TBT: Rob Roy (1995)


Rob Roy had the misfortune of premiering the same year as a certain other film about a Scottish folk hero who rose up against the English. While Braveheart (1995) made a shitton of money, won five Oscars, and piled on the historical inaccuracies left and right, Rob Roy was basically ignored. While this story has its own inaccuracies, the costumes are pretty damn good because they were designed by the one and only Sandy Powell. Also, we get the baddies Tim Roth as Archibald Cunningham and John Hurt as James Graham, 4th Marquess of Montrose, wearing faaaaaaabulous early 18th-century suits and full-bottomed wigs, so that alone is worth throwing back on this Thursday for!


Rob Roy (1995)

He’s such a villain, but you can’t deny the appeal, right?

Rob Roy (1995)
Rob Roy (1995)

Everybody’s lookin’ good.

Rob Roy (1995)

So poncy!

Rob Roy (1995)

So fabulously dressed!

Rob Roy (1995)

The Marquess is having his portrait painted, so he’s wearing formal court garb of about 50-75 years earlier.

Rob Roy (1995)


Rob Roy (1995)

Damn scots can’t handle the high fashion. Pshaw.

Rob Roy (1995)

I wish I could get a better pic of this pink suit, because it is my everything.

Rob Roy (1995)

Thank you, internets, for this, tho’.

Rob Roy (1995)

OK, sure, we have the historically accurate but icky black boy servant as seen in a jillion 18th-c. portraits. Also, that suit.

Rob Roy (1995)

Which went on sale in one of the Profiles of History catalogs, where we can see all the details.

Rob Roy (1995)

Likewise, Cunningham’s fine waistcoat.

Rob Roy (1995)

Turned up in another catalog, & oh my, is it a lovely creation.

Rob Roy (1995)

Tim Roth blue waistcoat


Do you remember the pretty boy’s costumes of Rob Roy?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

26 Responses

  1. Liza Jane

    I luuuurved this movie but have always had a question about the creamy linens. Linen has been renowned for literally centuries (if not millennia) for its ability to bleach blindingly white, and in fact this was a measure of a good housewife’s performance in many times and places. So why … with all the money they clearly had to spend on poncy clothes … did the aristos not trouble with this?

  2. Ms. M.

    Story time! I first saw this movie while I was taking a class in grad school on “Gender & Material Culture in 18th Century Britain.” We had just discussed the role of wigs in masculinity and class, and specifically discussed a cartoon of drunken rich men whose wigs were askew/falling off and the significance (basically, iirc, wig = civilized, educated, and Proper Manhood. Lack of wig is a lack of decorum). So in the final duel, when Roth throws off his wig? It was symbolic of “I’m abandoning culture and decorum”

    I have no idea if it was intentional but I got very excited and confused all my friends.

  3. Susan Pola Staples

    Roth had some of the best costumes in the film. Of course, it was class specific – note, he never outdressed the Marquis and although poncy looking seemed only relate to women as ‘what their rape quotient was’. Servants and Scottish women okay, English noblewomen. Nope. His rape of Rob Roy’s wife proved costly.
    Stupid English twit.
    Remember, this was., I believe, shortly after the Old Pretender failed to reclaim his throne. (Son of Catholic James II, raised at French court, etc.)

  4. Peter MacDonald

    I did the tartan and Highland costume advice for the film – some of which was ignored in favour of what the director wanted :-( . Such is life.

    I also hand-wove two pieces for the film, one of which was naturally dyed. After the filming it was sold off. I wish I’d known and I’d have bought it back. No idea where it went.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      1) I wrote & scheduled this 2 weeks ago (bec. I wanted to have this done before Snark Week; that’s how I work).

      2) Did I mention Liam Neeson even once in this? No, I did not, so what’s your problem?

      3) More importantly, we don’t keep up w/daily news & censor our content accordingly, we’re not that kind of blog. We have our standards but we’re also primarily looking at costumes here. You can easily look thru our POV articles for what we think about ppl making movies & suchlike bec. it’s not as easy as “never talk about person X bec. they’re bad.”

    • Jeff Faulk

      I imagine the post was written and scheduled before the current controversy. Note that they don’t actually have Neeson in the post other than the one photo and perhaps a mention or two, it’s all about Roth and Hurt.

  5. Janet

    One of my favorite Scottish stories. Just bought this on DVD a few weeks ago. As my recorded video is of such poor quality after so many years viewing it again and again.

    • paintedjaguar

      Loved this movie. Lovely visuals too but sadly the DVD transfer was blurry crap. Recommend Bluray or media file instead. It’s available now and looks much better than the DVD.

  6. Alys Mackyntoich

    One of the best sword fights in modern movies too (being the final fight between Rob and Tim Roth). Sword fights and pretty clothes — that’s a movie!

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Yes, excellent swordplay, costuming, production values in general. Tim Roth is villainous perfection. I just wish Ms. Roy wasn’t stuck with that inevitable “Rob Roy MacGregor!!!” line foisted on exasperated wummenfolk throughout film history.

  7. Lee Jones

    I never really warmed up to this movie, especially in regard to what happened to Jessica Lange’s character. A part of me wondered if the story had to go that far.

    Great sword fight in the end.

  8. Lee Jones

    I imagine the post was written and scheduled before the current controversy. Note that they don’t actually have Neeson in the post other than the one photo and perhaps a mention or two, it’s all about Roth and Hurt.

    Is that because they had the best costumes?

    • Trystan L. Bass

      All about the costumes here – it’s not a great movie (better than Braveheart, that being a low bar), but Sandy Powell did some nice work esp. on the upper-class costumes of the bad guys.

  9. GinaP

    I just recently watch End of the Affair and just loved Julianne Moore’s costumes. I rewatch the beginning credits and of course! Sandy Powell!

    • saffireblu

      I’ve only ever seen the trailer for that, but I was entranced by two lines: ‘She has secrets’ ‘Ah, secrets…’
      & the show stopper: ‘You think love ends- just because we don’t see each other?’