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Robin Hood: Men in Tights
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Robin Hood: Men in Tights is a 1993 Mel Brooks comedy. Like other movies in his filmography, this is filled with Brooks' classic off-color humor. He uses race, gender, and sexual orientation in a comedic, parodic, and satirical manner. Many jokes involve sexual innuendo; while some of these jokes are likely to go over the heads of younger viewers, scenes in which Robin Hood's sword in silhouette resembles a large erect penis will not. A blind character is a regular source of comedy -- including scenes in which the blind character places his hands on the Venus de Milo statue's breasts, and another where he's looking at the centerfold of a braille Ye Olde Playboy while sitting on a toilet. Maid Marian's chastity belt partially exposes her buttocks. There's some wine drinking, and cigar smoking. Infrequent profanity includes "s--thouse," "bulls--t," "crap," "pissed," and "ass." The first introduction to the African American knight, Achoo, is him getting beaten up by knights in a scene made to parody police brutality. The Sheriff of Rottingham tries to force himself sexually on Maid Marian before he's stopped by Robin Hood.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A spoof of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and other Robin Hood films, Mel Brooks' slapstick ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS is chock-full of Brooks' emblematic humor. Robin, played by Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), returns from Africa only to discover that his ancestral home has been confiscated for failure to pay taxes. He vows to fight the corrupt king and help the poor with his merry band of men. Eventually, Robin meets Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck) and the two fall in love. The rest you probably already know.
Is it any good?
While there is nothing new or particularly innovative about this Brooks film, it's still entertaining. Teens who like Mel Brooks movies will definitely want to check it out. The traditional Robin Hood theme is all but lost in the slapstick gimmicks and sexual innuendo, but if you like screwball comedies or spoofs, you might enjoy Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mel Brooks movies. How did Brooks use parody, satire, and slapstick to provoke laughter? How does he use puns, sexual innuendo, and double entendre?
Discuss women's place in society during medieval times, including the practice of forcing women to wear chastity belts.
What do you think about the film's stereotyping of African Americans, particularly noticeable in the opening song-and-dance routine? What were the filmmaker's intentions by including these scenes in the movie? Parents might want to discuss how older films portrayed black characters without irony, for example, The Jazz Singer.
For kids who love to laugh
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