Shower: Taken by Robin.
  • Wedding Deadline:
    • The Sheriff actually gets married to Marian before Robin can stop it, but he dies pretty shortly thereafter, leaving her Widowed at the Wedding. (As an unstated bonus, this means she can legally inherit all of his property, and thereby return everything to the people from whom he stole it.)
    • Happens again when King Richard interrupts Robin's and Marian's wedding.
  • Wedding Finale: The film ends with Robin and Marian marrying in a beautiful ceremony in the woods - which King Richard interrupts (right before Friar Tuck declares that they are husband and wife) on the grounds that he should be permitted to Give Away the Bride. No one objects; Marian is delighted.
  • World of Ham: To be expected with a cast like Alan Rickman and BRIAN BLESSED.
  • Xanatos Gambit: With a side order of Batman Gambit. The Sheriff's plan of attack on the Merry Men. He sends the Celts in first, if they kill the Merry Men he wins. If they retreat into the tree tops and shoot the Celts (which is what happens), that's fine too. He'll just use his Arrows on Fire and flaming catapults to kill them anyway.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Robin and Azeem.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Sheriff disembowels Guy of Gisborne after stating that "I can't allow a lieutenant to fail me." (At least he didn't use a spoon.) Made arguably worse by the fact that Guy is the Sheriff's cousin, and only seconds before the killing, the Sheriff had been embracing and consoling him over the failure.
  • You Killed My Father: The Sheriff did this to Lord Locksley, which he makes clear to Robin when they confront each other for the big climax.
    • More in the sense of You Stole My Father, Will Scarlet blames Robin for their father leaving his mother. In the end, the two reconcile.

Alternative Title(s): Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves


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