Patrick Bergin in Robin Hood (1991)

The Pride of Robin Hood

In 1991 we had the big budget "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" with Kevin Costner but we also had "Robin Hood" starring Patrick Bergin a more modestly budgeted movie in comparison. It is little surprise that Bergin's version ended up playing second fiddle to the Hollywood movie but in truth it is no lesser movie although you wouldn't believe so from some of the opinions on this movie which call it pathetic. What makes this version interesting is in the characterisations with Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman doing a fascinating job of making their well known characters seem original.

So as for what goes on in "Robin Hood" well I am not going to waste many words as for the most it is the retelling of the classic storyline. Yes there is no character called the Sheriff of Nottingham but we have the expected issues, romance and drama. And in fairness when it comes to the actual story it is by no means the best version with those much older ones doing a better job of capturing the drama than this and Costner's 1991 versions. In fact I will also mention that when it comes to the action this version is inferior to many others with the lesser budget highlighting a lack of finesse.

Uma Thurman in Robin Hood (1991)

But in many ways what makes this version of "Robin Hood" is the interpretation of the characters especially Bergin as Robin Hood. Whilst we have the familiar aspect of him sticking it to the bad guys, you know robbing from the rich to give to the poor it is more his attitude. There is an aspect of thrill seeker to him that whilst he is trying to stick it to the Normans he also gets off on the danger of it and the rush of getting one over in a very blatant manner. It makes Bergin's version of Robin much closer to the swashbuckling heroes of the bygone era of cinema but unfortunately is let down by the lack of quality in the action.

It is not just Bergin's characterisation which is right as Owen Teale as Will Scarlet and David Morrissey as Little John are just as good bringing the right amount of humour to things. But it is Uma Thurman as Maid Marian who grabs your attention for being expectedly sexy but also for being a strong character who delivers her dialogue with a real sense of confidence and charm, well that and for a twist on her character. All of these actors benefit from a decent script and dialogue which whilst pay homage to history has a more contemporary feel to things with modern humour slid in nicely without feeling out of place.

What this all boils down to is that this version of "Robin Hood" does have its short comings when it comes to the story telling and action but has superior characterisations which makes it entertaining.

Tags: Robin Hood Movies