Robin and Marian (1976): Richard Lester’s Dull Version of Robin Hood, Starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in their Only Teaming Together

From Our Vaults:

Richard Lester directed Robin and Marian, a dull romantic adventure, written by James Goldman after the legend of Robin Hood.

The film stars Sean Connery as Robin Hood, Audrey Hepburn as Lady Marian, Nicol Williamson as Little John, Robert Shaw as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Richard Harris as Richard the Lionheart, and Denholm Elliott as Will Scarlet.

Robin and Marian was impressively shot in Panavision in various locations, such as Zamora, Artajona, Urbasa, Quinto Real and Orgi, all small medieval villages in Navarre, Spain.

It marked Hepburn’s return to the screen after an eight-year absence.

Robin and Marian was produced amid a series of period pieces, including The Three Musketeers (1973).

The original music score was composed by John Barry.

The film originally was titled The Death of Robin Hood, which was changed by Columbia to be more marketable–and give equal billing to Hepburn.

The Premise:

In this version, Robin Hood is an aging captain, fighting for King Richard the Lionheart in France. Richard orders him to take a castle rumored to hold gold statue.

The statue is defended by a solitary one-eyed old man who is sheltering women and children. Told that the statue is worthless stone, Robin and right-hand man Little John refuse to attack.

King Richard, angry at their insubordination, orders execution and the castle attacked, but is wounded with arrow by the old man.

Richard has the helpless residents massacred, with the exception of the old man. The King offers to let Robin beg for his life. When Robin refuses, Richard draws his sword, but having been wounded, lacks the strength to strike him and falls to the floor.

Robin helps the dying king and, moved by his loyalty, Richard frees Robin and Little John.

The movie was both a critical and commercial disappointment.