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Rob Roy Movie Review

roth tim awards cunningham

1995 – Michael Caton–Jones –

Revenge is a powerful motivator in this classic tale of good versus evil. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1700s, this is a story about a common man in uncommon circumstances. Due to treachery and murder, McGregor (Liam Neeson) finds that all he once counted as his is now gone except for his family, who have been violated and burned out of their home.

McGregor sets out to restore his good name and right the wrongs done him by Archibald Cunningham, portrayed in an evil but believable way by Tim Roth. In the process, he sees his family lose their home and land, and he hides them high up in the mountains. McGregor then loses a brother, gains a wife pregnant with Cunningham's child (by rape, of course), gets caught, beaten, dragged behind horses, and nearly hanged. Still, he overcomes the odds, and gets the final opportunity to carry out his revenge.

The use of firearms in the movie probably restricts the violence to some relatively bloodless gunplay rather than the shots of heads and arms being liberally lopped off that often occur in period films. Crudeness is not absent, however. The sound of urination competes with that of flatulence, and the rawness of the historical period is suggested by the many crude references to women, sex, and various body parts.

John Hurt does a capable job as Lord Montrose, the snide benefactor of Cunningham. In fact, it is Montrose's desire to harm another nobleman that initially gets McGregor into trouble. Jessica Lange plays the part of Rob Roy's wife with much passion; her versatility and depth capture both her character's devotion to her husband and her spirit of independence. Thanks to Lange's fine work, Mary carries the film in a few places. The Celtic music and breathtaking cinematography are also used quite effectively in creating the period flavor and epic scope of the film.

Cast: Liam Neeson (Rob Roy), Jessica Lange (Mary), John Hurt (Marquis of Montrose), Tim Roth (Cunningham), Eric Stoltz (Alan McDonald), Andrew Keir (Duke of Argyll), Brian Cox (Killearn), Brian McCardie (Alasdair), Gilbert Martin (Guthrie), Vicki Masson (Betty), Gilly Gilchrist (Iain), Jason Flemyng (Gregor), Ewan Stewart (Coll), David Hayman (Sibbald), Brian McArthur (Ranald), David Brooks Palmer (Duncan), Myra McFadyen (Tinker Woman), Karen Matheson (Ceilidh Singer), Shirley Henderson (Morag), John Murtagh (Referee), Bill Gardiner (Tavern Lad), Valentine Nwanze (Servant Boy), Richard Bonehill (Guthrie's Opponent) Screenwriter: Alan Sharp Cinematographer: Karl Walter Lindenlaub, Roger Deakins (uncredited) Composer: Carter Burwell Producer: Peter Broughan and Richard Jackson for Talisman Productions; released by United Artists MPAA Rating: R Running Time: 139 minutes Format: VHS Awards: Academy Awards, 1995: Nominations: Supporting Actor (Tim Roth); British Academy Awards, 1995: Supporting Actor (Tim Roth); Golden Globe Awards, 1996: Nominations: Supporting Actor (Tim Roth) Budget: $28M Box Office: $31.5M.

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