Legend (film)

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German title Legend
Original title Legend
Legend Logo.png
Country of production USA ,
original language English
Publishing year 1985
length US version: 89 minutes
European version: 94 minutes
Director’s Cut 113 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Ridley Scott
script William Hjortsberg
production Arnon Milchan
music US / CAN version:
Tangerine Dream
European version:
Jerry Goldsmith
cut Terry Rawlings

Legende is an American fantasy film by British director Ridley Scott from 1985, which was released in German cinemas on November 21, 1985. The film is a co-production by 20th Century Fox , Embassy International Pictures, Legend Production Company Ltd. and Universal City Studios distributed by Universal Pictures in the USA and 20th Century Fox in Europe .


The Lord of Darkness, banished to an existence in the shadows, wants to become the sole ruler of the world. But he can only do this if he kills the last remaining unicorns , who protect the good in the world through their magic power. Only when the horn of the last unicorn breaks will the world be haunted by darkness and cold; then the Lord of Darkness can take control of the world. So he sends his goblin helpers off with the task of destroying the shy white animals that are hiding in the unfathomable, mysterious fairytale forest. To do this, he wants to make use of the innocence that lives in the pure hearts of young people. The goblins soon find such a candidate: the young princess Lily, who often comes to the forest to visit her lover, the ranger Jack.

When Princess Lily violates the laws of the forest, the last male unicorn is killed by the goblins, and Lily and the very last living unicorn are ultimately caught by the evil goblins. This makes it possible for the satanic lord of darkness to transform the world into darkness and horror. But first he wants to make Lily his bride to savor the triumph of doom. But he didn't do the math with Jack, who, with the help of the nature magician Gump, some forest gnomes and an elf, makes his way to the “Great Tree of Darkness” to prevent the last unicorn from being killed. With his friends he soon finds himself in the subterranean realm of the Lord of Darkness. After numerous horrors, the group succeeds in guiding the light of the sun into the castle with the help of polished silver plates and thus overcoming the lord of darkness, who finally falls into the depths of the abyss of space.


Filming took place in Decatur , Georgia , Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath , England , and Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala , Florida , among others . The stage structures in Pinewood Studios (the famous "007 Stage") burned down completely during filming. This forced the completion of the film on partly hastily improvised facilities.

The film was only released in US theaters on April 18, 1986 because of the redesign and turned out to be a financial flop at the US box office. With a budget of $ 25 million, he only brought back $ 16 million. It was not until the beginning of global marketing that it earned its high costs for the time.

Themes and motifs

An important aspect of the film is Lily's temptation and the experience of strong erotic motifs that affect her from the dark side, the prince of darkness. At times she succumbs to the temptation of vanity and takes on a dark, pleasure-oriented form. However, it remains spiritually self-determined, deceives the dark prince and turns against him at the decisive moment. The love of Jack, who proves her in the form of a rediscovered ring, releases her from the self-conscious and impotent situation.

The film is also about the classic struggle of dark and light-filled forces in a fantastic fairy tale world full of creatures such as elves , dwarves , unicorns and demons , which are shown in a high-level visual way typical of Scott.


The reviews for the film have been modest. Christopher Null wrote on filmcritic.com in 2002 that legend “can never really overcome the limitations imposed on him by the film stage as a location [...]; everything looks pretty much like plastic ”. Adolf Heinzlmeier and Berndt Schulz attested the film “shock effects on the border between kitsch and horror cinema”.

The lexicon of international films called the film a "straightforward fantasy story". He exploits "the well-known clichés of the genre", is "not very original and stylish and overly calculated to achieve the greatest possible impact". Nor could he convincingly convey the conjured up “magic of the fairy tale world”. Sometimes the film tends to have "quite drastic shock effects". Cinema stated that Ridley Scott had taken high costs "in order to splendidly adorn his naive once-upon-a-time story". “Young Tom Cruise in his neat fantasy costumes” is also visually impressive. The conclusion was: "Hair-raising story, but well equipped."

Awards (selection)

The film was at the Oscars 1987 in the category Best makeup and best hairstyles for the Oscar nominated. The British Society of Cinematographers honored cinematographer Alex Thomson with the Best Cinematography Award in 1985. The film was also nominated at the 1986 British Academy Film Awards in the categories of Best Costumes , Best Mask and Best Visual Effects .

Edition history

Film versions

The director's original version was shortened by 18 minutes (to 94 min.) Due to poor preview results and the ending is not very plausible. It was not until 2002 that a Director's Cut was released in the USA , which restores the original version (113 min). There are a total of three published versions of the film, of which the Director's Cut published in 2002 is the final reference (currently only in English).

  • Version DC (Director's Cut), 113 minutes: Edited by Terry Rawlings and confirmed by Ridley Scott in 1985 as the final version of his intention. The score is by Jerry Goldsmith.
  • Version EV (European Version), 94 minutes: Edited by Terry Rawlings and Ridley Scott in 1985 in response to the poor response from the preview audience. In this version, an attempt was made to preserve the content of the Director's Cut as much as possible and only achieve a shorter running time. The score for this version is also from Jerry Goldsmith.
  • Version AV (American version), 89 minutes: Edited by Terry Rawlings and Ridley Scott in 1985/86 for the American market. This version shows significant changes in content compared to the European version, namely serious cuts, but also additions. The specifications for the changes were given by the then President of Universal Studios, Sidney Sheinberg . The film music was completely replaced by a different composition to appeal to a young audience. For this, the electronics group Tangerine Dream , which was very successful in the USA at the time , was hired, which among other things recorded the song Loved by the Sun with Jon Anderson from the group Yes in addition to their instrumental music . Another song in the film was contributed by Bryan Ferry .

Editions (first editions)

English editions

  • 1985 (Twentieth Century Fox) Great Britain; Version EV
  • 1986 (Universal Studios) USA; Version AV
  • 2002 (Universal Studios) USA; Version DC (new edition 2008)

German editions

  • 1985 (Twentieth Century Fox); the German edition is based on the EV version


The German dubbed version was created by Berliner Synchron based on the dialogue book and under the dubbing direction of Martin Großmann .

role actor Voice actor
Jack Tom Cruise Nicolas Boell
Princess Lily Mia Sara Bettina Spier
Lord of Darkness Tim Curry Jürgen Kluckert
Honeythorn Gump / Honeythorn Gump David Bennent David Bennent
Blix Alice Playten Renate Danz
Mossball / Screwball Billy Barty Wolfgang Spier
Mushroom Tom / Brown Tom Cork Hubbert Klaus Miedel
Pox Peter O'Farrell Wolfgang Völz
Bix / Blunder Kiran Shah Uwe Paulsen
Oona Annabelle Lanyon Dorette Hugo
Sumpfmarie / Meg Mucklebones Robert Picardo Tilly Lauenstein
Nell Tina Martin Evelyn Meyka
Voice of evil Joachim Kemmer


The theme of the film was from the Danish-American melodic progressive - power metal band Pyramaze in the song Legend of the 2004 version of the album Melancholy Beast added.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for legend . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , December 2011 (PDF; test number: 55 969 V).
  2. See filmcritic.com ( Memento from January 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Adolf Heinzlmeier , Berndt Schulz : Lexicon "Films on TV" . Extended new edition. Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-89136-392-3 , p. 488.
  4. legend. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed September 30, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  5. See cinema.de
  6. legend. In: synchronkartei.de. German synchronous index , accessed on September 30, 2018 .