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Review: The Adventures of Maid Marian

Kevin J. Harty reviews The Adventures of Maid Marian (2022) for Medievally Speaking. Harty writes:

"Poor Maid Marian and her sisters! When left to their own devices, neither film nor television generally knows what to do with them.The one exception has been the Tony Robinson BBC children’s comedy series Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989-1994). The series reduced Robin Hood to an over-the-top foppish former tailor whose contribution to Sherwood lore is to coordinate the Lincoln green colors of the outfits for the Merry Men with those of the forest, so that the outlaws can more easily blend into the scenery.In the admittedly zany series, the real brains behind the Sherwood outlaws are Marian’s.The Marian character in Cybil Richards’s 2000 mildly pornographic film Virgins of Sherwood Forest is a twentieth-century film director who is knocked on the head and wakes up à la Twain in twelfth-century England.She gets no respect in either century, but she does at least get the best line in the film. Exiting Sherwood after a tryst with one of the merrier of the Merry Men, she deadpans, “So, why do they call you little, John?” Keira Knightley tried her hand at being Robin Hood’s decidedly independent daughter only to resort to gendered stereotype and don a wedding dress at the end of the 2001 Disney made-for-television film Princess of Thieves. In the BBC series Robin Hood (2006-2009), Lucy Griffiths’ Maid Marian, disguised as the Night Watchman, outdid the eponymous hero with her nocturnal exploits against the Sherriff—at least until she was killed off early in the series. One yearns for the solid, dependable Marians of old—Enid Bennett, Olivia de Havilland, and Audrey Hepburn—who stood by their men careful not to upstage them, at least not too often.The latest film Marian, Sophie-Louise Craig, in Bill Thomas’s direct-to-streaming 2022 The Adventures of Maid Marian could use some help blending into the scenery." Read the full review at Medievally Speaking

Descriptors: Medievalism, médiévalisme, medievalismo, Mediävalismus, Mittelalterrezeption, Robin Hood, Maid Marian



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