Note: All summer long we'll be featuring this special offshoot series in addition to our regular Scenes We Love posts called Summer Scenes We Love, featuring some of our favorite scenes from summer movies of the past.
Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott hope that this summer belongs to their new version of Robin Hood, which opens on Friday. But back in the summer of 1991, everyone wanted to see Kevin Costner as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It was his follow-up to the Academy Award-winning Dances with Wolves, and the trailer promised fun and adventure. My friend Mark and I wondered how the very American Kevin Costner would sound with a British accent.
We never found out. A few stray lines survive, with poor Kevin trying out a lilt that sounds like a stereotypical drunken Irishman in a bad 30s flick. Reportedly, the accent was one of the sources of contention between Costner and director Kevin Reynolds, an old friend who'd directed him in 1985's Fandango. Costner supposedly locked Reynolds out of the editing suite and cut Robin Hood to his (Costner's) liking, and to Reynolds' dismay. The summer of 1991 may have belonged to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but that didn't keep the very uneven Robin Hood (or, as we liked to call it, Robin of Kansas) from grossing $390 million worldwide. The financial success probably explains why the two Kevins were willing to work together again for the ill-fated Waterworld four years later.
But, hey, the flick produced a hit single for Bryan Adams -- "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" -- that's plagued weddings ever since, and it gave Alan Rickman the opportunity the play the Sheriff of Nottingham, resulting in my favorite scene from the movie.
Rickman came to prominence as the villain you love to hate in Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis. He nearly stole the show in that movie, and definitely walked away with Robin Hood, despite the presence of Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Christian Slater. He's flamboyant and over the top, which makes him a pleasant, entertaining counterpoint to the very plain Costner.
In this scene, he's received some bad news, and is not very happy about it.
By the way, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was released one week before The Rocketeer, which features another one of those Scenes We Love. Anyone else remember catching Kevin Costner and his merry men in the summer of 1991? Bad memories? Good memories?