Sure, Mel Brooks' lampoon of Sherwood Forest isn't in the same league as his "Young Frankenstein." But as some critics debate whether the new Ridley Scott-Russell Crowe version of the Robin Hood legend is libertarian or liberal, Brooks' lightheartedness is looking pretty good. I think fondly of  Dom DeLuise's peerless silly impression of a medieval Don Corleone named Don Giovanni; Patrick Stewart (as King Richard) doing a rip-snortin' imitation of Sean Connery; and Cary Elwes' comical and stalwart Robin of Loxley, who dresses like Errol Flynn and assumes Flynn's bravado while aiming a jab or two at Kevin Costner. There's also Amy Yasbeck's deliciously ardent -- that is, hot-to-trot -- Maid Marian -- and Roger Rees' scramble-tongued Sheriff of Rottingham.

The film is never as fresh and lively as the Mad magazine parody in the Fifties, which had Robin blowing a "woodland horn" that was a saxophone, and stealing from the rich to give to himself.

But it did give Jack Black a chance to steal the show at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors when he belted out the theme song, "Men in Tights."

What are your favorite Robin Hood movies -- or  Mel Brooks movies?


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