Thursday, January 26, 2017

Movie #388: The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood is the jaunty, swashbuckly, Robin Hood movie starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, Alan Hale, Melville Cooper, and Ian Hunter. It's another classic movie that you think you've seen even if you've never seen it.

The story is familiar enough; Richard the Lion-hearted (Hunter) is off killing Saracens and gets his ass kidnapped, and his dumbass brother John (Rains) declares himself regent. He squeezes the peasants for tax mother, using the Sheriff of Nottingham (Cooper) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Rathbone) as his minions. Of course, the noble Sir Robin of Locksley (Flynn) stands up to the prince and...kills a shitload of his guards, but also robs from the rich, gives to the poor, with his band of merry men, etc.

Like I said, familiar enough. Robin romances the prince's ward, Maid Marian (de Havilland) and does all the swashbuckling and archery and so forth. At the end of the day, it's basically a kid's movie; the violence is bloodless and the romance is pretty chaste. It's fun to watch Flynn swinging around in tights, and it's extra fun to watch Claude Rains being slimy and evil as Prince John. And of course Basil Rathbone is an awesome villain (though I'd never seen Guy as the main baddy; in every retelling I'd ever heard it was the Sheriff who's the real nemesis). Also Alan Hale as Little John, very fun to watch. Will Scarlett (Knowles) doesn't have much to do except wear red and look super gay; guess they added the "expert at throwing knives" thing to give Christian Slater something to do.

Generally it's inoffensive, but like a lot of classic movies it's been done and redone so many times that it just kinda feels quaint.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: It Follows, but probably not until after Oscars are over