Friday, December 2, 2011

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Michael Curtiz, 1938 (8.2*)
This version of Robin Hood remains one of the most lively and colorful; it playfully captures the feel of the original legendary myth – after all, it’s a band of merry men cavorting in the woods in tights! These are the people who invented the phrase ‘derring-do’, that pretty well sums it up.

It’s a film of fluff and derring-do, all with gusto and tongue-in-cheek, starring the energetic Errol Flynn as the nobleman turned highway robber with his band of thieves. Olivia de Havilland provides the romance, as a damsel trapped inside the castle with those in control, but whose heart is stirred by this roqueish rascal, who, of course, risks capture just to face Olivia and make with some serious flirtation from a distance, which is all it takes for this bored lady.

Of course, there has to be a reason for all this, so the story is that while King Richard is away fighting in one of the Crusades, the Norman lords, led by Basil Rathbone, are abusing the Saxon masses, so Robin of Loxley stands up for the people by basically becoming a small-time warlord with a tiny guerrilla army hiding in the forests, so he's a medieval Che Guevara fighting the politicians in cahoots with the wealthy capitalists who together are stealing land from the people with inpunity.

For it’s time, this was some of the best technicolor ever put on film, it’s a beautiful palette to behold, one of my favorites (I’m a painter and a photographer, with a degree in Painting and Drawing). They truly 'don't make em like this anymore', though Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy (2003-07) is an attempt to recapture the unbridled, mindless joy of cinematic mayhem in the name of good.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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