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Legend (1985) Review

Ridley Scott’s Legend is an ambitious and visually stunning fantasy film that unfortunately falls short in its execution. Tom Cruise stars as Jack, a young man who must save a princess (Mia Sara) from the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry). Scott’s film is at its best when it’s reveling in its own gothic atmosphere and style; the production design and costumes are top-notch, and the creature effects are impressive (particularly Curry’s demonic visage). However, the film’s narrative is disjointed and often nonsensical, and its characters are thinly drawn. As a result, Legend is ultimately an unsatisfying experience.

The Lord of Darkness is on a quest to destroy the light and rein in a new era of evil. To this end he must kill the remaining unicorns with the help of his goblin minions. A young fair maiden Lili (Mia Sara) and her love Jack the forest boy (Tom Cruise), must return the world back to it’s original form and put a stop to Darkness’ plan to rule the universe.

Well i recently managed to get a viewing of this old flick in brand spanking new High Definition and i can tell you it looks more brilliant than ever. I first saw Legend when i was a young lad and it’s been many years now since i last saw it, so i had a bit of intrepidation going into viewing it (not all movies age well). Thankfully i can say that the movie itself has aged very well. It’s really a timeless fantasy story with an eternal good vs evil ethic – but it’s executed flawlessly in my opinion.

Being a Ridley Scott flick this is no big surprise. He’s a very visual director and the use of colour is really quite pronounced. A lot of the scenery (which was built on a stage at Pinewood) is breathtaking and the way in which all the ‘action’ is captured is simply superb.

The casting dept did a great job on this one also. All of the actors seem very comfortable in their parts, this is extra specially true of Darkness portrayed by Tim Curry. The dark malevolence is infused with a kind of emotional vulnerability and the way in which Tim performs this is simply brilliant. Tom Cruise is OK as Jack (this was his part immediately before he went big time with Top Gun) i wouldn’t say his performance is brilliant but it is.. Well… OK. Mia Sara is great as Lili the naive and innocent maiden who has a tendency to cause more trouble than anything else.

Even though Legend is a fantasy movie IE: not horror. It is genuinely creepy in parts. Meg Mucklebones and the goblin Blix are freaky characters who were superbly put together by Rob Bottin. It’s a dark story and it’s told in a dark manner and even though there is no gore or massive shocks it could be disturbing for younger viewers.

To conclude, i would rate Legend as one of the finest fantasy/adventure movies ever created and if you can manage to pick up the new bluray edition then you owe it to yourself to get a view of this. Very highly recommended.


In a time of myth and magic, when good and evil collide, the ultimate battle between two opposing forces takes place. The beautiful Princess Lily (Mia Sara) is betrothed to Lord Darkly (Tim Curry), a powerful and evil sorcerer who has plans to enslave the people of her kingdom. When Lily’s true love, Jack (Tom Cruise), a young man with no magical powers, tries to rescue her, he is drawn into a battle that could cost him his life.

As the two men fight for the heart of the princess, the kingdom is plunged into a dark age of pain and suffering. With the help of a wise old wizard (David Bennent), Jack must find the courage to face Darkly in a final showdown and save the princess, the kingdom, and his own life.

Movie Details

Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: William Hjortsberg
Actors: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry
Release Year: 1985