Tag Archives: Sean Connery

Hood do you think you are?

It’s been 25 years since Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves crashed onto UK cinema screens, and we all know that Kevin Costner and Errol Flynn donned tights and confounding archery trickery in the forests of Sherwood.

Dean Newman picks a quiver full of people who have also brought the world’s most famous outlaw to life, including a duck and Cheggers!

Daffy Duck

As featured in Robin Hood Daffy… (1958)

robinhooddaffyFollowing the same well drawn lines as his other alter ego Duck Dodgers, Daffy Duck, heads to Sherwood with fine support from Porky Pig as Friar Tuck. Directed by animation legend, Chuck Jones.

 Rocket Robin Hood

As featured in Rocket Robin Hood… (1968)

roket robin hood titlesThe series was high concept to say the least: in the year 3000, a descendant of the original Robin Hood reforms the Merry Men, complete with namesakes of the originals, to combat a new Prince John, despotic ruler of the National Outer space Terrestrial Territories, and the Sheriff of N.O.T.T.(National Outer-Space Terrestrial Territories).

While the bow and arrow was still Robin’s weapon of choice, almost everything else was updated. He now had rayguns, electro-quarter staves and rocket ships at his disposal…and jet-packs! Think Space Ghost style animation meets the original animated Spiderman.

Keith Chegwin

As featured in Robin Hood Junior… (1975)

RHjrCheggers plays pop-ular action folk hero in his Children’s Film Foundation classic (think the Robin Hood version of Bugsy Malone minus those custard pie guns and all that singing). A fantastically fun romp that deserves to be released on DVD with Keith Chegwin commentary!

Sean Connery

As featured in Robin and Marian… (1976)

Talking of Bond…one of the few Robin Hood’s to die on screen and indeed to show him in his twilight years. Slower paced and had a fantastic Guy of Gisbourne in the shape of Robert Shaw. Acting, of course, runs in the family and Jason got to step up to the plate in the third series of Robin of Sherwood as Robert of Huntingdon.

 John Cleese

As featured in Time Bandits… (1981)

There’s more than a bonkers feel to this Terry Gilliam film fest with Python face as perhaps the oddest choice big screen aloof Hood ever, in charge of some perhaps too Merry Men.

Michael Praed

As featured in Robin of Sherwood… (1984 – 1986)

robin of sherwoodFor me this was as much a part of early 80s Saturday teatime as Doctor Who. Still looks great nearly 30 years later and features a fantastic turn from Ray Winstone as the screens greatest ever Will Scarlet. Had a brilliant two-part opener that fused together would have made one of the best Robin Hood films ever! Famously full of mysticism, it was the first Robin Hood to take in the notion of the green man and introduce us to Herne the Hunter. It was also the first to introduce a Saracen character from the Crusades that has now – with Prince of Thieves and the recent BBC TV series – become the norm.

Praed bowed out after series two, succumbing to the Sheriff and his men, or in TV terms, moved to America to only be shot at his own wedding in Dynasty, surely the Hood equivalent of George Lazenby jacking in Bond after one film. Interesting fact: Neil Morrissey, from Men Behaving Badly and Boon, almost got to play the Hooded Man.

Patrick Stewart

As featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation… (1987 – 1994)

It’s in one of those dastardly Q moments that expertly lampoons the look and feel of Flynn’s Adventures of Robin Hood, albeit with a Klingon and an android, it also some brilliant knowing dialogue. Stewart also parodied the Sean Connery role in Prince of Thieves, complete with strong Scottish accent, at the close of Men in Tights.

Patrick Bergin

As featured in Robin Hood… (1991)

The ‘other’ Robin Hood of 1991, this Irishman played Robin Hood with a tache in what was released as a TV movie in America but theatrically over here in Blightly. Billed as gritty, it certainly rhymed with that, as it added elements into the mix that were just downright odd/dull. Uma Thurman made an interesting Maid Marian however. Not a lot really happens.

Cary Elwes

As featured in Robin Hood: Men in Tights… (1993)

“Unlike other Robin Hoods I speak with an English accent.” Cary Elwes showed he was good with a blade in The Princess Bride and actually would have made an impressive bonafide Hooded Man. Was actually born in England, which is something of a rarity for big screen Robin Hoods in Hollywood. Certainly not Mel Brook’s greatest film ever but has aged well and still manages to raise more than a titter.

Rik Mayall

As featured in Blackadder: Back and Forth… (1999)

One of those oh so special programmes produced for the millennium, indeed it was produced to be shown at The Dome, which generally means they miss the mark more than they hit with a parade of famous people trying to be oh so funny, also see Comic Relief specials etc, in the days before Extras. Blackadder’s very own Lord Flash heart managed to stuff himself in his tights and brought along Kate Moss as Maid Marian. Beware, not as good as the original series. Close, but no cigar, Darling.

Keira Knightley

As featured in Princess of Thieves (did you see what they did there)… (2001)

Before playing with Pirates this young moppet played Robin Hood’s daughter in this little seen Disney TV movie which also saw Malcolm McDowell as the scowling Sheriff. Directed by Peter Hewitt, who helmed both Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey and The Borrowers.

 

The Best Old Skool Cameos

Remakes, reimaginings, reboots, revamps, call them what you will. Hollywood may perennially suffer from ‘sequelitous’ but it also has something of a soft spot for the remake and big screen reboot. Dean Newman checks out the best blink and you’ll miss em moments where the new remake kids on the block feature a nod to their originals.

10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
It’s a masterful remake but it’s the small things that make this chilling paranoid classic really shine. A case in point is the moment when the star of the original, Kevin McCarthy runs into a car screaming that they are here already and the pure genius here is that this is exactly how the original film ended, with McCarthy running down a busy road screaming those very words.
This might have meant that he had been running for some 22 years but it also meant that in another sense it could be considered as something of a continuation of events  rather than just a straight remake. Genius.

9. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Perhaps my second favourite old skool cameo is from Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk who didn’t let a little thing called death stop him turning up for a knowing nod and wink. Bixby is seen on TV in an episode of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (1969).
Mr Marvel himself, Stan Lee, who has pretty much done an ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ in every Marvel movie, turned up this reboot as a man who slurps a soft drink contaminated with Bruce Banner’s blood.

8. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
A space-set riff on The Magnificent Seven from the pen of John Sayles and produced by one Roger Corman. It’s a film full to the brim of wonderful memories from when I was young and the crisp writing and early score by James Horner gives it some much needed weight. But the glue that holds this ragtag group of mismatched aliens together is surely Robert Vaughn, who of course appeared in the original Magnificent Seven. A complete guilty pleasure with able support from George Peppard, as a cowboy just in case you didn’t get it, John Saxon and John Boy from The Waltons.

7. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
The pilot may have had DeForest Kelly passing on the Trek baton to the brand new crew in the very first episode but the best nod and wink to the original series was from the original ships transporter system. Its ceiling was now transformed into the floor of the brand new transporter. Recycling, the possibilities are endless.

6. Smallville (2001)
It has an irritatingly catchy theme tune and many may have labelled it Dawson’s Cape, but this series, which is set to take the crown as having the most episodes of any sci-fi show, treats those previous Superman incarnations with supreme reverence. And it’s an impressive roll call.

Christopher Reeve (Dr. Virgil Swann) played Superman in Superman (1978) and its three sequels; Terence Stamp (Jor-El) will forever be General Zod in Superman II (1980); Annette O’Toole (Martha Kent) played Lana Lang in Superman III (1983); Dean Cain (Dr. Curtis Knox) played Clark Kent in “The New Adventures of Superman” (1993); Helen Slater (Lara, Clark’s mother) played Kara/Supergirl in Supergirl (1984). Marc McClure (Dax-Ur) played Jimmy Olsen in Superman (1978), its three sequels, and Supergirl (1984), Margot Kidder (Bridgette Crosby) played Lois Lane in Superman (1978) and its three sequels. Teri Hatcher (Lois’s mother) played Lois Lane in “The New Adventures of Superman” (1993).

 

5. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Until Russell Crowe went round hiding in bushes last year, Sean Connery was the oldest person to have portrayed the Hooded Man on screen, which he did in1976’s Robin and Marian. With nod, wink and a favour to old The Untouchable co-star Kevin Costner, Connery turned up as an uncredited King Richard at the end of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves giving permission for Costner’s Hood to marry Maid Marian.

4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
One of the better received remakes of recent years is Dawn of the Dead. For me it lacks the social and satirical bite of the original but a great effort with some memorable imagery. Getting in on the ‘brains’ action again were some of its original stars, including make-up supremo Tom Savini and Ken Forlee, who even gets another chance to give his classic line from the original – “When hell is full the dead will walk the earth”.

3. The Omen (2006)
Harvey Stephens, who portrayed the cute but evil moppet Damien in the original The Omen (1976), appears in this remake as the tabloid reporter (a devilish job if ever there was one) who asks Robert Thorn if the deceased nanny “was on drugs”. Apparently he is a property developer now after being a futures trader in London, almost jobs the devil would be proud of then.

2. Cape Fear (1991)
The classic Bernard Herrmann score made a welcome return, thanks to Elmer Bernstein, in this Martin Scorsese helmed remake and original stars, Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck came along for the ride, as did Martin Balsam. Quality. Their roles this time round are played by Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Joe Don Baker respectively.

1.Planet of the Apes (2001)
Clearly written by a group of monkeys with typewriters this good-looking but completely vacuous retread is a major misfire from the mind of Tim Burton. At least original star, Charlton Heston, got to hide his embarrassment behind some admittedly good Ape make-up where he delivered a twist on his classic “get your filthy paws off me you damned dirty ape” to Marky Mark (no doubt in desperate need of a funky bunch of bananas).