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Legend – Creating the Myth

The Making of Legend (1985)

Legend is truly not only a beautiful movie, but a forgotten one. Taking three years to make, Legend hit cinemas in 1985, and was hated by the screening audiences. Hastily sent back to the editing suite, thirty minutes of the movie were cut, and the released version was hated further. Legend was a true financial disaster for its director, Ridley Scott.

Upon release in the UK Legend was accused by one movie critic as being an overly long Andrex commercial, a brand of toilet roll that at the time went through a series of fantastic looking epics adverts.

A year after the movie was released and director Scott began re-cutting the movie again into a Directors cut, which was first seen across the globe on BBC2 on Boxing Day 1989. Unable to get hold of the original soundtrack masters, Scott contacted pop/prog rock outfit Tangerine Dream to provide its soundtrack. The Director’s cut was universally loved, and the tides began to turn on the popularity of the movie.

Legend is a fairy story, very much aimed at the adult audience. Stars Mia Sara and Tom Cruise, gave the movie the much needed sex appeal, portraying young lovers who frolic in the fields without a care in the world, that is until Lilly (Mia Sara) sees a unicorn, and decides to touch it, transporting the world into an eternal darkness.

Darkness literally fell, and the character of Darkness (Tim Curry) was a version of the Devil. What followed was a tale of good over evil, and what lies on the other side of the mirror.

This is one of those movies that has been thought about to much, but in a good way. It is an absolutely beautiful looking movie, filmed entirely on sets, with no outdoor locations at all.

Considering it was an afterthought, the real pulse of the movie comes from Tangerine Dream, in particular the song Loved By The Sun, performed with Jon Anderson and Tangerine Dream has become a key take away factor from the movie.

Mixing a beautiful love story, stunning photography by Alex Thompson, and a killer soundtrack on the Directors cut version, Legend is an all-round winner.