Monday September 6, 2010 00:00

Movie #0031 – The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Posted by Michael

Directed by: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
Starring: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone
Picture credit: Groucho Reviews
First Viewing

Synopsis: Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws fight back against a corrupt king.

This movie is quite possibly one of the most well-regarded action/adventure movies ever, so my expectations for it were fairly high. It didn’t disappoint. While I don’t know if I’d put this on a list of my all-time favourites, it was definitely well made and quite entertaining throughout.

Certainly, the film was leaps and bounds above the fairly anemic Robin Hood, the recent Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend. That film was kind of dull and ponderous; I can definitely see what they were going for, but it just didn’t work, for the most part. However, I can safely say that Robin Hood will never be on the list, so… moving on.

This Robin Hood featured all of the archery, swordplay and rollicking adventure that you’d expect from the character. The action was exciting and well-staged (and further proof that, contrary to what pretty much every contemporary director believes, you don’t need a million cuts a second to have an exciting action scene). Robin Hood himself came off as a bit arrogant (he was pretty smug), but he was always likable thanks to a charismatic performance from Errol Flynn.

There’s definitely a lot to like here, and I think this is the type of film that everyone could enjoy — assuming they can get past the somewhat old-fashioned filmmaking (eg. the aforementioned lack of a million cuts per second during the action). Did I mention how much better this was than the Ridley Scott version?

Buy the movie on Amazon

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