Director: Mel Brooks
Writers: Mel Brooks, Evan Chandler, J. David Shapiro
Release Date: July 28, 1993
1994, probably. My brothers and I recorded this on VHS when it premiered on HBO. I also remember watching the behind-the-scenes featurette on HBO multiple times.
Why it's on the List
I grew up with this one and have quoted it with friends and family for the past 20+ years. In terms of movies that I've watched the most on my list, it would probably rank in the top five.
I re-watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights this past week to prepare for this write-up. Make no mistake, this is not a good movie. Every scene has at least one terrible, cringe-worthy joke. All of Mel Brooks' movies are silly, but this one is pretty over-the-top. The line-to-joke ratio is fairly high, and there are a lot of misses as a result (though thirty year-old me could never convince eight year-old me of this).
Having said all that, even with this last re-watch, there are plenty of scenes that still make me laugh/smile. In my opinion, the casting is perfect - Elwes is charming and makes for a great Robin Hood; Rees is maybe too good in this as the Sheriff of Rottingham; Chappelle, Mark Blankfield, Eric Allan Kramer, and Matthew Poretta are all great and hilarious.
I didn't understand a lot of the jokes when I was a kid. In a scenario like this, it's fun to pick up on different jokes as you re-watch it over the years. For example, "My full name is Will Scarlett O'Hara...we're from Georgia" was a line that I loved to quote as a kid, but had no idea that it was a reference to Gone with the Wind. That joke is really dumb, but I've always loved Poretta's line reading, for some strange reason.
- This is the only Mel Brooks movie on my list. I really enjoy Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles, but they didn't make the cut. I wrote this in the comments of John's Willy Wonka post - regrettably there are no Gene Wilder movies on my list, which doesn't feel right. Wilder is one of my favorite actors.
- This is it for Cary Elwes as well. I remember seeing Princess Bride when I was a kid but it didn't stick. It just wasn't something that I ended up watching repeatedly, and obviously that's essential for establishing one's early favorites.
- Confession: speaking of Dave Chappelle films, I have never seen Half Baked in its entirety. I've always meant to watch it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
- My dad was a fan of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves back in the day, which this movie heavily parodies. Do we all remember the Bryan Adams music video?
- As far as RH: MiT moving up or down my list is concerned, it'd be more likely to move down. But it is a big childhood favorite, so if it stays, it'll remain in the 90s.