Thursday Movie Picks – Outlaws

For this week’s Thursday Movie Picks, run by Wandering through the Shelves, we’ve been asked to list three to five films that feature an outlaw.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an outlaw as: “A person who has done something illegal and is hiding to avoid being caught; a person who is not protected by the law.” Robin Hood is included as the perfect example.

As usual I have based my selection from films I’ve watched. This week I’ve taken a stroll down Fantasy Lane.

Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Fezzik (André the Giant) and Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) from The Princess Bride (1987)

I wholeheartedly love The Princess Bride, and this merry bunch of outlaws are a big part of that. Vizzini’s cunning is perfectly complemented by Fezzik’s brute strength while Inigo has the finesse and style that only “the greatest swordsman of his generation” could possess.

Kevin Costner as Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

The Hooded Man had to make an appearance, of course: he is the archetypal outlaw. He’s an honourable one as well, and while Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has many flaws it remains one of my ‘comfort films’. It is seared into my memory thanks to Costner’s questionable accent, Geraldine McEwan horrifying witch and Alan Rickman’s cracking Sheriff of Nottingham.

Ian McShane as Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates, by their very nature and profession, are all outlaws so it was hard to pick one from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Ultimately I had to choose the “one pirate all pirates fear”, as Jack Sparrow once said. McShane looked the part extremely well, and it was fun seeing him in a Hollywood film after being more familiar to UK audiences for many years as the antiques dealer Lovejoy in the TV show of the same name.

7 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks – Outlaws

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  1. Love your first and last pick. The first one is so good, enchanting and funny( love Peter Cook as the Bishop). I can’t stand Robin Hood with Costner which many things not fitting the period of the time plus Maid Marion goes from a strong female to a screaming Mimi. The only one I liked was Alan Rickman. A much better Robin Hood stars Patrick Bergman as Hood and Uma Thurman as Maid Marion. The last film is fun. The pirate films are not to be taken seriously and so they are just enjoyable to watch.

    1. Thanks, Birgit. Prince of Thieves is flawed but it stills remains an old favourite. Someone on a different blog recommended the Hepburn/Connery version. I’ll try to check it out at some point.

      I agree: the Pirate films are good frivolous fun.

  2. I liked but didn’t love Princess Bride but both Wallace Shawn and Mandy Patinkin were sensational in it, bringing just the right sense of brio to their roles. I liked the framing story with Fred Savage and Peter Falk too.

    This version of Robin Hood is sort of a mess with everybody acting like they are in different movies but you mentioned two of the best features, Geraldine McEwan and especially Alan Rickman who is having the time of his life chewing the scenery. Even though the tone is all over the place I still liked the film though my favorite will always remain the Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland version from the 30’s.

    The first Pirates movie was a silly bit of fun but the second was awful and I stopped after that so I haven’t seen your third pick. Ian McShane is a terrific actor though and very good when he’s wearing the black hat so I’m sure he’s a highlight of the movie.

    My first impulse was to go with Westerns but since gangsters, robbers, thieves etc. are all outlaws I cast the net wider and went in a different direction with a bit of a theme within the theme to it.

    Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)-Pussycat Club go-go dancers Varla (Tura Satana), Rosie (Haji) and Billie (Lori Williams) head out to the desert to drag race and raise some hell. When they meet a young hot-rodding couple they dispatch the guy, take the girl hostage and head to the hills on the hunt for rumored hidden fortune guarded by a disabled old letch (Stuart Lancaster) and The Vegetable (Dennis Busch) his hulking infantile son. They blaze in figuring an easy score, but the men have plans of their own. Pure exploitation is one big wild ride.

    Deadlier Than the Male (1967)-Glamorous paid assassins Irma (Elke Sommer) and Penelope (Sylva Koscina) entice prominent businessmen with their wiles then off them for big bucks until insurance investigator “Bulldog” Drummond (Richard Johnson) and his mod nephew, Robert (Steve Carlson) jump on their trail. The twosome circles the globe hopping from one exotic locale to the next to bring the lethal lovelies to justice!

    The Getaway (1972)-When career criminal Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is refused parole he convinces his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) to strike a bargain with corrupt businessman Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson). Benyon agrees to get him sprung on the condition Doc pulls a bank heist with his gang. All goes as planned but double crosses and betrayals abound. The result-Doc and Carol try to flee to Mexico with both the money and their lives crossing Texas as both cops and outlaws pursue them, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. McQueen and MacGraw fell in love during the filming, left their respective spouses and embarked on a high profile tempestuously short-lived marriage.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Joel.
      Wallace Shawn and Mandy Patinkin were excellent in The Princess Bride. I’m with you there.
      Ah, another version of Robin Hood has been mentioned! The amount of versions is prolific. I’d like to check out this one.
      I like the direction you took. They’re all new to me. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! sounds great fun!

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