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  Adventures of Robin Hood, The
Year: 1938
Director: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, Alan Hale, Melville Cooper, Ian Hunter, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin, Montagu Love
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 5 votes)
Review: It’s years since I used to watch Errol Flynn movies on the telly, when they were screened on Sunday afternoons in flickering black and white. So it’s a real treat to see this film, also starring Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains, in Glorious Technicolor made even more glorious by the techni-genius of digital transfer to DVD.

It’s quite surprising to see the picturebook-bright colours in fact, but they work brilliantly, giving the film an authentic fairytale look, just as if your favorite story came to life. Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s music is of couse fantastic. The costumes too are wonderful - the men strut their stuff in pantomime boots and tights, Maid Marian floats about Nottingham Castle in a series of slinky 30s evening gowns, and King Richard arrives with his entire head concealed beneath a large bucket.

The script is workaday, and the direction no more than adequate, but the cast does wonders with the story and the jokes, the romance, and the excitement are all there - minus of course the ketchup. When things get bloody, Robin Hood cuts to red wine dripping on the floor or spilling out of a barrel.

Finally, this is a great film for Spot The Influences. Meet the joking swashbuckler, the hero dropping into the saddle from a great height, the last minute rescue from the scaffold, the first screen attack by a star wielding an obviously stuffed animal, etc, etc... So when you are next forced to watch the most recent Zorro, Pirate, Alexander, Troy, Nonsense-Fest... spare a thought for sexy Errol Flynn (Mr Thighs and Cheeky Grin), the star who did it all 70 years ago. With no computer tricks.

Oh and the hosses are good, too.
Reviewer: Samantha David

 

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