Cast and Crew: Michael Caton-Jones (Director); Alan Sharp (Writer); Andrew Keir, Jessica Lange, Eric Stoltz, Jason Flemyng, Shirley Henderson
What It’s About: Clan leader and cattle man Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) borrows money from Montrose (John Hurt) to buy cattle to drive and sell it in the South. When Montrose’s unctuous assistant Killearn (Brian Cox) conspires with Montrose’s top swordsman and hanger-on Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth) to steal the money, Roy finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for, and wages a private war with Montrose.
Why Watch it Today?: Today is Burns Day, the birthday of Scotland’s favorite son, poet Robert Burns, born today in 1759. While many celebrate Burns Day with a Burns Supper and reading of his poetry, here at the League we believe in celebrating everything with a movie. Rob Roy was a historical figure, a folk hero and outlaw in early 18th century Scotland, much celebrated even in his own day. 1995’s Rob Roy is the most recent film version of his story, and, what it lacks in historical accuracy, it makes up in a great cast giving great performances, beautiful Scottish locations, sumptuous costumes, and an excellent sword fight between Neeson and Roth.
Where to Get It: Libraries, Netflix (Renal only), iTunes, or Amazon.com
This one seems a bit of a stretch. Maybe if it was Walter Scott’s birthday…
So….what would your Burns choice be then? I decided to go with a Scottish film, since Burns Day is as much a celebration of Scotland as it is of Burns….and I’m not aware of any films based on Burns works. Other choices I considered were Trainspotting (seemed pretty negative about Scotland) and Braveheart (but then I’d have to watch it), and the Baroness is a big fan of Roy and I’d never seen it.
Why does it need to be Burns Day? Wikipedia tells me that the Battle of the Bulge was also on 1/25 (Patton?) and my brother pointed out that, because of the State of the Union, you could’ve done a bunch of great Presidential movies.
Speaking of my brother, he’s reading this calendar using the tags, but this post wasn’t tagged as movie of the day, so he missed it until I sent it to him when he asked what happened.
For one thing? I think Burns Day is pretty cool. For another, Roy was an actual person, a folk hero, Walter Scott didn’t invent him. I decided to only use movies I’ve seen, for the Battle of the Bulge that leaves A Midnight Clear or Battleground, neither of which I’d rate any higher than Roy, and possibly lower. I am using the one Bulge film I’ve seen and like for the day the battle started in December. I actually can’t think of a single Presidential movie I like enough to use, but these could be good ideas if I try to do this next year. Doing 365 of these is not as easy as it might sound, and I doubt this will be the last day you’ll disagree with my choice; it would be a lot easier to do something like this with a staff, I’d imagine, or if this was my actual job instead of an odd hobby. I’ll try to make sure I don’t miss any more movie of the day tags, thanks for pointing that out. Your brother could always follow the whole blog if he wants to make sure he doesn’t miss anything; I don’t post that many reviews. Anyhow, thanks for the feedback, alternate suggestions are always welcome.
Indeed. Great flick, leaving the history aside, as all non-documentaries do.
It was pretty interesting to read all the changes they made, actually.