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The Adventures of Robin Hood
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Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938) (DVD)
Errol Flynn stars in the swashbuckling role that made him a star as thelegendary hero Robin Hood, fighting to rid England of the tyranny ofPrince John while trying to win the love of the beautiful Maid Marian inthe classic The Adventures of Robin Hood.When King Richard the LionHeart (Ian Hunter) leaves to fight in the Crusades, the evil Prince John(Claude Rains) plots with the help of the Sir Guy of Gisbourne (BasilRathbone) to usurp the throne. Now, only Sir Robin of Locksley (Flynn),who earns the title of Robin Hood, stands with a daring band of MerryMen to defend the realm, its people and his King.]]>
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When I heard about the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood, I recalled that there was an early version with Errol Flynn, the swashbuckler of the 1930s and wanted to check it out.
I have yet to see the Crowe version, but from the trailers I could see it was dark -- a freedom fighter who will stop at nothing for the freedom of his people -- we're talking Middle Ages Braveheart here.
Hey, how about accomplishing the same thing, but not be so damn serious about it? We're talking an all-star cast. The casting was just perfect. The Technicolor (this was new technology back in the day) is very good -- the reds are bright red, the greens are deep green, and so on.
And all the stories that we relate to Robin Hood are all here: the archery contest, the staff fight with Little John (played enthusiastically by Alan Hale, the father of the Gilligan's Island captain of the same name). Interestingly, Alan Hale played Little John in the silent film version AND the later 1950s version.
The DVD has all the stories and then some. The effeminate Prince John, played in a smarmy style by Claude Rains. Olivia deHalvilland plays the Maid Marion, who at first hates this interloper, but then recovers when she sees both Normans and Saxons being bled dry by Prince John.
I won't go deep into plot here. In short, a nobleman who was in good graces with King Richard (who went off on the Crusades and left Prince John in charge) is dismayed about what's happening to his countrymen. There is bad blood between the Normans and Saxons and to have a united Britain, Robin of Locksley feels he must intervene.
His lands are captured by the prince. The Sheriff of Nottingham is supposed to be the main antagonist but he is really there for comic relief. Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy, who is just as clever and just as devoted to his purpose as Robin, is excellent as the evil, angry nobleman. He likes his power and is not about to shirk it!
The swordplay is very good. The scene where Guy and Robin are jumping up and down staircases, slashing and parrying, it's just a marvel to behold. The actors were trained on sword fighting, so it was not the cut and wild swinging you will find in the silent film version.
The DVD is a masterpiece and will take hours to complete! Robin through the ages! Classic cartoons. The Robin Hood radio show from 1938. A synopsis of the film process Technicolor as told by Angela Lansberry. Outtakes from the film never shown!
There's just so much. Highly recommended!
OK, now where's that Russell Crowe version? Sigh.
Robin Hood and His Merry Sequels:
Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves (Two-Disc Special Extended Edition)
Robin Hood (Most Wanted Edition)
Robin Hood: Season One
Robin Hood [Blu-ray]
Robin Hood - Men in Tights
Errol Flynn is, for me, the ultimate Robin Hood. Regardless of how many actors have gone before or after him, he stands tall as the greatest actor to ever play this role. He's matched by Basil Rathbone as Guy of Gisbourne. Both play off each other extremely well. And Oliva DeHavilland is still the screen goddess that modern actresses can only aspire to be.
The script is just terrific. Unlike modern action films, the action pieces flow naturally from the plotline, rather than the other way around. And even by today's standards, the swordfights are absolutely jaw-dropping. No CGI. No wirework. And the archery in this film is just incredible.
No doubt about it. This film is a classic - it has stood the test of time, and will probably still be a much loved film 50 years from now. Every lover of great films should have this on his shelf.
Most recent customer reviews
He had a way of making those sword fights look so easy,
quite a joy to watch.