Robin Hood Men in Tights (directed by Mel Brooks) is one of the best Robin Hood tales ever.
1: This song.
2: Cary Elwes plays Robin Hood as if he were playing Westley playing Robin Hood, in an over-the-top snarky fashion. His pride and self-assurance are impressive, almost as much as the fact that “unlike other Robin Hoods, I can speak in an English accent.”
3: Dave Chappelle as Ahchoo, son of Ahsneeze (a prisoner who helped Robin escape jail in the Holy Land) who went to England to study, and Robin promised to keep an eye out for. The only person in the film snarkier than Robin, who never takes off his Air Jordans and does a flawless Malcom X parody to convince the peaceful villagers to join the Merry Men.
4: Instead of Friar Tuck, we have Rabbi Tuckman, purveyor of sacramental wine. And circumcisions. Played by Mel Brooks, and clearly having way too much fun with it.
5: More anachronisms than you can shake a stick at. Ahchoo’s Air Jordans and baseball cap styled hat are only the tip of the iceburg, it gets so much better.
6: Prince John is so done with everything. He clearly doesn’t want to be here (in a good way).
7: The jail-keeper in the Holy Land is a parody of a hotel
and is just so happy to be doing what he’s doing. I love him so much.
8: Parodying how ridiculous “the chop” is as a sportsfan thing by having a whole bleacher full of people in medieval garb do it to cheer Robin on for no explained reason other than someone thought of it.
9: An extended “Godfather” parody
10: Ahchoo: “Let’s get out of this ladies’ clothing and get into our tights!”
The part where robin drops a boat on the table and the sheriff is so pissed about it that he completely mixes up his words. Like not saying the wrong thing, just saying all the right words in a completely wrong order.
It’s a direct parody of Prince of Thieves, where Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood is a parody unto itself. I recommend watching them back to back if you have the chance, even though Men in Tights stands on it’s own. The jokes are so much more ripe that way. When Cary Elwes turns to the camera and says, “unlike other Robin Hoods I can actually speak with a British accent,” it’s a jab at Kevin Costner who did not, despite yelling about how English he was in the first 5 minutes of Prince of Thieves.
Also, Alan Rickman.
HOT TAKE: I love Men in Tights, but Robin Hood will always be a fox to me.
And Cary Elwes is a total fox, so it works out! 😉
Also, back on Men in Tights: “Guessing.”