Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

PG-13 | 104 mins | Adventure, Comedy, Romance | 1993

Director:

Mel Brooks

Producer:

Mel Brooks

Cinematographer:

Michael D. O'Shea

Production Designer:

Roy Forge Smith

Production Companies:

Brooksfilms, Gaumont
Full page view
HISTORY

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Fitrah Hamid, a student at Georgia Institute of Technology, with Melanie Kohnen as academic advisor.

       According to a 13 Jun 1993 article in LAT , the story for Robin Hood: Men in Tights was first pitched to screenwriter J. David Shapiro during an appointment with his dentist, Evan Chandler. After the success of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, see entry), Chandler’s eleven year-old son, Jordi, had suggested a Robin Hood parody, and Shapiro partnered with Chandler to develop a script. A 1 Mar 1993 news item in DV reports that the screenplay was sold to director-producer Mel Brooks for $500,000. Although Brooks also receives top billing as screenwriter in the film’s credits, the question of authorship resulted in a Writers Guild arbitration. As reported in the LAT article, Brooks argued that only he and Shapiro were due screenplay credit, while Chandler was responsible for the story. Brooks also pointed out that he had already created a parody of Robin Hood in his 1975 television series for ABC, When Things Were Rotten . In the opening credits, Chandler shares story by credits with Shapiro, as well as being credited as screenwriter, with Brooks and Shapiro, and associate producer. LAT noted that Jordi was considered for inclusion in the credits, but his name is not mentioned in the film.
       In addition to the ABC television series, a Brooksfilms Limited film parody of Robin ... More Less

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Fitrah Hamid, a student at Georgia Institute of Technology, with Melanie Kohnen as academic advisor.

       According to a 13 Jun 1993 article in LAT , the story for Robin Hood: Men in Tights was first pitched to screenwriter J. David Shapiro during an appointment with his dentist, Evan Chandler. After the success of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, see entry), Chandler’s eleven year-old son, Jordi, had suggested a Robin Hood parody, and Shapiro partnered with Chandler to develop a script. A 1 Mar 1993 news item in DV reports that the screenplay was sold to director-producer Mel Brooks for $500,000. Although Brooks also receives top billing as screenwriter in the film’s credits, the question of authorship resulted in a Writers Guild arbitration. As reported in the LAT article, Brooks argued that only he and Shapiro were due screenplay credit, while Chandler was responsible for the story. Brooks also pointed out that he had already created a parody of Robin Hood in his 1975 television series for ABC, When Things Were Rotten . In the opening credits, Chandler shares story by credits with Shapiro, as well as being credited as screenwriter, with Brooks and Shapiro, and associate producer. LAT noted that Jordi was considered for inclusion in the credits, but his name is not mentioned in the film.
       In addition to the ABC television series, a Brooksfilms Limited film parody of Robin Hood may have developed long before the release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Chandler and Shapiro’s script, according to various contemporary sources, including LAHExam on 31 Dec 1981 and HR on 4 Nov 1981. LAHExam reported that Brooks signed a deal with Wall Street investment banking company D. H. Blair & Co. to raise $8 million for the film, which was set to be distributed by Columbia Pictures. HR announced the conclusion of negotiations between Brooksfilms and Columbia for Robin Hood and stated that production was scheduled to begin spring 1982 in England. LAHExam noted that Brooks was reluctant to work with Twentieth Century-Fox after what he considered to be their inadequate distribution of History of the World – Part I (1981, see entry), but on 28 Sep 1992, HR announced that the film would be co-financed with Brooksfilms and Twentieth Century-Fox, who was set to distribute the film domestically and in various foreign countries. Brooks noted in HR that Brooksfilms’ equity partner, Gaumont, contributed half of the funding for foreign distribution and Canal Plus was contracted to handle television distribution in Europe. Brooks also reported that he would perform in the role of “Rabbi Tuckman” without billing, but he is credited both in the end crawl and during a concluding sequence with four other actors in cameo roles – Patrick Stewart as “King Richard,” Dom DeLuise as “Don Giovanni,” Dick Van Patten as “The Abbot,” and Robert Ridgely as “The Hangman.” This sequence appears prior to the final scene of the film, when Robin is unable to unlock Marian’s chastity belt.
       As reported in HR production charts on 12 Jan 1993, shooting began 5 Jan 1993 in Los Angeles. According to studio production notes from AMPAS library files, Sherwood Forest, the Spring Fair and the castle were shot on location at Sable Ranch, which is thirty-five miles north of Los Angeles. Interiors were filmed at Warner Hollywood Studios, where Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood (1923, see entry) was shot.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights opened to mixed reviews. In 1994, the film was nominated by the Young Artist Awards in the category of Outstanding Family Motion Picture – Comedy.

More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 1992
pp. 1-2, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 1993
p. 6, 11.
LAHExam
31 Dec 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Jul 1993
p. 5.
New York Times
28 Jul 1993
p. 13.
People
23 Aug 1993.
---
Variety
9 Aug 1993
p. 35.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Sherwood Forest rapper-dancers:
Merry Men dancers:
Inept archers:
Party guests:
[and]
Wedding guests:
Villagers:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
Addl 2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Cam op
2d cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst 2d cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
Videotape op
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
2d dolly grip
Rigging key grip
2d unit key grip
Still photog
Still photog
Cranes and dollies
Loc lighting equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
Art dept prod asst
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Sr set des
Sr set des
Set des
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set dressing
Set dressing
Set dressing
Greens foreman
Const coord
Gen const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Propmaker foreman
Supv labor foreman
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Addl orch
Addl orch
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Scoring mixer
Mus mixer
Mus contractor
Vocal contractor
Mus preparation
SOUND
Prod sd
Prod sd
Prod sd
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
ADR asst ed
Foley ed
Post prod services provided by
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Loader
Loader
Stage eng
ADR mixer
ADR rec
ADR rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
ADR group
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Main title des
Main title des, VCE
Supv, Main title des
Titles and opticals by
Matte paintings and Patriot Arrow eff
Matte paintings and Patriot Arrow eff, Illusion Ar
Matte paintings and Patriot Arrow eff, Illusion Ar
Visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Dream Quest Images
Animatronix by
DANCE
MAKEUP
Make-up dept head
Spec make-up eff
Cary Elwes' make-up
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Key hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Extras casting
Casting asst
Casting asst
Exec in charge of prod
Brooksfilms prod exec
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Post prod accountant
Sword and fight coord
Archery master
Wrangler ramrod
Dialogue coach
Asst to Mel Brooks
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
DGA trainee
DGA trainee
Asst to Cary Elwes
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Clearance research
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Chef, Michelson Food Services
Craft service
First aid
Ranch loc - Frank and Vera Vacek's
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Men in Tights," words and music by Mel Brooks, performed by The Merry Men Singers: Steve Lively, Randy Crenshaw, Kerry Katz, Geoff Koch, Rick Logan
"Marian," words by Mel Brooks, music by Hummie Mann, Maid Marian's singing voice performed by Debbie James, end credit duet performed by Cathy Dennis and Lance Ellington, Cathy Dennis courtesy of Polydor Records
"Sherwood Forest Rap," words by Mel Brooks, music Hummie Mann, performed by Kevin Dorsey and the Merry Men Singers
+
SONGS
"Men in Tights," words and music by Mel Brooks, performed by The Merry Men Singers: Steve Lively, Randy Crenshaw, Kerry Katz, Geoff Koch, Rick Logan
"Marian," words by Mel Brooks, music by Hummie Mann, Maid Marian's singing voice performed by Debbie James, end credit duet performed by Cathy Dennis and Lance Ellington, Cathy Dennis courtesy of Polydor Records
"Sherwood Forest Rap," words by Mel Brooks, music Hummie Mann, performed by Kevin Dorsey and the Merry Men Singers
"The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful," words by Billy Rose and Irving Kahal, music Dana Suesse, courtesy of Pic Corporation, Chappell Music Co., Inc. and Words and Music, Inc., performed by Arthur Rubin and the Merry Men Singers.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 July 1993
New York opening: week of 28 July 1993
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
28 July 1993
Copyright Number:
PA620163
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
DeLuxe®
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Panavision cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32547
SYNOPSIS

At Khalil Prison in Jerusalem, a new inmate, Robin of Loxley, is interrogated about the location of his king. When Robin feigns ignorance, he is tortured with “tongue looseners” and chained next to an elderly African man. The men break their shackles, liberate their fellow inmates and proceed to the coast, where the African man introduces himself as Asneeze. He tells Robin that his son, Ahchoo, is an exchange student in England, and asks Robin to look out for him when he returns home. Robin vows to comply, then swims from Israel to England. After renting a horse, Robin comes upon guards beating a young man, whom he identifies as Ahchoo. Robin rescues Ahchoo and they ride to Loxley Hall, Robin's home, just as it is wheeled away. When Robin demands an explanation, he is presented with an edict signed by Prince John that declares the property repossessed in lieu of payment for back taxes. As Loxley Hall is pulled from its foundation, Blinkin, the Loxleys' blind servant, remains inside on the toilet, unaware that the walls around him are gone. Although thrilled that Robin has returned safely from the Crusades, Blinkin reports the unfortunate news that Robin’s entire family, including his dog, goldfish and cat, have died. Giving Robin a locket Blinkin tells his master that his father wanted him to have it because it contains the key to “the greatest treasure in all the land.” As they leave the remains of Loxley Hall, Robin, Blinkin and Ahchoo are approached by a boy who is running away from the Sheriff of Rottingham and his men. The Sheriff claims ... +


At Khalil Prison in Jerusalem, a new inmate, Robin of Loxley, is interrogated about the location of his king. When Robin feigns ignorance, he is tortured with “tongue looseners” and chained next to an elderly African man. The men break their shackles, liberate their fellow inmates and proceed to the coast, where the African man introduces himself as Asneeze. He tells Robin that his son, Ahchoo, is an exchange student in England, and asks Robin to look out for him when he returns home. Robin vows to comply, then swims from Israel to England. After renting a horse, Robin comes upon guards beating a young man, whom he identifies as Ahchoo. Robin rescues Ahchoo and they ride to Loxley Hall, Robin's home, just as it is wheeled away. When Robin demands an explanation, he is presented with an edict signed by Prince John that declares the property repossessed in lieu of payment for back taxes. As Loxley Hall is pulled from its foundation, Blinkin, the Loxleys' blind servant, remains inside on the toilet, unaware that the walls around him are gone. Although thrilled that Robin has returned safely from the Crusades, Blinkin reports the unfortunate news that Robin’s entire family, including his dog, goldfish and cat, have died. Giving Robin a locket Blinkin tells his master that his father wanted him to have it because it contains the key to “the greatest treasure in all the land.” As they leave the remains of Loxley Hall, Robin, Blinkin and Ahchoo are approached by a boy who is running away from the Sheriff of Rottingham and his men. The Sheriff claims the boy is guilty of hunting deer on the king's grounds, an offense punishable by death; but Robin informs the Sheriff that he has been fighting with King Richard in the Crusades. Humiliated by his speech impediment and his tactical blunders, the Sheriff retreats and the grateful boy returns home with the message that Robin will defend the people against injustice. Meanwhile, inside the king’s castle, young Marian sings longingly from her bath about finding true love when her maid, Broomhilde, advises her to get out of the tub before her chastity belt rusts. Marian wishes on a bluebird for the arrival of the man who possesses the key to her metaphorical heart. When the Sheriff warns Prince John of Robin's return, the prince visits the clairvoyant witch Latrine for guidance. She agrees to concoct a magic potion to stop Robin if Prince John helps her attract the object of her affection, the Sheriff. Riding through the forest, Robin, Blinkin and Ahchoo meet Little John, who demands a bridge toll, and Robin challenges him to a duel. After Robin knocks Little John from the bridge into the stream below, Little John thinks he is drowning, and when Robin helps him up, he thanks Robin for saving his life. Little John introduces his best friend, Will Scarlet O'Hara, who demonstrates his talent with daggers by pulverizing an oncoming arrow. When Little John explains that he must demand a toll because Prince John has robbed the people of their livelihood, Robin says he is plotting against the prince and plans to crash his party that evening. Little John offers to help, but Robin says the job will be easier done alone. At the party, the Sheriff flirts with Marian when Robin arrives, wielding a boar corpse as a gift. As Robin and Marian exchange seductive introductions, the Sheriff angrily stutters that hunting is illegal in the king’s forest, but Robin reminds Prince John that he has illegally usurped the king’s power in his absence. Robin warns that if the prince does not cease levying unjust taxes, he will lead the people in a revolt. When the Sheriff challenges him to a duel, Robin finds himself outnumbered against the Sheriff’s guards, but Ahchoo, Blinkin, Little John, and Will come to the rescue. During the fight, Robin and Marian declare their love for one another and despite an influx of armored troops Robin and his men are able to hold them off. Back in the forest, Little John introduces Robin to his newly formed army, but Robin is disappointed by the disheveled rabble, and as he attempts to rally the troops, they fall asleep. Ahchoo steps in and rouses them with revolutionary slogans. During their disastrous training routines, Robin and his Merry Men befriend Rabbi Tuckman, the wine seller and moyel, who informs Robin that Marian is longing for him. Meanwhile, at the castle, the Sheriff hires Mafioso Don Giovanni to eliminate Robin, and the Don tells him to lure Robin to the fair the following day with an archery contest. When the Sheriff warns that Robin is the best archer in the land, the Don claims his associate, Filthy Luca, will beat him and plans to have Robin killed by Dirty Ezio after the event. Marian overhears the meeting and rides into the forest with Broomhilde to warn Robin. Although Robin initially agrees not to attend the fair, he is tempted by the archery contest. Taking Marian aside, Robin asks for a kiss, but Marian tells him she is a virgin and he discovers her chastity belt. She describes a scroll that foretells the presence of a man with a special key to unlock it, and before the couple can kiss, Broomhilde interrupts and guides Marian back to the castle. The next day, Little John, Ahchoo, Will, and Blinkin arrive at the fair dressed as women. As the archery contest begins, Dirty Ezio waits in the tower, armed with a crossbow. Two archers, Luca and an old man, hit the bulls-eye in the first round, but after a successful second shot, the Sheriff announces that the old man is Robin in disguise. Robin takes off his mask and the crowd cheers, but after Luca splits Robin's arrow in two, winning the contest, the crowd cheers for Luca. As Robin aims for one last shot, the Sheriff motions for Dirty Ezio to kill him, but Blinkin catches Ezio’s arrow before it hits his master. When Robin’s second arrow obliterates the bulls-eye, the Sheriff calls for his arrest. Marian intercedes and promises to marry the Sheriff if Robin's life is spared. The wedding proceeds as Robin waits on the scaffold attached to a noose, in case Marian changes her mind. Before Marian says: "I do," Ahchoo shoots an arrow through Robin's noose, freeing him, and the Merry Men arrive to fight the guards. When the Sheriff takes Marian into the castle tower, he discovers her chastity belt and uses a jackhammer to break the lock. Robin and the Sheriff duel in a sword fight, but as the Sheriff attempts to cut his rival’s throat, Robin’s locket is released from his neck and smashes against the ceiling. The key flies from its enclosure and lands in the lock to Marian’s chastity belt. While attempting to sneak up on Robin, the Sheriff impales himself on Robin's sword, but Latrine rushes in and says she will give him a magic pill to survive if he agrees to marry her. He begrudgingly agrees and Latrine administers the pill, pulls out the sword and makes off with her new mate. Robin carries Marian to bed, but before he can unlock her belt, Broomhilde interrupts and insists that they marry first. Outside, Rabbi Tuckman performs the wedding ceremony. As he attempts to pronounce the couple man and wife an objection is raised by King Richard, who has just returned from the crusades. Taking his crown back from Prince John, the king punishes his brother by proclaiming that all toilets in the kingdom will be called "johns" and sentencing him to the Tower of London. The king then returns all Loxley properties to Robin, who is named ruler of Sherwood and knighted. After kissing Marian passionately, the king allows the wedding to conclude. Before leaving on his honeymoon, Robin appoints Ahchoo as the new Sheriff of Rottingham. Back at Loxley Hall later that night, Robin finally turns the key to Marian’s chastity belt. When the lock won't open, Robin calls out for a locksmith. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.