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"The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood" is a love-it or hate-it
proposition. The humor is relentlessly quirky. Think of "Last Action
Hero" or "Demolition Man". Not for everybody, but perfect for some. I
think it's a laugh riot.
"Zany Robin Hood" was made for TV. It's sort of a mini-movie. As far as I know, it exists only on the VHS tapes of those lucky enough to have recorded it. I watch it every couple of years and laugh every time I see it.
"Zany Robin Hood" is very hard to describe. It's a combination of broad slapstick and subtle irony. Most of the actors are first-rate.
Plot: Robin Hood rallies the peasants by promising that King Richard will establish what is, essentially, a 20th-century socialist democracy.
Examples of the sort of humor to expect:
- When Robin's Merry Men jump from the trees to attack, they yell "Geronimo"! - Robin secures funding for his rebellion by promising to establish a Jewish state of Israel. - Robin's minstrel thinks he's a musical genius. No one can stop him from making up terrible songs about the slightest of their deeds.
Like I said, not everyone's cup of English tea. But if you have the right sort of funny bone, this will be one of your favorites.
I've been looking for this for my collection for years. It is one of
the funniest films I have ever seen, and well worth the time taken to
watch it. Don't expect a usual Robin Hood yarn - it's even crazier than
the Disney fox-and-vixen version...
There are plenty of one-liners with 'modern' references (one or two too many American references, though) and brilliant casting (Robert Hardy as King Richard is a classic). I particularly remember Maid Marion's frustration because she promised to remain chaste until marriage and Queen Eleanor's laid-back attitude to life (even chastising her son John because he didn't kill a man until he was in his mid-teens!), but I especially love the part when a group of 'good Jewish boys' 'syncronise their voices' - then count seconds in unison as they infiltrate the dungeon. And the monks singing '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall' when urged to 'Sing something holy.' And... And... Priceless.
Now put it on DVD so I can own a copy!
I had the great luck to see this on late night TV in December of 2005
and all I can say is,it made me laugh at everything that was supposed
to be funny.
George Segal,first of all is funny as the most unlikely Robin Hood in movie history.
He was far funnier and this movie was also,than Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood : Men In Tights",which tried too hard to be funny. As well as the fact that Mr. Brooks style of comedy was on the wane in the 1990s.
I wont go into scene details but everything was played to the hilt here or played with simpler humor as well. I highly recommend that if you have a VHS player,seek this out. If it one day is on DVD,buy it! I know I will.
In conclusion,bravo to George and his cast! A great job of farce and just plain crazy comedy. (END)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not your normal Robin Hood movie. I believe it is very funny
and want to see it again. There is a lot of slapstick comedy involved
and it is not the best filmed movie, but I think that adds to it.
My favorite line is when Maid Marion and I think Elemaor are riding and talking. Maid Marion is getting frustrated and tells ?? (I can't remember who for sure) "Put a zipper on it." The response is "Zipper? What's a zipper?"
I may not have the quotes word for word since it's been years since I have seen the movie. I had it on VHS, but have since lost it or it broke. I would really like to get another copy of it though.
This is a truly horrible comedy at any level. The jokes are lame and were old in the 12th Century. The cast tries hard to work with the script but Ray Austin is no comedy director and the timing is poor. For a comedy to be believable the cast has to get into character and play it straight. Here everyone tosses out their lines with no thought seeming to be given to what is going on around them. If given the "Airplane" or "Naked Gun" treatment it might have held up better. The best scene comes early in the movie when Roddy McDowell's Prince John is being psychoanalyzed by his adviser played by Michael Hordern. After that, it's downhill all the way. Perhaps Robin just does not work as a comedy. Mel Brooks' first attempt, "When Things Were Rotten" is unable to hold up through its short run. "Men In Tights" works better because it was a targeted satire of "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves", a yawn-inducing overly serious attempt at a Robin Hood story. Sadly "The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood" fails to live up to its title.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Admittedly, the movie gets off to a slow, extremely talkative start
with Roddy McDowall making a strained if hearty attempt to improve the
comic mileage of some very insipid dialogue by hammily over- acting.
However, once the locale moves to Sherwood Forest, the dialogue really
crackles. We loved Segal giving Gisborne twenty guesses as to his
identity. Then he tells the Normans to vamoose, but only one of the
opposing soldiers vaults on to his steed and gallops hastily away.
"What about the rest of you?" demands our Robin. "Well, I'm Mick and
he's Harry and there's George. There's only one Norman among the lot of
us and he's just ridden off!"
Full of deliberate anachronisms and topical allusions, the film, led by Segal's puckish Robin, is played by all concerned with such wonderful gusto and enthusiasm that its humor finally becomes both infectious and irresistible. Production values are surprisingly lavish, with no expense spared on props, costumes, locations and heaps of extras.
Austin's direction evinces occasional touches of style, but could do with more polish. And of course, betraying the hand of a small- screen man, there are far too many close-ups.Nonetheless, by the humble standards of the television movie, "The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood" comes as a most agreeable surprise.
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