Richard Lester John Simon - Essay

John Simon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Intelligent reinterpretation is one thing; sensationalistic or smartass revisionism, quite another. [In Robin and Marian] we take Robin Hood, his merry men, and Maid Marian, but show them as middle-aged folk in an autumnal mood, at the end of their chivalric tether. We connect the story even more tightly than usual with Richard the Lionhearted by having Robin and Little John fight under him in the Third Crusade, and making the film begin at Châluz, where Richard meets his end….

That is revisionism for you! Knighthood, so far from being in flower, is mostly weeds and nettles, and even they are going to seed. Sir Walter Scott's hero-king has become a moody tyrant, and when legend is not...

(The entire section is 412 words.)