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When a harsh winter threatens the majestic Scottish Highlands Rob Roy Macgregor is forced to borrow money from the less-than-noble Marquis of Montrose to provide for his clan. But when Montroses henchman conspires to take the wealth for himself Rob is thrust into the most challenging battle of his life.Starring: Liam Neeson Jessica Lange John Hurt and Tim RothDirector: Michael Caton-JonesProduced by Peter Broughan Richard Jackson; written by Alan Sharp; DVD released on 08/22/1997; running time of 139 minutes; Closed Captioned. Copyright: 1995 United Artists MGMSystem Requirements:Full-length Feature in Widescreen Version Scene Selections Original Theatrical Trailer Subtitles: English French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Widescreen Version presented in a "letterbox" format preserving the "scope" aspect ratio of its original theatrical exhibition enhanced for widescreen TVs Produced by Peter Broughan Richard Jackson; written by Alan Sharp; DVD Released on 08/22/1997; running time of 139 minutes; Closed Captioned. Copyright: 1995 United Artists MGM Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: R UPC: 027616626097 Manufacturer No: 906260
One of the most invigorating period adventures to hit the big screen in decades, this lavish, brilliantly directed film drew critical and audience raves when it was released in 1995. Inspired by historical fact and larger-than-life legend, the intelligently scripted story takes place in Scotland in 1713, when Highland farmer and clan leader Rob Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) is forced to borrow money from the duplicitous aristocrat Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) to help his clan survive a harsh winter. When Montrose's vile henchman (Tim Roth) schemes to dishonor MacGregor and his wife (Jessica Lange) and take the money for himself, the rugged Highlander must take courageous action to preserve his integrity. What follows--along with some of the finest sword-fighting ever filmed--is a tale of courage and valor destined to become an enduring movie classic. Tim Roth received a well-deserved Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actor) for his indelible performance as the foppish but deadly villain Cunningham, and both Neeson and Lange bring an earthy, sensual quality to their passionate roles. Boasting a wealth of breathtaking scenery and high-intensity action, Rob Roy is further blessed by a splendid supporting cast (including Brian Cox and Eric Stoltz), and the lush soundtrack by Carter Burwell strikes a perfect balance of romanticism and vigorous dramatic energy. --Jeff Shannon
The film was fencing about all right, until the last sword scene. To pretend that someone can halt an expert swordsman at bay by grabbing the blade of his sword with, of all things, his bare hand, so that the attacker can neither plunge it past his grip or pull it out, is just outrageously silly. That this simple point should have eluded most of the reviewers on this site is, to say the least, almost as amazing. It is so silly it just metastisises over any enjoyment one might have had of the whole. Incredible that any one seeing this Munchausen fib when it was shown at the theatre,wouldn't have risen for his seat whith a loud "Oh, please, come on!!" ...more info
- Cinematic and beautifully scored, but faulty scripted ROB ROY makes for tiresome viewing
What basically is known about Rob Roy Macgregor (Liam Neeson) has been fictionalized in literature by the two famous authors Daniel Dafoe in the 1700's and then more famously Walter Scott in the 1800's. The rest is pure speculation.When approaching the screenplay for 1995's ROB ROY, it would appear that writer Alan Sharp took a great deal of liberty with all versions of the Rob Roy legend and invented characters and scenarios in order to tell a story that would make an engaging film.Well,so we have it;a very drawn out folk legend that has the most interesting character in the whole bloody script,Archibald Cunningham,aptly and cunningly portrayed by a smarmy
Tim Roth, who is a completely fictional foe to help romanticize the fact that one of Macgregor's cattlemen, in fact, made off with Macgregor's borrowed 1000 pounds.Cunningham even brutally rapes Macgregor's wife, Mary,(Jessica Lange.....what is going on with her face??)in order to make Macgregor even more determined to have vengeance and clear his name.
This is a film about honor and an attempt to tell a story which many will believe as a faithful and true account of Rob Roy's life.Be that as it may, it is just a film and a handsome one at that,with smart and innovative editing by Peter Honess and a terrific "highlander" score by veteran Carter Burwell.The story?....aye, well there is my rub...does Alan Sharp want to tell a story of revenge or a love story? Also ,Sharp makes so few and precious references to "the Jacobites","the Calvinists" and "the Stuarts" that one really must know history well in order to factor in the importance of these historical references to his script.The fact that Sharp totally invents the character of Cunningham in order to make Macgregor a more sympathetic character than the "outlaw/Robin Hood" rogue that history makes him to be seems dishonest.I am of UK decent, so don't chide me as being unsympathetic...it's just that when history says one thing and a film says another,I am,in this case (not always) siding more with historical fact( what little is actually known to be true.It is significant to note that in Dafoe's account of Rob Roy,he wrote it in order to clear Rob's name before King George 1, so there is no telling how much fiction there was.Scott fleshed out his account 100 years later!).I personally just did not like the script,not solely because most of it is fiction,but rather it was not engaging or focused enough despite beautiful shots of the highlands and superb acting by Tim Roth (playing a character that he plays again in 2000's VATEL).I love huge period piece film generally,but 3 stars for this big budget,flashy and long fictional movie is as high as I go....more info
- Marred by unnecessary rape scene.
I remember seeing this years ago and thinking it had a lot of merit, a hero who refuses to slander and pays a high price. A well made movie with great acting and beautiful music and scenery. I thought about showing this to my boys, but the other reviewers reminded me of the unwatchable, unnecessary rape scene. The filmmakers did Tim Roth a disservice by thinking this was necessary to enhance his brilliantly evil performance. Brutish and clumsy, and fatal to an otherwise fine movie....more info
- Often Very Good, And Often Pretty Bad
Liam Neeson is great in this role and Tim Roth is a villain for the ages, but Jessica Lange, with her ghoulishly inexpressive face and terrible fake accent was a detriment to the production. The good in Rob Roy had to do with the setting in the highlands of Scotland and the interplay between the despicable Roth and the heroic Neeson, and overall it was a fairly good period drama. The bad parts, other than the miscast Lange, were in the way the film moved slowly and deviated from the original story in ways that were distracting. This version of Rob Roy has thrilling moments and memorable scenes, but in its entirety enough mistakes were made to bring it down to about three stars....more info
- Great movie. Has all the components of a good drama.
Great movie. A little bit dated as the cinematography has come a long way in the last two decades. All in all, this movie is definitely worth the money. Liam Neeson is awesome in this movie and Tim Roth plays a perfect British villain. You'll enjoy this movie because it has all the necessary components of a good drama. The hero, the girl, the villain and the British monarchy who couldn't care less about anybody but themselves. What a stretch... anyway, this is a good movie. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. I believe this film earned an Academy award for best picture.
- excellent movie
Just made an extended visit to Scotland last summer and it made the movie all the more interesting because I had actually trod on some of the soil where Rob Roy's adventures took place. Good entertainment for history buffs....more info
- A well told story
About as well told as a story can be. No word of dialog, no gesture, no detail of action fails to contribute in some way to the progression of the plot. Nothing is superfluous or gratuitous. Each successive viewing is rewarded with the discovery of some newly noticed detail, hence always a better appreciation of the story. Rewards the perceptiveness and intelligence of the viewer....more info
- Not What It Could Have Been.
For the sake of achieving a more marketable "R" rating this movie sold it's integrity. The character developement was excellent, you will actually detest the villian by movie's end. The final fight scene is worth the purchase of the DVD. However, much of the audience's emotional response to this film could have been more artfully portrayed by suggestion rather than the shown sexual vulgarity of the movie....more info
- Rob Roy movie
The movie has much action and is a great adventure. Although I had ordered a used version, I now wish I had ordered a new movie. My movie had some white lines in it, and the voice at times seemed muffled. The picture at times also had wavy lines through the entire screen. But the movie was great anyways....more info
- Good Period Piece
Kind of like Braveheart, based a little on fact and fiction. Liam Neeson is great, Lange never better. Good plot, Roth plays a great bad guy. Lot's of action and excitement....more info
- 3.5 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
An excellent swashbuckler with an intelligent screenplay, good acting turns by Tim Roth and Brian Cox, and one of the best sword fights ever staged to cap the film, Rob Roy is not a film that made its mark on pop culture but it's a quick-moving and interesting film through and through....more info
- Auld Rob Roy O' Caldonia
This a decent film with a fine cast. The costumes are pretty good, although I think the tartans for the Gregor clan are not the old set that the clan supposedly wore at that time. This film takes place in 1713, a scant two years before the 1715 Jacobite Rising. References are made to this, but frankly more time should have been devoted to it as it bears much on the political atmosphere of the time.
Once again we have what has become the standard vilification of the English in movies like this. The foppish and cruel Cunningham, played brilliantly by Tim Roth is made to embody all the supposed crimes ever taken against auld Scotia by the sons of Albion. In fact Tim Roth's character seems to be a displaced scot, and the Earl on Montrose is also scots, even though he does not come across that way. The troops that are used to pursue Rob Roy are not English, but rather the Earl's private army. Since they don red coats they must be portrayed as evil!
Despite these heavy elements, Rob Roy is still a splendid film, as good or better than the overblown Braveheart. Both films deal with largely apocryphal characters, which allows Hollywood to have a free hand to invent history! The music and atmposphere are quite good, with the Chieftains used to play the spirited "O Sullivan's March". Still, where are the Great Highland Warpipes? There are none in this film. Seems strange indeed.
The swordplay is fine, with the final dual a classic example of Rapier vs Claymore. The rape scene is over-done, and again serves to villify Tim Roth's English style character. The film editors could have cut down on that, but Hollywood's anti-English slant seems to demand it these days. A nice film, with decent acting, good sets, but the usual flaws. The DVD should have some historical commentary about the real Rob Roy....more info
- Featuring One of Cinema's Greatest Villains -- EVER!
"Rob Roy" came out in 1995 with a couple other heroic swordplay films: "Braveheart" and "First Knight." I rank "Rob Roy" on a par with "Braveheart," even though the two films shouldn't really be compared since "Rob Roy" focuses on the conflict of individuals in Old Scotland and "Braveheart" focuses more on whole armies battling.
WHAT WORKS: First of all, the location cinematography of the Scottish Highlands is breathtaking (far better than "Braveheart"). Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange are fine in their parts as Rob Roy and his wife. The sword-fighting (between individuals) is perhaps the best ever in cinematic history. The film also possesses a completely realistic vibe -- no anachronisms or campy humor here; the pic really helps one realize what life was like in rural Scotland 300 years ago.
What works best, to my mind, is Tim Roth's outstanding performance as Rob Roy's foppish-but-deadly nemesis. This is truly a villain you love to loathe. The Roth character (I forget his name) is so over-the-top foppish that he appears effeminate; but this is only a disguise as he's actually a ruthless master swordsman. Surely this is one of film's top villains ever! (It doesn't sound right to say "good villain," does it?)
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The story itself doesn't have a lot of drive from beginning to end (unlike, say, "Last of the Mohicans" ). One's attention may wander at points. Of course this may not be an entirely bad thing in light of the schizophrenic editing of many films post-"Armageddon." (In other words, the leisurely pace can be refreshing).
WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK FOR SOME PEOPLE: There are aspects of extreme sexual brutality (a rape scene) and vulgarity (a man shoves his fingers up a woman's nightgown); as well as overt love-making -- definitely material not appropriate for children. There are also overt scenes of, believe it or not, urination; many may regard this as needless, but (for me) it helped drive home the point of what every-day life was like back then (e.g. Where do you pee if you're living in a shack out in the hills? Or, in the middle of the night, if there's no upstairs bathroom?).
The story's lack of drive prevents "Rob Roy" from attaining true greatness in my mind, but the positive aspects noted above definitely achieve greatness. Certainly worthy of one's DVD library....more info
- Neeson plays the title character with his usual hard-to-resist charm...
Michael Caton-Jones's Scottish period piece bears little connection to the Sir Walter Scott novel of the same name...
The film opens in the Scottish highlands, with Robert Roy McGregor and his men hunting down a bunch of cow thieves who have stolen several heads of His Lordship James Graham's cattle... The scene then switches to a sword-fighting contest attended by noblemen with longhair wigs, adorned shirts, soft colored coats, paleface make-up and conventional gestures...
MacGregor lives under the protection of a local lord named Marquis of Montrose... When he enters an ill-advised trade agreement with Montrose, he innocently leaves himself exposed to the malicious plots of Montrose's evil-doers... The unfolding of their perfidy is the most creative and pleasant part of the movie, though it takes a repugnant turn with a violent rape... When Rob Roy is finally compelled to rebel against the English soldiers, the action becomes well understood, ending with the predictable duel between him and an expert with the blade...
Liam Neeson injects heroism and passion to his character... He is intelligent, fair and virile... He carries his height with grace as the Scottish chieftain of a small community... He is a loving father, a passionate lover, and a noble husband, driven to desperate acts by dastardly villains... He'd rather die than tell a lie or betray a trust...
Oscar winner Jessica Lange gives the film class as the strong robust devoted wife, a proud peasant woman, brutally raped by an icy psychotic aristocrat... Lange's lines are filled with dignity and integrity: 'I will think on you dead, until my husband makes you so. And then I will think on you no more.'
John Hurt brings his usual clever touch with character roles to make Montrose something more than a greedy Marquis, ruthless with money and tempered by the English court's fashion for foppery... He is a pompous arrogant man with two villainous servants at his service... Honor, in his view, seems a quaint notion... He has two objectives: ruin the reputation of his rival, the Duke of Argyle, and to hunt down the fugitive MacGregor... He sends his soldiers to burn the Highlanders' homes, to kill their people and their livestock...
Tim Roth--the perfect antithesis to the hero, is fearsome and strangely an effeminate enforcer... He is a penniless British aristocrat, a nasty 'hired sword' wonderfully evil, ravishing and murdering his way through the Scottish mist... His name is Archibald Cunningham... He turns out to be a liar, a thief and a murderer... He dismisses himself as 'but a bastard abroad, seeking his fortune and the favors of great men," and therefore can't care about anyone else: "Love is a dung hill and I am but a cock that climbs upon it to crow." He even jokes that he once raped a young boy whom he mistook for a girl...
Cunningham seems pathetic... He smiles foolishly, and utters words with affected refinement, but not terribly harmful-until a muscular swordsman insults him, and we discover that he's a cool head and an expert with a sword... He really does steal the film with a performance that earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination...
And while Brian Cox is suitably odious as Killearn, Andrew Keir is Montrose's rival, the powerful local aristocrat, the Duke of Argyll, one of the few trustworthy men McGregor meets outside his own family...
Set in 18th-century Scotland, and with an atmospheric musical score, 'Rob Roy' is really a love story between a man and his wife, a recognizably human story, unjustly dwarfed by Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart,' that does tell essentially the same story of provincial resentment of overbearing English landlords... ...more info
- Worth watching again and again
Were there ever two finer men to grace the screen than Eric Stoltz and Liam Neeson? My eyes were constantly doing battle over which beauty to feast upon! Ah, but I digress!
I liked this film SO MUCH BETTER than Braveheart (which, frankly, bored me to tears!). Magnificent pagan pageantry, music and dancing frame the story of love, loyalty, honor, bravery, integrity, family, betrayal and trust so clear, so artfully created, and with such breathtaking beauty!
Not to be given short shrift is the story of women as property, chattel to be violated at will in battle, those who pay the price for the decisions of their men. Rape as a weapon of politics and property (honor violated) is a crushing testament to women's place in herstory.
"Honor is what no man can give you, and none can take away," says Rob Roy, "Woman is the heart of honor."
Rob Roy is nothing if not a man of honor. He will not swear false witness even against a man he has no respect for, he will not lie, cheat or steal and chooses only men of honor to surround him. When his best friend disappears with money borrowed as an investment, he refuses to believe he has been duped. There is nothing but honor around Rob Roy MacGregor.
This becomes crucial when Rob Roy speaks the truth of his rage to those in power. To accuse him of lying would be ludicrous, as everyone knows Rob Roy MacGregor doesn't lie. It is the best defense anyone has against being disbelieved.
A beautiful movie. Powerful themes. Worth watching again and again.
- Ver®Ęs a uno de los mejores villanos del cine reciente
?Por qu®¶ Hollywood recurre, tan a menudo, a actores brit®Ęnicos para los papeles de malvados? Pues, porque (sin desear ofender a nadie) son los mejores.
As®™ lo demuestra nuestro querido Tim, con o sin peluca -as®™ lo prefiero yo-. La mejor escena es el duelo final donde, adem®Ęs de ser malo, est®Ęs guap®™simo.
?Queremos verte m®Ęs a menudo!
Dejas huella....more info
- Not a movie for people sensitive to sexual violence
I stopped watching during the protracted rape scene. It was deeply painfull to watch and I felt gratuitous for the film makers to include....more info
- A well-crafted film
Rob Roy is an underrated film due to the same-year release of Braveheart (Special Collector's Edition), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1995. Rob Roy brings together all the elements of a great film: direction, scriptwriting, cinematography, editing, music score, and superb acting by the entire cast. Most films fall down on one or more elements, and the few that get them all right are always fun to watch, no matter how old they get.
This is an action movie and successful action movie's need a loathsome and scary bad guy. Tim Roth portrays an unusual, but highly effective antagonist. I personally thought Jessica Lange should have received at least a nomination for her role as Mary MacGregor.
Altogether, this is a fine film that deserves to be an every movie enthusiast's library.
jamesdbest.com: author of The Shopkeeper, Leadville, The Shut Mouth Society
- Powerful, Involving Story
This is one powerful film. The first time I saw it, the Scottish accents made it a little tough for me to understand all that was being said and it hurt my viewing experience. Then acquired this DVD, used the English subtitles when I needed them, and really got into this movie, discovering just how good it is. It is excellent.
The widescreen picture makes it spectacular in parts, with some wonderful rugged scenery and the story reminded me of Braveheart, an involving tale of good versus evil. Here, it's Liam Neeson (good) vs. Tim Roth (evil). Both do their jobs well.
Few actors come across as despicable as Roth, which means he's a good actor. Man, you really want to smack this guy in his arrogant, irritating puss. He is so nasty and vile the sick national film critics love his character more than anyone else's here. That's no surprise.
Neeson is a man's man and a solid hero figure. Jessica Lange is strong in here as the female lead. The movie draws you in and gets you totally involved, so prepared to have an emotional experience viewing this.
- Compelling tale of a man of honor in the Scottish Highlands
During a summer blockbuster season when there were no fewer that THREE major medieval swords and soldiers epics, "Rob Roy" was easily the most overlooked. It was also easily one of the best movies of 1995; on par with its more famous sword-fighting cousin, "Braveheart" (the third swords and soldiers epic was "First Knight", a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, which was notable only for a cast that starred Richard Gere and Sean Connery, but little else). With the universal appeal of the battle for freedom, the stories epic scale, and the marquee value of Mel Gibson starring and directing, it's understandable why "Braveheart" was such an overwhelming success. It also caused many people to overlook the compelling tale of Robert Roy MacGregor.
In the last 1600's and early 1700's, the centuries old clan system of Scottish Highlands was slowly disintegrating, in part to unscrupulous politicians from the Lowlands and the inevitable impact of the changing times. One of the last great Scottish clan leaders was Rob Roy MacGregor. He was a man whose reputation was so well known and legend so far reaching that no one who knew him ever thought to write down a full description of him or an account of his feats. Much of what is used to cull together the script for "Rob Roy" comes from the fanciful (and often fictitious, as it was based primarily on unverified anecdotes) account by Sir Walter Scott and the more historically accurate research done by W.H. Murray. Rob Roy was a larger than life man who was bound by a code of honor so strict and so solemn that his word was more binding and reliable than most written contracts are today.
While there are many tales that surround the life of Rob Roy (W.H. Murray's book provides a wealth of those tales), the story that powers "Rob Roy" is that of a time circa 1713 when the prospects of a harsh winter forced Rob Roy to solicit a loan of 1000 Scottish pounds from the local politician, James Graham (The Marquis of Montrose), in order to purchase and resell cattle and make enough money to provide for his entire clan for the winter. The Marquis, as is noted in Murray's book and very clearly presented in the movie, was a devious man for whom words like `honor' had no meaning if they got in the way of profit. In the historical records, there is an unresolved mystery on what happened to the money and the man, Alan MacDonald, whom Rob Roy entrusted to secure the loan from Montrose. In "Rob Roy", it is posited that a few of the Marquis' factors, acting without his knowledge but not his disapproval, killed Rob Roy's man and stole the money. There is no doubting that the money did disappear and Marquis, when Rob Roy refused to bear false witness against the Duke of Argyll in exchange for relief of the debt, chose to take harshly punitive measures against the MacGregor clan rather than allowing the man to honor his debt.
The role of Rob Roy MacGregor is a challenging one because he was a much beloved historical figure who many people are fiercely protective of and would take offense if he were portrayed inaccurately. Fortunately, director Michael Caton-Jones had the foresight to cast a man who had already cut his teeth in a similarly complex historical role in "Schindler's List". That man was Irish actor Liam Neeson (Neeson would go on to continue his success at fully realized historical figures by playing the title role in "Michael Collins" a year later). Neeson brings a quiet intensity and dignified honor to this role, portraying Rob Roy as many accounts remember him. Aside from Neeson's performance, there is a plethora of expertly acted roles in "Rob Roy". Jessica Lange brings an equally forceful sense of honor to her role as Rob Roy's strong-willed wife, Mary. Veteran actor John Hurt displays an appropriate level of deceit as the Marquis of Montrose, as does Brian Cox as his slimy subordinate who conjured the plan to deceive MacGregor. Possibly the most spectacular performance is turned in by Tim Roth, playing one of Montrose' factors, Archibald Cunningham. While on the surface Cunningham appears to be an effete fop, underneath he possesses a razor-sharp wit and equally sharp skill with the sword and disdain for life in general. Roth's Archibald is one of sleaziest, most vile, villains to hit the screen in a long time. His actions as the lead in the pursuit of Rob Roy (who is on the run because of Cunningham in the first place) are truly reprehensible. The contrast of the of misanthropic Cunningham with the honorable MacGregor is extraordinarily compelling and climaxes with one the most realistic and gripping sword fights to take place on film in years.
Each successive viewing of "Rob Roy" reveals a greater understanding of the character of this great man. It also uncovers greater details about life in the Scottish Highlands and makes one understand why there is such a romance between writers with that land....more info
- Rob Roy
Very pleased with the movie, glad we could get it on DVD. Service ordering and receiving was excellent. Thanks again...more info
- Rob Roy
I wanted to add Rob Roy to my collection of dvd's. I went to Amazon.com and found many options and selected the best one for me.
I ordered the dvd and it was delivered to my home in 2 days.
I was impressed with the efficiency in which my order was completed....more info