Legend (1986): Ridley Scott’s Epic Flop Starring Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise made this lavishly produced epic for British director Ridley Scott just before he became a star the following year with Top Gun, directed by Ridley’s brother, Tony Scott.

This lavishly staged and costumed fantasy concerns a peasant named Jack (Cruise) and his lover Princess Lili (Mia Sara) fighting Darkness (Tim Curry) to save both the Princess and the world.

When Jack takes Princess Lili to see the unicorns, the strongest animals around, he does not know that Darkness, defined by cloven hooves, yellow eyes, and red skin plans on using Lili as bait to weaken the unicorns, thus plunging the world into the ice age.

After that disaster, Darkness captures Lili, forcing Jack to rally his elves to rescue her and subdue Darkness.

One of the biggest flops if the 1980s, despite opulent production design by Assheton Gorton.

Oscar Nominations:

Makeup: Rob Bottin and Peter Robb-King

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winners of the Makeup Oscar were deservedly Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis for The Fly