Princess of Thieves
|Princess of Thieves|
North American DVD release
|Directed by||Peter Hewitt|
|Produced by||Jon Cowan|
|Written by||Robin Lerner|
|Release date||11 March 2001|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Princess of Thieves is a romantic action-adventure TV movie starring Keira Knightley, produced by Granada Productions in 2001 and first broadcast on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC in the United States that same year. Co-starring in the film are Malcolm McDowell as the Sheriff, Jonathan Hyde as Prince John, Stuart Wilson as Robin Hood, Del Synnott as Froderick, and Stephen Moyer as Philip. The movie was directed by Peter Hewitt and filmed in Romania.
The film picks up years after the "known" events of the Robin Hood legend, centring on Robin's daughter, Gwyn, played by Knightley. As Maid Marian has died and Robin Hood (Stuart Wilson) is perpetually away battling in the Crusades, Gwyn has lived much of her life alone. She has grown up to be a strong-willed young woman with a talent for archery, much like her father. Her only friend is the sweet but plain Froderick (Del Synnott), who clearly is in love with her. Upon the death of Richard the Lionheart, Robin returns to see that the proper man takes Richard's place as king of England. However, Robin is quickly foiled and imprisoned by his enemies, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Malcolm McDowell) and Prince John (Jonathan Hyde).
It is then up to Gwyn to save the day. She must complete Robin's mission to find and protect the young Prince Philip (Stephen Moyer), who has just returned from exile in France to claim the throne – not an easy task since he has decided to forsake his true identity and is travelling anonymously under his valet's name (who died en route protecting his prince). Though she does fortuitously cross paths with the prince, she is not aware of his identity for much of the film. With a romantic spark budding between them, they must find the Merry Men and join forces to free her father from the tortures of the Tower of London before the evil Prince John ascends to the throne and brings England to ruin. After freeing her father, Gwyn along with her father and Prince Philip stop the coronation of Prince John.
In the end when Philip is about to be crowned as king, Gwyn with a heavy heart tells him that she can only serve and work for him and they cannot be together. Robin later explains that he stayed out of Gwyn's life to protect her from the life he leads, but it didn't make any difference because she grew up to be just like him anyway. He then proposes a partnership between the two of them to serve Philip, with the only condition being that she take her orders from him (Robin) alone. She agrees, and at the end they are seen together leading Robin's Men, side by side.
- The film is probably based on Rogues of Sherwood Forest from 1950.
- Knightley had to learn to shoot a bow for this film; this skill would come in handy again a few years later when she appeared in King Arthur playing another bow-carrying heroine.
- The character of Little John is the only major member of the Merry Men not accounted for in this story and the character is presumed to have moved on or died at the time of these events.
- Phillip was a real person, but he was an illegitimate son of Richard I. He could not claim the throne, and before his death, Richard said that John was to inherit the throne even though their nephew, Arthur I, Duke of Brittany, had a good claim. Arthur was the son of their late brother Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany who was the middle brother.
- Richard I reigned for only 10 years (6 July 1189 to 6 April 1199). Given the ages of the characters, it would be impossible for the Robin Hood / Prince John feud to span two generations with Richard as rightful king. The plot of Princess of Thieves would have to take place years into John's reign.
- Keira Knightley – Gwyn, the daughter of Robin of Locksley, aka Robin Hood, and Maid Marian
- Stephen Moyer – Prince Philip, illegitimate son of Richard the Lionheart
- Stuart Wilson – Robin of Locksely, a.k.a. Robin Hood
- Del Synnott – Froderick, a young man who has grown up with Gwyn; he is studying to be a churchman
- Malcolm McDowell – Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood's mortal enemy
- Jonathan Hyde – Prince John, Richard the Lionheart's younger brother who attempts to steal the throne of England
- Crispin Letts – Will Scarlett, Robin Hood's loyal friend and companion
- Director – Peter Hewitt
- Executive Producers – Susan B. Landau, Robert Rovner, Jon Cowan, Antony Root
- Art Director – Cristian Niculescu
- Second Unit Director – Mary Soan
- Composer (Music Score) – Rupert Gregson Williams
- Editor – Sue Wyatt
- Producer – Bill Leather
- Production Designer – Chris Roope
- Screenwriter – Robin Lerner
- "'Princess of Thieves' Tries to Fill Robin Hood's Shoes". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Princess of Thieves at the Internet Movie Database
- Princess of Thieves – Robin Hood Spotlight A review of the film and an analysis of historical and legendary background, including a feature on Robin Hood's children