Monday, May 17, 2010

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Staring: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains
Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" is about the famous noble-turned heroic outlaw who fights for those who cannot defend themselves. He does battle with the traitorous Prince John (Claude Rains) and his right hand man Sir Guy (Basil Rathbone), courts the lovely Maid Marian (future "Gone With the Wind" actress Olivia de Havilland, who as of this writing is still alive at the age of 93), and saves the livelihoods of his fellow Saxons with the help of his many allies, which include the likes of Will Scarlet (Patric Knowles) and Little John (Alan Hale, Sr.).

 

This film is, simply put, a classic. It tells a straight-to-the-point yet eternally engaging story of the legendary figure. Errol Flynn does a fantastic job playing the title character that portrays him as an adventurer who is quick on his feet both feet both physically and intellectually. He brings forth the perfect example of a hero who, as mentioned in the summary, fights the bad guys, wins the lady, and saves the day, and he is aided by a very impressive supporting cast. The other star of this movie is the scenery; the costumes are so colorful and full of life you cannot help but admire them. Not surprisingly, given the fact that this film was made in 1938, there are a number of aspects that are a bit cheesy and silly by today's standards, both in terms of dialogue and action. However, the famous climatic battle between Robin Hood and Sir Guy is still fun to watch because of the amount of energy and effort that the actors put into the scene, which is also brilliantly choreographed. Overall, it is an enjoyable film to see and I recommend it.