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Rob Roy 1995

Updated version of the 1952 classic period drama, set in the 18th Century. The Scottish hero Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) borrows money from the powerful Marquess of Montrose (John Hurt) in order to provide for his MacGregor clan. However, Montrose's evil henchman Cunningham (Tim Roth) has other ideas and is determined to stop Roy getting his way.

Starring:
Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange
Runtime:
2 hours, 19 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Popular heroes make for great movies - this adage has held true since the days of Douglas Fairbanks's "Mark of Zorro" (1920) and "Robin Hood" (1922), and Errol Flynn's representation of the legendary Robin of Locksley 16 years later ("The Adventures of Robin Hood," 1938), and it has been reinforced again and again over the course of the years. And whenever we go to see yet another screen version of the life of such a hero, regardless whether based on historic fact or popular lore, we carry certain almost instinctive expectations: the hero is to be honorable and his true love virtuous, there is to be a truly evil villain, an abundance of sword play and other action, and good is to prevail in the end. "Rob Roy" delivers on all of these counts; yet, it manages to be much more than a colorful costume piece with a storyline in black and white, and it differs considerably from the type of movie coined ever since the adventures of history's great heroes were first brought to the silver screen.

To begin with, Liam Neeson, in the title role, is not the slim, agile hero with lightning-quick, supple movements we have come to expect after having seen leading men such as Fairbanks, Flynn and Robert Taylor ("Ivanhoe," 1952). No: here, the part of the dazzling and deadly fencing champion goes to Tim Roth, who has the calculating, conceited, blonde-wigged henchman Archibald Cunningham down to absolute perfection - you just love to hate him; yet, he never becomes the embodiment of an ueber-villain, and it is his utter fallibility as a human being which makes him all the more evil and despicable. The face-offs between Roth and Neeson (particularly their final duel) almost have something of an inverse David vs.
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Format: DVD
This is one of my favorite movies of the 1990s. The thing I love about it is that it is a costume drama that attempts to capture not just the dress but the attitudes and beliefs of people from a different time. The focus of this film is honor, something sacred to men of the 18th Century but almost completely forgotten today. Thus, it is a truly a historical film. Moreover, all the performances are pitch-perfect, from Liam Neeson to Jessica Lange to Tim Roth. What a gem of a movie Michael Caton Jones has given us.
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Format: DVD
Rob Roy, based loosely on the real life Highlander Rob Roy Macgregor, had the bad mistake of Hollywood timing. There must be a lot spy vs spy in Hollywood, industrial secrets being passed around for a price! Ever notice how if one movie company does some genre, then suddenly they all are? Well, someone whispered Mel as doing in man in a skirt drama (Kilt to you Sasunnach!) and suddenly they rushes to do another. With Rob Roy coming out at the same time, it hurt by comparison. Braveheart was a powerhouse tale of one man's fight for Scottish Freedom. Off the bat, you have a difference. Rob Roy was the story of one man's personal fight against wrongs done to him and his family. So the personal tale automatically feels "smaller". Not big battle scenes for Rob Roy. No King for an enemy, just a Scottish Noble, John Graham, Marquis of Montrose (brilliantly played by John Hurt, Ian McShane old RADA roommate!).
Still, despite the automatic comparisons between the two films (both with problems of historical inaccuracies), Rob Roy should be given a stronger look. The acting is without fault. Neeson as Rob is great (who da thunk an Irisher could do such a good Scot!). Eric Stolz, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth (so utterly despicable!) Andrew Keir (5 Million Years to Earth) and Brian Cox (the first Hannibal Lector in Manhunter, a REAL Scot mind you! He did double duty by playing Mel's Uncle in Bravenheart), gives performances that are flawless. The Highland's are filmed in breathtaking beauty, the writing is gritty, sharp with a good idea for detail. Frankly, any film that has Liam "Calling down the Gregor" commends itself to my Scot heart!
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By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
An epic story of the type that rarely gets made these days. Unlike the superficially similar "Braveheart", the film avoids the usual Hollywood temptations to overdramatize with emotional slush and cliched characters, and just gets on with the job of telling a good story (and it is a very good story!). It's a long film, but it doesn't feel like it. Superb performances by Liam Neeson, Jessica Lang and especially Tim Roth, create wonderfull and believable characters and the Scottish Highlands provide a breathtaking backdrop.
The script is fantastic and the actions scenes (though few) are great. A traditional good film, but if you are the type that prefers "Lethal Weapon" to "The Shawshank Redemption", then stick to "Braveheart".
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Format: VHS Tape
After seeing Braveheart, I swore to myself that I would never watch a historical highland epic again. Hoewever, I am pleased to say that I broke my promise.
This film has everything Braveheart has going for it, and everything that Braveheart doesnt. Like Braveheart it has a superb score, nice gory bits for the boys and passion. Unlike Braveheart however, one can see a true historical reflection of the times. The lead cast are an example of this. Unlike Randall Wallace's timewarped lethal weapon, the cast are not whom one would consider the 'World's Sexiest'. This is its charm. People's teeth are black, their hair scruffy and noone is squeaky clean (the ridiculous notion held in Braveheart that it was only the English who at that time, raped and pillaged). Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) is not portrayed as being perfect and principled. He is a thief, and admits so, and does not seek to hide the fact that he is intent on becoming richer through the sale of cattle (so not the socialist self sacrificier of Wallace). However he becomes a hero by being robbed and thrust into a situation where he must give up his honour. This rings throughout the film and bears a far more potent message than, yes you guessed it, Braveheart.
Probably the best part of the film is, however, that unlike that other film, not everything is black or white. It is not based on where you were born on how evil you are but on personality. Highlanders form the majority of the so called 'goodies', but there are notable exceptions with some being neutral and or even 'baddies', for instance Guthrey. In a similar way this film does not go in to place the nobility in the same bracket, with the honest but dour Argyll on the one hand and the crafty, devious and aloof nature of Montrose.
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