Crusading nobleman Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes) escapes from prison in Jerusalem and returns home to find that the evil Prince John (Richard Lewis) has confiscated his family estate and is abusing the citizenry. Robin enlists his blind attendant, Blinkin (Mark Blankfield), his friend Will Scarlett OHara (Matthew Porretta) and Little John (Eric Allan Kramer) to help regain his home. Robin also hopes to woo the beautiful Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck), but her chastity belt may prove a challenge.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights is a 1993 French-American musical adventure comedy film and a parody of the Robin Hood story. Produced and directed by Mel Brooks, the film stars Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, and Dave Chappelle in his film debut. The film includes frequent comedic references to previous Robin Hood films (particularly Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, upon which the plot is loosely structured, Disneys Robin Hood, and The Adventures of Robin Hood).
The film also features Brooks in a minor role; the first time he had appeared in one of his own films where he does not receive top billing or play the lead role since Young Frankenstein. In addition to Brooks it features cameos from Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise, Dick Van Patten and Rudy De Luca.
Robin Hood comes home after fighting in the Crusades to learn that the noble King Richard is in exile and that the despotic King John now rules England, with the help of the Sheriff of Rottingham. Robin Hood assembles a band of fellow patriots to do battle with King John and the Sheriff.
Robin Hood, or Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes), is captured during the Crusades and is imprisoned at Khalil Prison in Jerusalem. With the help of fellow inmate Asneeze (Isaac Hayes), who is in for jaywalking, he escapes and frees the other inmates. Robin is asked by Asneeze to find his son, Ahchoo (Dave Chappelle, in his first major professional role). Upon returning to England, he finds Ahchoo and discovers that Prince John (Richard Lewis) has assumed control while King Richard is away fighting in the Crusades. Unbeknownst to Richard, the prince is abusing his power. Robin returns to his family home, Loxley Hall, only to find it has been repossessed by Johns men. His familys blind servant, Blinkin (Mark Blankfield), informs Robin that his family members and pets have been killed as well. He vows to get his home back before all his familys things are taken.
Robin recruits the large and ignorant Little John (Eric Allan Kramer), and his friend Will Scarlet OHara (Matthew Porretta), to help regain his fathers land and oust Prince John from the throne. On his quest, Robin also attracts the attention of Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck), who wants to find the man who has the key to her heart (and chastity belt). They are also joined by Rabbi Tuckman (Mel Brooks), who shares with them his sacramental wine. While Robin is training his band of tights-clad Merry Men, the spoonerism-spouting Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees), hires the Mafioso Don Giovanni (Dom DeLuise) to assassinate Robin at the Spring Festival (with archery tournament), spoofing a similarly outlandish plot twist from the Costner movie involving Scottish mercenaries. Maid Marian hears of the evil plot, and sneaks out of her castle to warn Robin, accompanied by her frumpy German Lady-in-Waiting Broomhilde (Megan Cavanagh). The Sheriff and Don expect that Robin will not refuse a chance to participate in the tournament due to his pride, and Robin does as they expect.
At the archery tournament, a disguised Robin makes it to the final round, where he makes his shot but loses to his opponent. Robin calls this situation absurd, takes off his disguise and pulls out a copy of the movies script to discover that he gets another shot. The Sheriff and Prince John then pull out their own copies and confirm this (much to their annoyance). Robin then takes the second shot, this time using a special "PATRIOT arrow" and hits the target. After winning the tournament, Robin is arrested. Before Robin is taken away, Marian promises to do the most disgusting thing she can think of in exchange for Robins safety: marry the Sheriff.
Several hours later, the ceremony commences with the opening prayer in "The New Latin" (Pig Latin). The Abbot (Dick Van Patten) quickly and discreetly reveals the Sheriffs unimposing first name, Mervyn. Before Marian can say "I do", the castle is attacked by the Men in Tights, led by Little John, Ahchoo, Blinkin, and Will. They quickly free Robin and a battle ensues. However, Marian is carried off to the tower by the Sheriff, who wants to deflower her.
Robin arrives and wins an intense sword fight, missing his sheath and accidentally running the sheriff through. The witch Latrine (Tracey Ullman), Prince Johns full-time cook and part-time adviser, saves him by giving him a magical lifesaver in exchange for agreeing to marry her. Before Robin and Marian "celebrate" in her bedroom, Broomhilde arrives, insisting they get married first. Rabbi Tuckman conducts the ceremony, but they are suddenly interrupted by King Richard (Patrick Stewart), recently returned from the Crusades, who insists on sanctioning the marriage with a kiss to the new bride. He orders John to be taken away to the Tower of London and made part of the tour. He also announces that, due to the foul stench the prince has left over the kingdom, all the toilets are to be called "johns".
All being as it should be, Robin and Marian are married and Ahchoo is made the new sheriff of Rottingham. When the crowd expresses its disbelief at a black sheriff, Ahchoo reminds them that "it worked in Blazing Saddles". When the night comes, Maid Marians chastity belt will not open with his key (to her fury and dismay), so Robin calls for a locksmith.
Critics gave mixed reviews to the film, with many noting Brooks lacked as many humorous scenes as his earlier works.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film as "Rotten", giving it an overall 48% rating. Despite this, the film has developed a cult following. Voters at the Internet Movie Database rated the film 6.7 out of 10. In an Entertainment Tonight review of the film before its release, test audiences did overall feel the film was a good spoof, but only about ¼ of those surveyed felt the film was strong enough to launch a sequel.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights was not one of Brookss best grossing films in its theatrical release, though Brooks mentions that it and Spaceballs are his two top selling movies on video in a DVD interview for the latter film.
The film debuted at #6 at the North American box office, with only $6,841,830. The film went on to gross a domestic total of $35,739,755.Marian (Duet version) (3:36)
Main Title (3:03)
Sherwood Forest Rap #1 (1:10)
Escape From Kahlil Prison (0:58)
Robins Pledge & The Great Voyage (1:05)
Stick Fight With Little John (1:47)
Prince Johns Party & Robins Entrance (1:29)
The Great Hall Fight (3:14)
Men in Tights (1:23)
The Witch in the Tower (1:39)
Villagers Training Sequence (1:32)
The Night Is Young (1:48)
Romantic Marian (0:49)
Royal Country Fayre & The Abbotts March (1:31)
Villagers to the Rescue (2:19)
The Wedding (0:39)
Marian (Solo version) (1:36)
Sherwood Forest Rap #2 (0:23)