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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) Poster

Trivia

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Alan Rickman turned down the role of the Sheriff twice before he was told he could more or less have carte blanche with his interpretation of the character.
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Cary Elwes was offered the role of Robin Hood, but turned it down because he thought the plot was too contrived. He did, however, portray the character in the spoof Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).
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Christian Slater ad-libbed Will Scarlett's line of "Fuck me, he cleared it!", after Robin and Azeem are catapulted over the castle wall. Director Kevin Reynolds kept it in the movie because it was funny, despite the historical inaccuracy.
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"Sadiq", the name that Azeem calls Robin, means "friend" in Arabic. It also means "one who is trustworthy".
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Alan Rickman ad-libbed the line about calling off Christmas.
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During an interview given on British television, Alan Rickman revealed that he had broken "about ten swords" in the sword fighting scene with Kevin Costner.
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The initial trumpet flourish of the title score became Morgan Creek's theme music. Disney also used it for their logo during DVD previews.
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The shot of Robin shooting the flaming arrow was shot at three hundred frames per second (normal speed is twenty-four frames per second).
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The novelization gives insight into a couple of significant edits. First and foremost, Kevin Reynolds was reportedly very upset at the removal of the scene where the Sheriff learns the witch is his mother. Another scene, in which Robin rubs himself with manure, was moved from early in the movie to the end. Knowing that this scene was intended to be shown before Robin enters the church explains Marian's request that he "take a bath."
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In 2012, Kevin Costner sued the producers of this movie over unpaid profits. He also alleged that Morgan Creek gave distribution rights to an international subsidiary, which was in breach of its agreement with him.
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Some of the Sheriff's witty lines (such as telling a couple of wenches "You! My room, 10.30 tonight. You! My room, 10.45. And bring a friend.") were devised by Alan Rickman's friends comedian Ruby Wax and playwright Peter Barnes. He enlisted their help in spicing up his dialogue because he felt the script was terrible. Kevin Reynolds enabled these script alterations by not informing the producers or screenwriters or anyone in the crew. Rickman said in an interview years later that he knew these new lines were having the desired effect when during takes he noticed the crew members covering their mouths, trying not to laugh.
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Was the second highest grossing film of 1991, behind Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). It enjoyed the second-best opening for a non-sequel, at the time.
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Johnny Depp turned down the role of Will Scarlett.
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Most of the songs the characters sing or hum within this movie are actual Medieval melodies. For example, the song Friar Tuck sings is set to the tune of a song called Bacche Bene Venies, from the thirteenth century Codex Buranus.
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Ironically, Brian Blessed was almost killed filming his death scene.
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Rumor has it that Kevin Costner wanted to use an English accent, but Kevin Reynolds didn't want him to. Supposedly, Costner would affect the accent when he was arguing with Reynolds, but not when they were in agreement. Costner claims that he was initially asked to use an accent and hired a dialect coach, but this was stopped (and the coach was fired) when he did it poorly.
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As Robin, Azeem, and Duncan flee from Marian's, they pull up their horses before entering Sherwood Forest. Kevin Costner's horse half-reared as he halted and the horse's neck came up so fast that it smacked into, and broke, Costner's nose. According to DVD commentary, he did not miss a beat, and continued with the scene.
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Bryan Adams sang a song for this movie "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)",which went on to be the best single of Adams' career, maintaining number one on the U.S. Billboard chart for fourteen weeks. It also spent a record breaking sixteen weeks at number one in the U.K.
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Historical facts: The opening scene in Jerusalem in 1194 correctly depicts the city as being controlled by Muslims. Jerusalem had been captured by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) on October 2, 1187. In an early part of the movie, the witch Mortianna tells the Sheriff of Nottingham that "the Lionheart returns" from the Third Crusade. The real King Richard did return to England in 1194. At the end of the movie, when King Richard appears at the wedding of Robin and Marian, we see the King wearing a red tabard with three "lions statant" on it. This was the real-life Richard the Lionheart's Royal Arms.
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The producers, one of them being Kevin Reynolds' longtime friend, Kevin Costner, took over the editing of this movie, going to the extent of physically locking the original editor, Peter Boyle, out of the editing suite. However, they were contractually obligated under Directors' Guild rules to show their cut to Reynolds. He was less than impressed with what they'd done to his movie.
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Sam Neill turned down the role of Sheriff George.
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On Breakfast television in the U.K., Mel Gibson said he was offered the lead, but he had just done a period movie (Hamlet (1990)) and passed.
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Sir Sean Connery was first offered the cameo of Lord Locksley (Brian Blessed), but passed, as he felt he had been playing a lot of fathers in recent years.
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Kevin Costner as an American accented Robin Hood wasn't the only one to not speak in an English accent. When Sir Sean Connery made his cameo as King Richard, he spoke in a Scottish accent. However, Costner had more screentime than Connery, and so took more heat for not sounding English, and the real Richard I spoke only Langue d'Oc (a French dialect) anyway.
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It is rumored that Kevin Costner had some of Alan Rickman's scenes cut when he realized that Rickman was upstaging him.
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During filming, Kevin Costner brought the script of Unforgiven (1992) (then called The William Munny Killings) to the attention of Morgan Freeman. He then asked Clint Eastwood for the role of Ned Logan. Costner co-starred with Eastwood (with the latter also directing) in A Perfect World (1993).
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Sir Sean Connery was sixty-one when he played King Richard, who was thirty-seven at the time of this movie's setting.
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Having watched, and been very inspired by the British television series Robin Hood (1984), where a Saracen merry man was introduced into the Robin Hood legend and let loose in Sherwood Forest, the makers of this movie originally called Morgan Freeman's character "Nasir", thinking that the character played by Mark Ryan in the British television series was a traditional one, drawn from the old legend. When stuntman Terry Walsh, who had also worked on "Robin of Sherwood" (1984), happened to mention that "Nasir" was not in the original legend, but was completely made-up by the makers of the British television series, the name of Freeman's character was rapidly changed to "Azeem" in order to avoid a possible lawsuit.
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Retired former head of the British Board of Film Classification James Ferman said that passing this movie as a PG was his only regret over his time in office.
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Alan Rickman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio were neighbors in London for a while, and during filming. Rickman mentioned wanting to borrow milk from her during the premiere.
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In the scene where the Sheriff of Nottingham is kneeling down in front of a little girl and holding her arms, while speaking to her about having a sad childhood, took a few extra takes. Before the scene was shot, the child actress was introduced to Alan Rickman so she would feel at ease with him. Alan was known to love children and work well with them. So he wouldn't frighten her, he would make silly faces at her and smile while saying his lines. Which caused her to keep giggling during the filming.
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No mention is made of John, the younger brother of Richard the Lionheart. John was the de facto ruler of England from 1190-1194, while Richard was away fighting in the Third Crusade. However, John did not become de jure King of England until Richard was killed in battle in 1199. In many of the Robin Hood legends, the Sherriff of Nottingham was a loyal follower of John.
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Robin Wright was the original choice to play Maid Marian, but she had to drop out, as she was pregnant with her first child. The part went instead to Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, four days before shooting started. (Wright would land the lead in The Playboys (1992), the following year, because the original actress, Annette Bening, had become pregnant, too.)
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When Friar Tuck is "helping" the Bishop pack his fortune, he mentions thirty pieces of silver, the reward Judas Iscariot received for his betrayal of Jesus.
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The cast includes three Oscar winners: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Sean Connery; and three Oscar nominees: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jack Wild, and Bryan Adams.
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This movie was one of the few Hollywood productions of recent years to receive praise from Jack Shaheen, a longtime Arab-American activist whose book "Reel Bad Arabs" lashed out at all of his perceived examples of motion pictures that contained insulting or inaccurate views of Arabs and Muslims. Shaheen wrote that Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Azeem was very positive, in that Azeem was portrayed as a devout Muslim, and an intelligent, decent man who fights against the vile Sheriff of Nottingham. Shaheen also liked the way Robin Hood indirectly praised the Muslim natives during the Crusades, by saying, "One man defending his home is worth more than ten hired soldiers."
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Pen Densham and John Watson's script was sold for $1.2 million.
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The playset that the toy company Kenner made to go with their Robin Hood Prince of Thieves toy line is actually the Ewok village that they made for their Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) line a few years earlier.
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The theatrical trailers used music from The Abyss (1989) by Alan Silvestri, as well as Willow (1988) by James Horner.
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Last theatrical movie of Harold Innocent (Bishop).
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While filming in England, Kevin Costner became a fan of Arsenal Football Club, and supports them to this day.
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Sir Sean Connery came on to film his uncredited cameo following filming Highlander II: The Quickening (1991).
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Jon Finch, Sir Michael Gambon, Sir John Hurt, Sir Ian McKellen, Oliver Reed, and Sir Patrick Stewart were considered for the Sheriff of Nottingham. Stewart, as Captain Picard, played Robin Hood in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Qpid (1991), and Reed played a villain in Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960).
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When this movie was released on VHS in the early 1990s, some versions of the movie had the music video of "Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams shown during the end credits.
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The role of the Sheriff of Nottingham was originally offered to Richard E. Grant.
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A scene was filmed, but cut, and was later reinstated for the extended version DVD. The Sheriff learns Mortiana has been spying on him, and Mortiana reveals to the Sheriff that she is his mother, and that when he was born, she murdered another baby boy who was to be Sheriff so he could take that child's place, and that she had manipulated him and secretly masterminded the plot to steal the throne from King Richard, and that Mortiana wants a grandchild of pure blood to sit on the throne.
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This movie is dedicated to the loving memory of Egil S. Woxholt.
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Kevin Costner and Sir Sean Connery appeared in The Untouchables (1987).
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On an episode of The Arsenio Hall Show (1989), Christian Slater mentioned that he learned and mastered archery after Morgan Freeman taught him on-set.
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Russ Abbot was asked to be Little John, but he was not free for the filming dates.
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Richard Griffiths passed on the opportunity to play Friar Tuck.
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Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe portrayed Superman's adoptive and biological fathers in Man of Steel (2013), respectively. Both have also portrayed Robin Hood. Crowe in Robin Hood (2010).
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The voices and accents of Kevin Costner and Christian Slater are so alike, it hints at who Slater's character Will Scarlet is, and his connection to Robin of Locksley.
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Christian Slater and Sir Sean Connery appeared in The Name of the Rose (1986).
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A half-hour behind-the-scenes documentary of this movie was hosted by Pierce Brosnan, although he did not appear in it.
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The theatrical trailer shows Robin Hood swimming in the lake from a different position than in the actual movie.
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This is the second movie that Kevin Costner's character had a falling out with his father. The first was Field of Dreams (1989).
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The only collaboration between Kevin Reynolds and Kevin Costner that isn't a one word titled movie. The others being Fandango (1985) and Waterworld (1995).
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The music used in the original film trailer was borrowed from the 1988 film WILLOW
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In order to obtain a family friendly PG certificate for its original UK and Irish theatrical and subsequent VHS release, Will Scarlett's (played by Christian Slater) use of a profanity was changed from the original "F*ck me, they made it" and dubbed to "Blimey, they made it". The 12 rated DVD release restored the profanity and subsequent television showings in he UK that run past the 9pm watershed period tend to show the 12 rated version of the film including that one profanity.
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The Sheriff of Nottingham's attempted rape if Marian towards the end of the film was trimmed for the film's original VHS video release in the UK after the BBFC received quite a few complaints from the public over the scene during its original PG rated theatrical release. The trims were finally restored years later when the 12 rated DVD version was released.
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Was the biggest grossing theatrical release in the UK and Ireland in 1991. It took more money than 'Terminator 2 - Judgement Day' which was released a month later. However T2 had a 15 certificate hampering its release (nobody under 15 years old allowed) whilst Prince of Thieves had the more family orientated PG certificate. '
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Released theatrically I'm the summer of 1991, the VHS release in November of that year was one of the first ever to go straight to 'sell through'. This meant the public could now buy and keep their own VHS copy rather than only be able to rent it on its videocassette debut. The VHS price in the UK was £12.99 and $12.99 in the U.S.
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Robin Hood's shot that was so accurate it split another arrow was a homage to the Errol Flynn film 'Adventures of Robin Hood' in which a similar scene also happens.
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Cameo 

Sean Connery: King Richard. Connery got $250,000 for two days' work. He donated it to charity. Connery played Robin Hood in Robin and Marian (1976).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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