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Legend is a 1985 film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, and Tim Curry's massive pair of horns. It is part of The Eighties fantasy boom in film, sharing many of the same elements as its contemporaries.
The Lord of Darkness plots to cover the world in eternal night. He sends his servant, the goblin Blix, to kill the light-bringing unicorns and take their horns. The unicorns only appear before the pure of heart, so a lure must be used. Enter Jack and Princess Lily, pure denizens of the forest. When the stallion is killed, Jack and Lily are separated as snowstorms envelop the world. She and the mare are captured by the forces of Darkness, and he must band together with the woodland fairies to rescue her.
Believed to have been an influence on The Legend of Zelda, which was released the following year.
This work contains examples of:
- All Just a Dream: At least, Lily thinks so when she wakes up at the end of the Directors Cut, and Jack doesn't confirm or deny it. She doesn't get to see Jack waving goodbye to the elves and unicorns after she's left. The theatrical edition changes the ending completely, and she sees them together with Jack.
- As Long as There Is Evil: "Big D" tries to invoke this, presumably to convince Jack not to kill him.
- Absolute Cleavage: Lily's "Bride of Darkness" outfit.
- Annoying Arrows: Darkness takes a few from Gump and Jack and he doesn't even slow down.
- Big Ol' Unibrow
- Big Red Devil: Darkness, aka Tim Curry.
- Character Tic: Jack crouching on his heels, which emphasizes his wildness.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Gump is voiced by the actress who plays Blix.
- And Meg Mucklebones is voiced by Robert Picardo.
- Cutlass Between the Teeth: (?) Jack swings on a rope across a cavern to attack the Lord of Darkness. Who ducks.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Darkness is advised to "woo" Lily.
- Dancing Pants: The dark dress.
- Dawson Casting: David Bennent was about 18 when he played the boy-elf Gump.
- Distracted by the Luxury: Whilst running around Darkness's lair in a complete panic, Lily is briefly lulled into calm by the sight of a giant diamond necklace.
- Distressed Damsel: Lily.
- Engagement Challenge
- Evil Costume Switch / Evil Makeover: Lily in the Bride of Darkness outfit, black lipstick and stylized tear stains included.
- Evil Is Hammy: The big red devil himself.
- Evil Laugh: Both Darkness and Meg Mucklebones.
- Evil Overlord: Darkness.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Exact Eavesdropping
- Exploring the Evil Lair
- Exposition of Immortality: Darkness, during the ending fight with Jack, boasts about how he's been here since the beginning, because there's no Light without Darkness.
- The Fair Folk
- Fairy Companion: Oona.
- Friend to All Living Things: Jack.
- Gluttonous Pig: The pig-like goblin Pox wants to use the unicorn's magical horn to "turn everything into garbage, a great towering mountain of slop" for him to eat.
- Hidden Depths: Lily. And yes, they are hidden pretty deep.
- Hollywood Torches: Both the goblins and Jack have one at some point.
- Horn Attack: Subverted when Darkness charges Jack with his horns foremost as though he's planning on piercing him with them, but ends up with the horns touching a wall with Jack trapped between them.
- Horned Humanoid: Guess who.
- If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him
- I'm Not Hungry
- Large Ham:
- Large Deviled Ham: the Lord of Darkness.
- Small Elven-Ham: Gump. "Do you think you can upset the order of the universe, and not pay the PRICE?!?
- In the Directors Cut Gump throws a massive hissy fit after Jack solves his riddle.
- Last of His Kind: the female unicorn, for a little while.
- Larynx Dissonance: Gump's voice is notably more restrained than his acting. See Large Ham.
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle
- Meaningful Echo: "I trust you, Lily."
- Milking the Giant Cow: Gump.
- Mook Face Turn: Blunder (who was a disguised elf all along, anyway)
- Must Make Amends: Lily touches one of the unicorns, making it vulnerable to attack and leading to its death. She tracks down the other unicorn and finds Brown Tom guarding it.
Brown Tom: You! You're the cause of all our sorrow.
Lily: I'm -- I'm so sorry. I didn't know. Please, please forgive me.
Brown Tom: I'm not the one you should be askin'.
Lily: Try and understand. I'm only trying to make things right. Darkness has sent the goblins back for the mare. It's not safe to stay here. You'll have to hurry! Leave now! Go!
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Lily realizes her actions have caused a unicorn to die. It gets better.
- Nature Hero/Wild Child: Jack. He's not given a lot of context.
- Neck Lift: Done by Darkness to Jack, but by grabbing his face.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Jack.
- Pig Man: Pox. One is also seen in the dungeons.
- Princess Classic
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Blix, Blunder and Pox.
- Re Cut: The American version released in 1986 was about 25 minutes shorter than the U.K. cut. Many scenes and shots were dropped, reordered, and added; in addition it had an entirely new music score by Tangerine Dream (plus two pop songs) substituting for Jerry Goldsmith's original score. The original cut became legally available in the U.S. with the 2002 DVD release. Details are here. According to Scott's introductory note on the Blu-Ray edition, it was believed lost until an answer print was found in 2000.
- Redubbing: In English, the voice of Gump was done by the same actress who played Blix; in German, he voiced both.
- In fact, all of the forest scenes had to be dubbed over in post-production because the noise on the set was so loud, according to Mia Sara on the Ultimate Edition DVD.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Blix. It seems that all of the goblins' dialogue (and possibly Darkness's) was originally intended to be in rhyme, but this was toned down in the finished movie.
- Riddle Me This: "What is a bell that never rings, yet its knell makes the angels sing?" The answer is silver bells, the flower.
- Rump Roast: Blix uses the unicorn horn to set one of the other goblin's butt on fire.
- Shapeshifting Seducer
- Table Space
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In this case a unicorn horn, but the same principle.
- The Time of Myths
- True Love's Kiss: Jack does this to wake Lily.
- Ultimate Evil: The disembodied voice that helps Darkness seduce Lily, presumably the being he calls Father.
- Virginity Makes You Stupid
- Weakened by the Light: "The sunshine is my destroyer!"
- What Could Have Been: Scott's film originally ran much longer and had a number of scenes deleted from it, at least two of which were not included in the director's cut.
- The first involved an alternate opening sequence wherein the goblins encounter the unicorns, represented as light beams, and report back to Darkness. For the most part, this sequence is uninteresting but for two elements: one, features four goblins (the fourth, Tic, comes to a bad end), and two, it explains why Blunder has a chicken foot for a left hand (Darkness changed it when Blunder spoke out of turn).
- The second is an extended version of the scene by Jack's fire wherein Gump is even less' forgiving of Jack than in the director's cut, using his violin to magically force Jack to dance before making him answer the riddle. This explains Jack's sudden sweatiness and seeming exhaustion between shots in the finished version, and why Gump refers to him as "riddle-solver, dancing fool and faerie-friend". On the Blu-Ray the scene is represented by stills and storyboards over the surviving soundtrack. A couple of behind the scenes shots are also seen in the accompanying Making Of documentary.
- There are also elements from the original script which Scott never even attempted, such as Lily's encounter with a "house brownie" (like the ones in Willow), Lily transforming into a humanoid cat creature, Darkness growing huge bat wings during his battle with Jack, and a final revelation that Jack is actually immortal.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Nell and her family. Last seen flash-frozen in their house, they're completely forgotten about at the end of the story (even in the script!). Also, Blix and Pox just disappear about halfway through the movie, despite having had an important role until then.
- Woman Scorned: Oona.