Legend (1985) – Tamara’s Never Seen

Tamara and Doug check out Ridley Scott’s 1985 dark fantasy adventure film, Legend.

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  1. As soon as I saw this title I immediately thought “well which version.” My heart sank when I heard you were going with the original theatrical cut. Since apparently even Tom Cruise has expressed displease with the American release and wouldn’t talk about it for years. He has since encouraged fans to seek out the directors cut.

    Oh speaking of The Dark Crystal, there a misconception from that TNS video I meant to correct. While it’s true that the movie got a mixed response from critics and test audiences, it was NOT a box-office bomb. According to Box Office Mojo, it was the third highest grossing film for Universal that year. Even doing better than the original Conan the Barbarian! Except the number one movie that year (also for Universal) was E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Which despite being released in June was still in the top ten at Dark Crystal’s release in December! In seemed like a flop by comparison.

  2. While yet to see Legend in any version, I do find it funny that it’s plot (Satanic type villain tries to capture magic horses in order to bring about everlasting darkness) is basically the same as the first My Little Pony TV special that came out the previous year!

    • And this same if we compere it on surface level with The Last Unicorn from few years prior. The thing is that outside that those are completely different stories.

      Legend has most simplistic plot with hollywoodcorn horn being a MacGuffin.

      The Last Unicorn has in fact quite complex story for 80’s animation with Unicorn being the protagonist and quite complex character (what is one of most original portrays of those even today), even if it is quite weird overall.

      Rescue from Midnight castle was made by Marvel, and in fact important plot-point of the story is that they allied with arch-demon and his pink dragon servant to defeat his lord, what they did hijacking power of darkness. It is so original plot twist (outside maybe anime) that it is even a base for current series if someone wounder why adult people like it.

      And speaking about anime there is also older series called Unico what despite having quality issues have one of most sad stories (in general) I ever did see in my whole life. Though in this case it was jealous god who cursed creature better then him, so it doesn’t exactly count though.

  3. lilith_ascennding

    Yeah, I feel the exact same way about this movie. Visually, it’s freaking gorgeous and Tim Curry is wonderful as always as Satan. The practical makeup is incredibly well done, too. That being said, the story is SO BORING and just drags on. I’m pretty sure the version I rented was one of the director’s cuts because I think it was 2 or 3 hours long and if it wasn’t, it certainly felt that length. Kind of a shame, really 🙁

  4. AmbrosiusAurelianus

    Glad you saw it. I found more positives in the film than you guys did, but I can’t deny that it’s boring, poorly written, and off-kilter in a way that just doesn’t gel into a cohesive whole. However, I did really like Honeythorn Gump — while poorly dressed and with a strange voice, he’s a fairly accurate portrayal of the Fair Folk; that is, the fairies of mythology who are often just as capricious and dangerous as they can be helpful. The actor’s performance was superb — he felt genuinely other than human, not just some guy with fake ears and too much glitter (though there probably is too much glitter in the movie).

    One of the biggest weaknesses, though, is related to the fact that our protagonists have virtually no character or life to them. It’s that the whole side of Good has almost nothing going for it, compared to the way the movie portrays Darkness with such a powerful presence and motivation. The side of Good needed to have a personality, presence and motivation at least as strong, so that we could see actual conflict between them. As it stands, the whole movie ends up feeling lifeless and depressing.

    One last positive — I like Tangerine Dream’s score. It’s otherworldly, mythical-souding, and trance-inducing — absolutely perfect for this sort of film (or for the better version of this film which exists somewhere in my hopeful imagination). You guys didn’t mention it in the video — what did you think of the music?

    • Though to be honest it is way easier to write good evil character giving him simply a motif outside being evil for sake of evil. But it is quite hard to write good people with stron moral cord, either forced to do stuff they normally wouldn’t do or being righteous despite all shit without being self-rights. Shamefully most bad writers end with pretentious serial killers who are good because they are on side of good, or mumbling idiots who simply are ignoramus to what going one.

      As I like Ridley Scott the philosophical debates aren’t his thing, what is clearly proved by how dumb Prometheus is. His best works are those who are simple on narrative level excluding Blade Runner what was a adaptation of Philip K. Dick famous book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” what as this topic is already mentioned was referenced by one of episode titles in MLP:FiM

  5. This is one of those crowning gems of the last era of practical effects films that started with mainstream hit makers like Lucas, Spielberg, James Cameron, and Ridley Scott, and included cult visionaries like Michael Palin, Tim Burton, and Sam Raimi as the new class of directors coming into the Hollywood spotlight in the late 70s through the early 90s before computer technology started changing how special effects were done.

    Okay, it’s more of a crowning gem of special effects than a crowing achievement in cinema…

    Still, there is an elegance here that’s been rarely replicated in the digital age.

  6. Best devil ever in a movie, save for maybe Chernabog in Night on Bald Mountain.

    • Really? Yes, it look cool but it is just generic scarecrow. There is many more greatly written devils like one from The Ninth Gate. Even one from The Adventures of Mark Twain is way more interesting.

      • I suppose more from a visual standpoint, I consider him the best. There are many great depictions of the devil that stray from the typical demonic visage. The Ninth Gate, as you mention, is a great, very creepy film. The Exorcist, and The Devil’s Advocate also come to mind.

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