There have been over 40 people who have played Robin Hood over the years in movies and television shows. This doesn’t include all the guest appearances and crazy cartoon incarnations. My top ten iscompiled of all the versions I have seen and fondly remember. Yes that does include the Kevin Costner version. So on with the greatest men to wield a bow and pull on some tights on this version “The Soothsayer’s Top Ten”.
10. Rocket Robin Hood/Daffy Duck (1967/1958)
First up, speaking of toon incarnations, I have fond memories of both these versions. Rocket Robin Hood’s quirky spaceships and silly laugh track made me giggle as a kid.
It was cool to see a totally different take on the Merry Men of Sherwood and mixing it up with some sci-fi.
Daffy’s fun version of the bowman hero still makes me howl when I catch it re-runs. Porky Pig as a very of Friar Tuck is priceless and reminds me a lot of Duck Dodgers every time I see it. It makes my list because it is the best of the toon parodies.
9. Robin Hood (2010)Russell Crowe
Ridley Scott’s mess of an epic squeezes into the 9th spot mainly for it’s best intentions. Scott tried to deliver an epic like Gladiator but after four incarnations of the film’s script and Russell Crowe’s groaning hero it is wonder any of the magic remained. Originally conceived as a movie called Nottingham which would show the Robin Hood legend from the perspective of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Now that would have been a different fresh version of the legend. After witnessing the movie you kind of wonder if it is a Robin Hood movie at all until the last five minutes. It almost feels like the movie should have came after the myth not as a proposed prequel.
8. Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Mel Brooks is one of the kings of Parodies and this was his first parody after 1987’s Spaceballs. Just as Spaceballs did a number on Star Wars, Men in Tights tackles Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. There is a quite funny line as Cary Elwes says, “Because unlike some other Robin Hoods.I can speak with an English accent.” The whole cast of this film are brilliant as the in jokes are aplenty. This ranks as the highest comedic version on my list.
7. Robin Hood (1984) Michael Praed/Jason Connery
There have been at least four television series based on the legend of Robin Hood.
The first was the classic from 1955 in black-and-white with Richard Greene. The first TV series I remembered of Robin Hood was actually the third season of this show that starred Jason Connery, son of Sean in reruns.
I got really confused when the reruns turned over and Michael Praed starred. Jason was only on the show one season and you discover he isn’t even the real Robin Hood.
The series makes my list because it actually had the gall to kill the title character and become better than ever.
6. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) Kevin Costner
Okay, in no good way can a movie critic admit for affection for Kevin Costner’s extremely cheesy version of Robin Hood. But this film critic owns the movie’s director’s cut on Blu-Ray and still enjoys the movie. Why, pray tell? Because it is great escapist entertainment and seriously no human being is immune to that Bryan Adams ballad or the rich performance from Alan Rickman. Rickman has had a very multi-dimensional career thanks to that performance. I know there is the whole mockery of Costner’s accent in the film but I think the good out weighs the bad and why it is number six on my list.