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Rob Roy

4.4 out of 5 stars 380 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Scottish folk hero fights for clan and honor, hunted by vile aristocrats in the 1700s.

Amazon.com

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

Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz
  • Directors: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Writers: Alan Sharp
  • Producers: Michael Caton-Jones, Larry DeWaay, Peter Broughan, Richard Jackson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 1997
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (380 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 079283366X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,532 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rob Roy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and Rob Roy takes full advantage of this. The scenery is appropriately breathtaking and epic, with the camera making huge sweeps of the landscape. A romantic setting for a very romantic figure.
The truth of Rob Roy, like that of any folk hero, is a matter of speculation and debate. Those looking for an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's book (also fictional) will be disappointed. Scott's book takes place long after the events described in this film with Mary and Rob at the head of an outlaw band. It also stands apart from Braveheart, which takes place about four hundred years earlier, and is an entirely different period of Scottish history.
That being said, Rob Roy is a lovely film with a quiet feel and a personal story. Liam Neeson is perfectly cast as the large, honorable highlander. Tim Roth is every bit his opposite, small and dangerously deceitful. Jessica Lange, Rob's wife Mary, is stoic and strong. All the supporting players give excellent performances, both English and Scottish. The Scottish music is lovely, and the Gaelic song sung at the gathering is captivating.
The duel at the end is one of the best I have seen.
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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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'I could not love thee (Deare) so much,
Lov'd I not Honour more.'

Honor is what this one is all about. When people say 'They don't make movies like that any more', _Rob Roy_ is the kind of movie they have in mind. There are good guys and bad guys; the good guys have honor and the bad guys don't; in the end, honor wins the day, but not without a costly fight.

More concretely: Robert Roy MacGregor, clan leader and cattle herdsman, has borrowed a substantial sum of money from the Marquess of Montrose; Archibald Cunningham, a young acquaintance of the Marquess, has plotted to steal it; the Marquess will take the clan's lands if the debt can't be repaid. The MacGregor is offered a (duplicitous) way out but refuses to compromise his honor.

If that sounds like every Western you've ever seen, that's not a coincidence; director Michael Caton-Jones deliberately approached this film as a Western set in the Scottish Highlands. The story is based on a historical figure who became legendary in eighteenth-century Scotland, but this screen treatment plays very fast and loose with the actual history.

Liam Neeson is imposing and magnificent as the MacGregor, and Jessica Lange is surprisingly effective as his wife Mary (despite some inconsistency of accent). John Hurt and Tim Roth are deliciously malevolent as the pair of effeminate Sassenachs who have it in for our Rob; a more lethal pair of fops has never been seen on the silver screen. The protean Brian Cox appears as the cowardly and treacherous Killearn. And music fans, watch for Karen Matheson, who makes a brief cameo as a singer. (Capercaillie performed much of the soundtrack; that beautiful voice you hear is Matheson's. And by the way, Carter Burwell's soaring score is as gorgeous as the Scottish scenery.
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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 throughout 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, and an abundance of sword play and other action. "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, Robert Taylor ("Ivanhoe," 1952) - and, for that matter, Richard Todd, who portrayed Robert Roy McGregor in the 1953 movie version of this story, after having played the lead in Disney's version of "Robin Hood" a year earlier. 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.
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