Taglines: There may never be another dawn.
“Once, long ago”, the ancient Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) laments his isolation in the shadows before sensing the presence of two unicorns who safeguard the Power of Light; whereupon Darkness instructs Blix (Alice Playten) and his fellow goblins Pox (Peter O’Farrell) and Blunder (Kiran Shah) to kill the unicorns and bring him their horns to free himself.
Meanwhile, Princess Lily (Mia Sara), a mischievous and vibrant girl goes alone to the forest to meet her love interest Jack (Tom Cruise), an adventurous forest dweller who teaches her the languages of animals before showing her the unicorns as he promised he would someday do. Against Jack’s pleas, Lily approaches the stallion to stroke him, making him distracted and the perfect target for a poisoned dart from Blix’s blowpipe. Once hit, the unicorns bolt, and Lily makes light of Jack’s fears and sets him a challenge by throwing her ring into a pond, declaring that she will marry whoever finds it.
Jack, proving his love to Lily, dives into the pond to retrieve it. As the stallion dies from the poison and the goblins seize his horn, the forest and the pond freeze, setting the mortal realm into an apocalyptic winter. Lily runs off in terror before Jack can break the surface of the frozen pond. Taking refuge in a frozen cottage, Lily overhears the goblins talking about their slaying of the unicorn and testing the alicorn’s magical powers. She follows them to a rendevouz with Darkness, who orders them to hunt down the mare. In a fit of overconfidence, Blunder challenges Darkness with the stallion’s horn in hand, but is instead restrained and taken away.
In the forest, Jack encounters the elf Honeythorn Gump (David Bennent, voiced by Alice Playten). Joined by Gump, the fairy Oona (Annabelle Lanyon), and the dwarves Brown Tom and Screwball (Cork Hubbert and Billy Barty), Jack searches for Lily before coming across the lifeless stallion and his mate. Knowing that the horn must be recovered and returned to the stallion, Jack is led by Gump and the others to a cache of ancient weapons while Brown Tom guards the mare.
Lily, attempting to make amends for her role in the stallion’s death, is captured alongside the mare after Brown Tom is knocked out. Learning what has transpired, Jack and his group enter the ancient temple in the marshes where Darkness resides. Though Jack deals with the swamp hag Meg Mucklebones (Robert Picardo), he and his group fall into a pit trap that takes them to dungeon. There they encounter Blunder, revealed to be a disguised elf, before he is dragged off by the ogre chefs to be cooked into a pie. Oona saves Jack and the others, and they resume searching for Lily and the mare.
Having fallen in love with Lily, Darkness tempts her; and Lily agrees to wed him on the condition that she kills the mare in the upcoming ritual. Overhearing their conversation, Jack and Gump learn that Darkness can be destroyed by daylight. While saving Blunder, the group take giant metal platters to reflect the sunlight to the chamber where the mare is to be sacrificed. As the ritual begins, Lily frees the unicorn, but is knocked out by Darkness.
Legend is a 1985 American dark fantasy adventure film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, and Annabelle Lanyon. It is a dark fairy tale and has been described as a return to more original, sometimes disturbing, fables, from the oral tradition of ancient times before reading and writing were widespread.
Although not a commercial success when first released, it won the British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography in 1985 for cinematographer Alex Thomson, as well as being nominated for multiple awards: Academy Award for Best Makeup; Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award for Best Makeup; BAFTA Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup Artist, Best Special Visual Effects; DVD Exclusive Awards; and Young Artist Awards. Since its premiere and the subsequent release of the Director’s Cut edition, the film has become a cult classic, with many critics agreeing the Director’s Cut is far superior to the U.S. Theatrical Version.
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
Screenplay by: William Hjortsberg
Production Design by: Assheton Gorton
Cinematography by: Alex Thomson
Film Editing by: Terry Rawlings
Costume Design by: Charles Knode
Set Decoration by: Ann Mollo
Art Direction by: Leslie Dilley, Norman Dorme, Cliff Robinson
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith, Tangerine Dream, Eric Allaman
Distributed by: Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 13, 1985 (UK), April 18, 1986 (US)