Robin Longstride’s life from the death of King Richard Coeur de Leon in 1199 to the eventual appearance of the Magna Carta in 1215 is explored in detail in director Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, 2010. Robin, a lowly archer, and a veteran of King Richard’s Crusade in Palestine, where they murdered Muslim women and children, is portrayed as deeply ethical and solemn.
Robin (Russell Crowe) and fellow English deserters encounter Sir Robert Loxley at an ambush with a dying Loxley urging Robin to return his sword to his father Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) in Nottingham, England. Robin masquerading as Loxley crosses the channel with King Richards crown and meets Marion (Cate Blanchette) who needs a husband to prevent her estates from seizure by the crown. Robin duly obliges. Russell Crowe’s accent is quite authentic with celtic crosses and celtic music added. The correct yew wood bows and ash wood arrows were fired correctly by Robin Hood throughout clearly proving that mediaeval armour was ineffectual.
Robin and his followers uncover an England of impoverished serfs without rights and suffering under severe taxation which was squandered on foreign wars. The mediaeval squalor where beautiful people were sight unseen and most peasants wore their hardship on their fatigued visages was thoroughly portrayed. The film is approached with some humour particularly when Marion referred to her one Knight wedding. The soldier in Robin was a champion of civil rights. The three kings portrayed cared little for their subjects but sought personal glory for themselves alone. The unlikely noble woman handy with a plough and a sword transforms Marion from a princess to a hard working woman in full control of her own destiny.
Robin Hood is transformed into a real person with a definite history and a father who encouraged his son to ‘rise and rise again until lambs become lions’. The historical backdrop of a French invasion led by King Phillip of France, coupled with a marauding (French) tax marshal terrorising the peasants for newly crowned King John of England creates enough chaos to resemble the awful lives of the poor of mediaeval England.
Director Scott gives us the realism of a somewhat fictional potential outlaw primarily due to the fact that there is no historical evidence to prove Robin Hood ever existed. Robin and Hood appear in some mediaeval poem. The rest is conjecture
Why oh why did poorly disguised Landing Craft Tanks(LCTs) appear as authentic 12th century invasion barges?