Friday, May 30, 2008
It Came From Forgotten Filmography Fridays 11
The Adventures of Robin Hood
(dir. Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938)
Synopsis: “Durr, don’t you worry, never fear, Robin Hood shall soon be here. He robs from the rich and he gives to the poor. Yo ho, we go skipping tra la through Sherwood Forest, helpin’ the needy and the oppressed.”
This is kind of a cop-out. I know Erroll “my wicked, wicked, ways” Flynn played Robin Hood. I know he’s one of the great swashbuckling actors of all time (along with guys like Basil Rathbone [who’s also in this movie] and Douglas Fairbanks.) I know this is going to be good. There’s even the clip of Bugs Bunny meeting him in the cartoons:
(near the end)
But I’ve never seen The Adventures Robin Hood. My familiarity with the Robin Hood story is rooted in:
The Disney Robin Hood cartoon
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Robin Hood Daffy
And, of course:
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
I have to ask you a few questions:
1) Do you like swordfights?
2) Do you like witty banter?
frankly, 3) Do you like good adventure movies?
To play devil’s advocate, you know the plot. This is all very CHC, and the Robin Hood myth is very much part of the common parlance. There’s a lot of intertitles, which comes out of being only a recent addition to the world of sound and color (1938,) the silent film techniques were still in very strong practice. But, still, a lot.
That being said, this film is beautiful lit, shot, and designed.
Also, Robin Hood is a stone. Cold. Badass. When defending a hunter who shot a king’s deer in the first scene, Robin lifts his bow at point blank range and threatens the Sheriff of Nottingham with an arrow to the face. Its hard to properly explain how cool I’ve decided Robin Hood is. Were I five years old, I would feel inclined to run around in green unitards. This movie is a lot of fun. I would try to characterize it as more than just a series of awesome swordfights. It’s actually just a great, fun, movie. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching.
If you want to see one of the best fight scenes in film history (or in my top 10,) this is the classic. Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, swordfighting, spiral staircase, watch it, now: