Russell Crowe in 'Robin Hood'Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the English folk legend of Robin Hood. There have been several variations since its medieval origins, but the most popular tells the story of a young nobleman (and skilled archer) whose lands and title are snatched by bad Prince/King John and his cronies. Taking the name Robin Hood, he goes to Sherwood Forest and gathers a band of "merry men" who rebel against the tyrannical powers that be, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, until good King Richard the Lionhearted comes back from the Crusades and sets things straight.

The tale has been given many film treatments over the years and director Ridley Scott has now thrown his feathered cap in the ring with an action-packed epic ('Robin Hood,' out May 14) starring his main muse Russell Crowe, with Cate Blanchett as Lady Marion. Judging from previews -- and the fact that Crowe's playing him -- this Robin is a tougher, more seasoned outlaw than his predecessors and the movie features huge battle scenes on par with previous Scott/Crowe epic 'Gladiator.'

Let's take a look at some previous depictions of the legendary outlaw and see how he's transformed over the years:
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