Mel Brooks Blogathon – Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

This is the second of 3 reviews that are a part of the Mel Brooks Blogathon being run by Louis (Film Score Hunter) over at The Cinematic Frontier.  Tnx for letting me participate!

robin hood“I lost. I lost? Wait a second, I’m not supposed to lose. Let me see the script. ” – Robin Hood

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Video in the 90’s and 26 Jun 2016)

Brief Synopsis – A spoof of the Robin Hood films with a strong emphasis on the recent Kevin Costner version.

My Take on it – I am a really big fan of some of Mel Brooks’ earlier movies and spoofs and hoped that the fact that I’ve had little desire to rewatch this one since I saw it over twenty years ago was pure chance and not because of any real reason.

Unfortunately, upon rewatching this, I realized why…it just isn’t very funny.

A large majority of the jokes are aimed at the Kevin Costner version of the Robin Hood legend that came out two years before this film.  Some of the jokes will elicit a smile, but most of the time, just a groan.

The jokes were meant to solely poke fun at a movie that came out 25 years ago and don’t work well enough without the context fresh in one’s mind.

I had really expected more from Brooks because his previous spoof movie, Spaceballs (1987) was nearly perfect and this one just felt too tiring too quickly.

One thing I really like about Brook’s work is the way that he can adeptly weave in some of his staple jokes and themes into any kind of film and give it his own signature, this in some sort of way connects all his films into the same “film universe” and those of us familiar with the connections can enjoy these films even a bit more.

Unfortunately, that’s the best part of this film.

Bottom Line – I now know why I only saw this one once… years ago.  Most of the jokes feel dated and fall flat. Expected more from Brooks being that his previous spoof was nearly perfect. Love how he uses recurring jokes in his films to connect them all in some kind of way.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The ‘camera breaking the window’ gag, already mentioned as a Mel Brooks trademark, is a nod to Hitchcock’s Psycho where the camera seemingly passes through a closed window in the opening scene. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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10 thoughts on “Mel Brooks Blogathon – Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

  1. Pingback: The Mel Brooks Blogathon Arrives!- Day Two | THE CINEMATIC FRONTIER

  2. Even if it is a bad movie by comparison to other films in Brooks’ oeuvre, it is worth watching for me, just to see Amy Yasbeck’s cleavage… 😀 Good review, though.


  3. Great review! I agree absolutely with it.

    The problem with this film was that Brooks spoofed the wrong target. Before it came out, the Kevin Costner version of “Robin Hood” was insanely hyped by its studio (Warner Brothers, I think) and built up before its release such that audiences expected it would be a cultural event–*the* greatest and most iconic Robin Hood film of all time. The movie did well at the box office, appearing at first to validate the hype, but the problem was that the film itself fell flat and had virtually no cultural resonance. Brooks decided to spoof a hit, but he spoofed a hit with no staying power. Thus, only the very few people who enjoyed the Costner “Robin Hood” even got the jokes.

    Notice the difference between this and Brooks’s other spoofs. “Blazing Saddles” was a sendup of an entire cultural phenomenon, that being Westerns. “High Anxiety” lampooned a generation of Hitchcock films; Hitch dominated suspense cinema from the late 1920s well into the 1970s. “Spaceballs” was a dig at science fiction that was a cultural juggernaut especially after “Star Wars” came out in 1977. Who the hell remembers “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”? Brooks’s spoof was made too quickly and upon the assumption that, by the time the picture was written, made, edited, released and promoted, anybody would even remember the dreadful Costner original. “Men in Tights” was doomed at the conceptual level. There’s no way it could have worked no matter how funny the jokes were. The fact that most of them fell flat was like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never seen the Costner version but I think this is one of the funniest films ever made. I watched it too many times to count. Of course, I did grow up the Three Stooges…

    I hope you’ll read my take on this film!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1993 |

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