'Robin Hood': Who's your man in tights?

robin-hoodsImage Credit: David Appleby; Robert Isenberg; (c) Disney All Rights ReservedWith Russell Crowe’s splashy, new Robin Hood finally hitting theaters this weekend, it got me thinking about the many men (and Looney Toons characters) who’ve donned green leggings over the years to steal from rich and give to the poor. Apparently, I’m not the only one. In virtually every review of the new Ridley Scott film, critics have sung the praises of Errol Flynn’s iconic incarnation and bashed Kevin Costner’s. For example, today’s New York Times called Costner’s Robin “forgettable” and The Wall Street Journal referred to his performance in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as “woefully zonked.” Harsh!

I’m not saying they’re wrong and that Costner’s getting a raw deal, but there’s more to the Robin Hood debate than simply choosing between Costner, Flynn, and Crowe. In fact, take a look at some of these other men in tights after the jump and tell us who your favorite is…

Errol Flynn:

Cary Elwes:

Sean Connery:

Kevin Costner:


Frank Sinatra:

Daffy Duck:

Comments (89 total) Add your comment
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  • DawninDenver

    Daffy duck smashing tree after tree “up and away” while Porky (as friar tuck) rolls on the ground giggling and holding his belly is my favorite for sure. “Thrust- parry!”

    • McM

      Yoiks and AWAY!!

  • Jackie

    “Unlike some OTHER Robin Hoods – I can speak with an English accent!”

    • Brian

      That’s the ONE line in “Men in Tights” that’s funny to me. The rest of that movie’s painfully unfunny IMO.

      • Quirky

        Ok, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that truly hated Men in Tights. I loved Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs and Blazing Saddles but never thought Men in Tights was funny at all.

      • Many

        The ONLY one, really?

        I loved: “Did you just say Abe Lincoln?

    • Nic.

      Considering what Russel Crowe did earlier, that is a really funny quote! :)

    • Terry

      Ironically, that line is inaccurate since the guy can’t do an English accent either.

      Then again, MEN IN TIGHTS is certainly one of Mel Brooks’ worst films.

      • Sarah

        The actor’s from London.
        I’m not talking about the city in Ontario.

  • jodipo

    I dunno why with the Kevin Costner bashing all of a sudden. His Robin Hood made good money and it was a fun movie.

    • Brian

      Agreed. “Prince of Thieves” is my favorite (I’ve never seen Flynn or the BBC versions, so I can’t comment on those). Costner’s inability to do an accent aside (and the lack of Prince John), there’s nothing wrong with that movie. It’s fun and has a lot of adventure with a touch of darkness to it, which is what Robin Hood should be.

      • Sarah

        I think the ’91 version had the best Sheriff and song.

  • S

    What, no Rocket Robin Hood?

  • Annalynn

    No Jonas Armstrong? I would think the BBC series would at least warrant a mention, consiering its the most recent adaptation.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Love that one, and Jonas as Robin. The right combination of action, romance, and bromance. And with great casting for Guy and the Sheriff.

    • Mel


    • steph

      I agree! LOVE the BBC version!

    • Bob

      Since most others play off the conventions of Errol Flynn’s performance, his is clearly tops. Next would have to come Jonas Armstrong (BBC series) and Sean Connery for convincingly fleshing out the mythos. The only other to warrant inclusion among the best would have to be Daffy Duck, thanks to the genius of Chuck Jones.

  • Katie

    I would like to say “none of the above” and instead put in a vote for Jonas Armstrong of the BBC’s “Robin Hood.” However, I’m not really surprised he’s not the list.

    • Jennifer

      Jonas Armstrong gets my vote too!

      • Carly

        Jonas Armstrong gets my vote as well!

    • sonia

      Agree. I’m disappointed he’s not the list.

    • Mel

      Me too!

  • Iris

    “Men In Tights” – ALWAYS a cable stop when channel surfing. :)

  • dlauthor

    Sad. No one remembers Michael Praed from the _real_ BBC Robin Hood series.

    • jchicks

      I agree. When I think of Robin Hood, I think of Michael Praed and Jason Connery (not his dad).

    • LAJackie

      I was just going to post the very same thing. Robin of Sherwood is my very favourite incarnation of the Robin Hood legend. Michael Praed was a perfect Robin and his supporting cast was amazing.

    • Flyer

      I absolutely agree. “Robin of Sherwood” was the BEST incarnation of Robin Hood EVER. No offense to Errol Flynn, but outlaws in the 1200s fought with swords, not rapiers. “Robin of Sherwood” used the switch from Michael Praed to Jason Connery to address both the yeoman and nobleman aspects of the legend. The series had a gritty, authentic feeling to it, with engaging characters, including a sheriff who was more a frustrated beaurocrat than a buffoon. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Keith Allen.) The stories and music referenced other figures in English folklore (such as Herne the Hunter and Adam Bell). And “Robin of Sherwood” contributed to the modern growth of the legend by introducing the Saracen character that now seems as established as the rest of the “merry men.” To not include “Robin of Sherwood” in your poll was a surprising omission considering how informed EW usually is about pop culture.

    • MelG_014

      Michael Praed is the one and only Robin Hood for me.

      • sonia

        I remember “Robin of Sherwood.” It was a great series and Michael Praed was a fantastic Robin.

    • katie

      Michael Praed is the best Robin Hood (followed by Jason Connery) and Robin of Sherwood the best show! Clannad’s music, the superb acting by the all british cast, filming outdoors & in real castles all contributed to making this adaptation of the Robin Hood legend far superior to the rest.

  • jennifer

    I agree with Annalynn– I was expecting a little love for the wacky BBC series.

  • Tiff in the OK

    I love that right now the Disney fox is getting the most votes! :)

    • kelsey

      He is the most lovable of all the Robin Hoods, even if he’s the least 3-dimensional.

    • KC

      I voted for that one. My daughter watched that over and over I knew the words and songs by heart it was a great movie.

  • Tim

    Another noteworthy Robin Hood was the recent BBC series. I’ve only seen the first season and part of the second, but I thought it did a good job of capturing both the historic and mythic aspects of the story. That is to say, at times it felt both gritty realistic and adventuresome fun, which is a hard combination to pull off.

    • Tim

      Ninja’d! At least I’m not the only one who liked the BBC version.

    • side3

      I’m with you. The recent BBC version is my fave.

    • M Weyer

      I agree, particuarly like how the Sherrif, while seeming over the top, is actually cunning and even manages to get one over on Robin now and then.

  • Linda L

    My favorite (so far) is Errol Flynn and I also liked the BBC series too. The only good part of Kevin Costner movie was Alan Rickman.

    • Eri

      One of the best lines in all of television history: “Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?” “Because it’s dull, you twit! It’ll hurt more!”

    • Eri

      One of the best lines in all of film: “Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?” “Because it’s dull, you twit! It’ll hurt more!”

    • Terri

      Any person powerful enough to cancel Christmas has to be the best thing in any film. He chewed alot of scenery, but Rickman was the best.

  • Kevin

    Errol Flynn only has 8% of the vote??? COME ON PEOPLE!!! He IS Robin Hood… and that’s from someone that saw Costner’s Robin Hood 5 times in the theater when I was a 14.

  • Ikia

    Not a single mention for perhaps the hunkiest and most soulful Robin Hood reincarnation EVER as portrayed by BBC’S Jonas Armstrong?! I’m appalled.

  • Eri

    Yeah, I guess if you’re including Daffy you have to include the TV Robin Hoods. For my part, Men in Tights was funny with all it’s mocking of various Robin Hoods (and Cary actually COULD speak with an English accent as he was British!) but my love goes to the Disney Fox. He had the sexiest voice. And Roger Miller was the Rooster!

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