EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE (directors: Michael Curtiz/William Keighley; screenwriters: Norman Reilly Raine/Seton I. Miller; cinematographers: Tony Gaudio/Sol Polito; editor: Ralph Dawson; music: Erich Wolfgang Korngold; cast: Errol Flynn (Robin Hood), Olivia de Havilland (Maid Marian), Basil Rathbone (Sir Guy of Gisbourne), Claude Rains (Prince John), Alan Hale (Little John), Patric Knowles (Will Scarlett), Eugene Pallette (Friar Tuck), Ian Hunter (King Richard), Melville Cooper (Sheriff of Nottingham), Una O'Connor (Bess), Herbert Mundin (Much); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal B. Wallis; Warner Home Entertainment; 1938)|
|"One of the best
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Codirectors Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca") and
Keighley ("The Fighting 69th") direct one of the best
ever. The original director, Keighley, was
replaced by Curtiz
because he was taking too long to finish the
problems. The screenplay is by Norman
Raine and Seton I. Miller, based on the Robin Hood
legend that's set in 12th-century
England. Errol Flynn is at the top
of his game,
dashing, handsome and athletic, as this might be his
best role ever. Eric Wolfgang Korngold' score is rousing
and memorable. The color photography is lush and easy
on the eyes. It
follows the silent 1922 version that
starred Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and uses different
action scenes to
avoid a law suit over copyrights owned by Fairbanks.
Hunter), who left
England to fight in the Crusades, returns to Europe,
he's taken captive
and held for ransom in Austria. Which prompts his evil
Norman Prince John (Claude Rains), to unlawfully
seize control of the kingdom. The unscrupulous John
pretends to collect
high taxes from the Saxons for his brother, but
instead plans on using
it to build an army to retain the throne for himself.
His enforcers are Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil
Rathbone) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Melville
Cooper), who begin a reign of terror on the Saxons
that sees them
tortured, killed, oppressed and their homes destroyed.
Sir Robin of Locksley
protects the poor
Saxons and in turn becomes a wanted outlaw, who goes
by the name of
Robin Hood. Together with his Merry Pranksters of
Robin leads the revolt against Prince John and is
helped by commoners
Knowles), Little John (Alan
Hale) and Friar Tuck (Eugene
Robin also woos the Norman beauty Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland),
who sees for
herself that he sincerely cares about justice and
falls in love with
the outlaw. Marian aids Robin when he's captured in a
trap set by
Prince John at an archery contest, as she tells
Robin's men where he's
imprisoned so they can free him from the gallows.
King Richard is released when the ransom is paid by Robin's men and asks Robin to help him unseat his evil brother from the throne. It leads to the climactic attack by Robin's men at the sneering John's coronation, as the attackers appear from under monks' robes to surprise John's knights. It ends with a spectacular sword fight between Gisbourne and Robin, and the restoration of Richard to his rightful throne. John is banished and Robin and Marian have Richard's permission to marry.
Makes for a great escapist Saturday matinee feature, which was the popular time slot back in the day for such an adventure story.
REVIEWED ON 7/27/2010 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ