Movie Club: The Adventures Of Robin Hood

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week we're starting something slightly different in that we're going to examine a few different movie takes on a popular legend, namely Robin Hood. We're starting this week with one of the early ones (and one of the first films ever made in colour), the 1938 epic The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    What a great movie.
    I first learned of Robin Hood through the Disney animated film. I can ss now where they got a lot of their inspiration from.
    Eorel Flynn is definitely the definitive Robin Hood.
    This movie was quite well paced and had plenty of action.
    The sword fighting scenes were very enjoyable but I prefer seeing Robin use his bow more like in the archery contest but that's the problem with bows, they are a range weapon and not of great use in close quarters combat.
    Basil Rathbone was also very good as Sir Guy.
    One of my favourite scenes in the movie aside from the archery contest was Robin's stick fight with Little John.
    The filming locations also looked great.
    A bit unrelated but I once visited Robin Hood's Bay in England.
    After watching this movie I understand why people say the remakes have a hard time trying to be as good as Flynn's version.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    This film is over 80 years old and still remains the standard for all other Robin Hood films to aim for. It will never be beaten. Errol Flynn will always be the definitive Robin Hood.

    This is the film that really cemented the version of the story that existed for most of the 20th century and probably a fair bit before then as well, the way the Merry Men were assembled, the way Little John and Friar Tuck were recruited into the band, Will Scarlett being Robin's oldest ally and second-in-command . . . the only named member of the gang not represented in this film is Alan A-Dale. And I guess they got around that by giving Will the lute. As for the bad guys, we have all the main ones, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne. Notably it's Guy in this movie who is the main villain, not the Sheriff, who functions more as the comic relief. That's perhaps the biggest departure from the standard form of the legends. The archery contest is one of the most famous parts of the legend, and this film does it more than justice.

    I first saw this film in about 1992, at which point Patric Knowles (Will Scarlett) was still alive. Now the only one left is Olivia De Havilland, she's just turned 103. She was perfect as Marian, who is more than just a damsel in distress, she's able to hold her own here, and while some of the male characters may display some sexist attitudes, she can give as good as she gets. As for Knowles, he was described as "having everything Flynn had except for that extra zing".

    Perhaps the most interesting note in casting terms is Alan Hale as Little John. He had earlier played the same character in the 1922 silent version (starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr), and would reprise the role again in the 1950 film "Rogues Of Sherwood Forest" (his final role before his death I think), which I think may have been made as a sort of sequel to this one.

    Claude Rains as Prince John and Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy were both great. Rathbone is best remembered for playing Sherlock Holmes, and he certainly had the look for that part, but he does very well here, holding his own against Errol Flynn right up until the end when, let's face it, he doesn't have a chance - if you're playing the villain in a swashbuckler and Errol Flynn is the hero, you know you're not getting out of this alive! Claude Rains also had a number of notable credits in his time, he starred in The Invisible Man, as well as Casablanca (which we have yet to cover here and must get round to at some point!).

    This was one of the first "big budget epics" ever made, it cost $2m which for 1938 was a lot, but it made every penny back double, grossing $4m worldwide at the box office. So it was definitely worth it! The location scenes were gorgeous, as were the sets, the costumes, everything. The only thing that gets an "unplanned laugh" from me is near the end when Robin is fighting with a bent sword. But it's all part of the charm.

    I could happily watch this film once a year for the rest of my life.

    When people say "they don't make 'em like that anymore" - THIS is what they are pining for.

  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Whist writing about the Kevin Costner film I just remembered around the time of the Costner movie I got a pack of several small 2" PVC Robin Hood figures. The were clearly based more on the books and Erol Flynn movie. They were pretty cool little figures.

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