Robin and Marian (1976)

PG | 106 mins | Adventure | 31 March 1976

Director:

Richard Lester

Writer:

James Goldman

Producer:

Denis O'Dell

Cinematographer:

David Watkin

Production Designer:

Michael Stringer

Production Company:

Rastar Pictures
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HISTORY

The opening of the film is partly based on historical events in the life of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, including the Mar 1199 attack on the nearly undefended castle, Château de Châlus-Chabrol in France. On 25 Mar 1199, King Richard was shot in the neck by a crossbow; however, unlike the film’s narrative, the bolt came not from a man sitting on the castle wall, but from another defender. When the doctor was reportedly too timid to remove it, Richard pulled it out himself. As a result, less than two weeks later, Richard died of blood poisoning while lying in the arms of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
       A 24 Mar 1975 People news item stated that Paul Newman was originally cast to play Robin Hood.
       A 24 Apr 1975 DV news item referred to Robin and Marian by its working title, The Ballad of Robin and Marian. The 31 Aug 1975 LAT stated that director Richard Lester preferred the title The Death of Robin Hood.
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Jul 1975 in Spain according to DV.
       A 12 Apr 1976 DV article claimed that both John Frankenheimer and David Lean were approached to direct before the job was given to Richard Lester.
       Production notes from AMPAS files stated that principal photography was shot in Northern Spain near Madrid. Most of the castles were from the 14th century, but staged to look like the 12th century structures in England. A castle in Valladolid was burned for the film and then sand blasted to remove ... More Less

The opening of the film is partly based on historical events in the life of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, including the Mar 1199 attack on the nearly undefended castle, Château de Châlus-Chabrol in France. On 25 Mar 1199, King Richard was shot in the neck by a crossbow; however, unlike the film’s narrative, the bolt came not from a man sitting on the castle wall, but from another defender. When the doctor was reportedly too timid to remove it, Richard pulled it out himself. As a result, less than two weeks later, Richard died of blood poisoning while lying in the arms of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
       A 24 Mar 1975 People news item stated that Paul Newman was originally cast to play Robin Hood.
       A 24 Apr 1975 DV news item referred to Robin and Marian by its working title, The Ballad of Robin and Marian. The 31 Aug 1975 LAT stated that director Richard Lester preferred the title The Death of Robin Hood.
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Jul 1975 in Spain according to DV.
       A 12 Apr 1976 DV article claimed that both John Frankenheimer and David Lean were approached to direct before the job was given to Richard Lester.
       Production notes from AMPAS files stated that principal photography was shot in Northern Spain near Madrid. Most of the castles were from the 14th century, but staged to look like the 12th century structures in England. A castle in Valladolid was burned for the film and then sand blasted to remove the marks.
       Per a 14 Apr 1976 Var article, James Goldman wrote the novelization of Robin and Marian for Bantam Books that included all of the film's dialogue as well as "novelistic" expansions of the scene descriptions. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1975.
---
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 1976
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1976
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
31 Aug 1975.
---
New York Times
24 Mar 1976
p. 1.
People
24 Mar 1975.
---
Variety
10 Mar 1976
p. 22.
Variety
14 Apr 1976.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures & Rastar Pictures Present
A Ray Stark Richard Shepherd Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d unit photog
Cam op
Stills photog
Stills photog
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Const mgr
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod supv
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Continuity
Casting
Unit pub
Prod services by
STAND INS
Fight arranger
Fight arranger
Stunt arranger
Stunt arranger
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Ballad of Robin and Marian
The Death of Robin Hood
Release Date:
31 March 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 31 March 1976
Production Date:
began 1 July 1975
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 March 1976
Copyright Number:
LP45646
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Colour by Technicolor®
Widescreen/ratio
Filmed with Panavision Equipment®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24440
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In southern France, King Richard the Lionheart leads a small army to attack a castle in which he believes there is a three-foot statue of gold. Robin Hood learns from the castle's lone defender, a one-eyed man, that the statue is only a rock and that the castle's Lord has fled with all of his soldiers, leaving behind only women and children. When Robin explains the situation to his liege, Richard still orders the castle to be attacked. Robin refuses, so he and Little John – in an act of solidarity – are arrested for disobeying orders. The one-eyed man then hurls an arrow that strikes Richard in the neck. The battle is ensued and every person inside the castle is killed. Following the carnage, Richard orders a doctor to remove the arrow from his neck, but the doctor is too timid to do so, so Richard pulls it out himself. In a cell, Robin and Little John mount their escape by using a spoon to scrape mortar from a stone wall. Days pass, and just as a stone comes free, a jailer brings them to Richard, who is dying of blood poisoning. Richard calls for his sword to execute Robin, but the King dies before doing the deed. Returning to Sherwood Forest after a twenty-year absence, Robin and Little John are reunited with Will Scarlett and Friar Tuck. They celebrate with venison and ale as Will sings ballads about the exploits of Robin Hood, all of which Robin denies. Tuck explains that King John is fighting the Pope, forcing all the higher clergy out of England. Although Will encourages Robin to overthrow the King, Robin says he is ... +


In southern France, King Richard the Lionheart leads a small army to attack a castle in which he believes there is a three-foot statue of gold. Robin Hood learns from the castle's lone defender, a one-eyed man, that the statue is only a rock and that the castle's Lord has fled with all of his soldiers, leaving behind only women and children. When Robin explains the situation to his liege, Richard still orders the castle to be attacked. Robin refuses, so he and Little John – in an act of solidarity – are arrested for disobeying orders. The one-eyed man then hurls an arrow that strikes Richard in the neck. The battle is ensued and every person inside the castle is killed. Following the carnage, Richard orders a doctor to remove the arrow from his neck, but the doctor is too timid to do so, so Richard pulls it out himself. In a cell, Robin and Little John mount their escape by using a spoon to scrape mortar from a stone wall. Days pass, and just as a stone comes free, a jailer brings them to Richard, who is dying of blood poisoning. Richard calls for his sword to execute Robin, but the King dies before doing the deed. Returning to Sherwood Forest after a twenty-year absence, Robin and Little John are reunited with Will Scarlett and Friar Tuck. They celebrate with venison and ale as Will sings ballads about the exploits of Robin Hood, all of which Robin denies. Tuck explains that King John is fighting the Pope, forcing all the higher clergy out of England. Although Will encourages Robin to overthrow the King, Robin says he is too old to pursue such a campaign. When Robin asks if Maid Marian is alive, Will tells him that she now lives in Kirkly. Coming upon a priory on their ride to Nottingham, Will informs Robin that Marian resides inside and has become a nun. Although Robin hesitates upon reuniting with his former love, his friends shame him into getting the meeting over with. Marian, the mother superior of the priory, is still resentful over Robin abandoning her twenty years earlier. She also says that she is about to be arrested by King John’s men because she is one of the higher clergy who refuses to leave England. Just then, the Sheriff of Nottingham and a knight, Sir Ranulf, arrive at the priory to arrest Marian. Robin begins trying to convince the men that Marian has already fled, but she bursts out of the priory, attempting to surrender. Robin knocks her out and puts her on his horse. When the sheriff refuses to arrest Robin, Ranulf dismounts his horse and draws his sword. Robin kicks the knight between the legs and leaves with his men and Marian. While traveling in the forest, Marian continues to insist on turning herself in. They eventually come upon the ruins of their former house, where Marian confesses that she originally joined the church as revenge against Robin, but now faith has replaced her love for him. The next day, they all ride back to the priory to find Ranulf has taken the nuns prisoner. Before riding to Nottingham, Robin tells Will and Tuck to protect Marian. Disguising themselves as peddlers, Robin and Little John discover that the Sheriff is holding the nuns in the parade ground of his keep. Robin and Little John are able to rescue the nuns, but the men become trapped when the gates close. Attempting to scale the walls and fight the sheriff's soldiers, Robin’s age shows and he grows weak. A soldier is about to kill Robin when Will appears and fells the man with an arrow. Robin regains his energy and escapes. Although the sheriff tries to talk Ranulf out of pursuing Robin, the knight insists. In the woods, Marian tends to Robin’s wounds and confesses that she tried to commit suicide when he left her, and that is why she was brought to the priory. Meanwhile, Ranulf and his men are ambushed in the forest and the knight is sent to tell King John that Sherwood Forest belongs to Robin and that he will kill any soldier who enters. Hearing that Robin has returned, the people of Nottingham flock to him, and he trains them to fight. As the days pass, Robin and Marian wander the woods together, reclaiming their lost love. However, at the edge of the woods, Ranulf and the sheriff have amassed an army to kill or capture Robin. After Robin leads a hit and run attack on the sheriff’s sentries and the soldiers do not follow him back into the woods, Robin realizes the Sheriff is waiting for him to fight on the plains. That night, when Robin tells Marian he has to go, she tells him that she is leaving in the morning because she refuses to be around when he gets killed. Marian then pleads with Little John not to let Robin fight and, although he cannot do that, he promises to at least watch over Robin during the battle. The next morning, Robin leads his men onto the field and demands a contest of champions between himself and the sheriff. If Robin dies, the country folk will go back to their farms. If the sheriff dies, his soldiers must abandon the field of battle. Despite Ranulf's objections, the sheriff agrees. The two armies leave the champions to fight on foot with sword and ax. During a prolonged and brutal battle, Robin eventually tires, allowing the sheriff to deliver a crushing blow. Robin falls, but when the sheriff moves in to deliver the deathblow, Robin kills him with his sword. Ranulf leads an attack with his men, forcing the farmers to flee. However, Little John yanks Ranulf from his horse and beats the knight to death. The soldiers cut the farmers down as they flee into the woods and Will and Tuck are taken prisoner. Marian helps Little John take Robin back to the priory, where she mixes herbs with wine. Robin gloats over his victory against the sheriff and tells Marian he will regroup and fight on. Marian drinks the wine and gives the rest to Robin. As he complains his legs are getting numb, Robin realizes that Marian has poisoned them both. Although he calls for Little John, Marian tells him no one can help, and admits she poisoned him because she loves him. Robin concludes that he would never have a day like this again and embraces his death. When Little John kicks in the door, Robin asks for his bow and orders Little John to bury him and Marian wherever the arrow lands. Robin then shoots the arrow out of the window. +

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

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