Archive for May 1938

The Adventures of Robin Hood

May 14, 1938

A masterful, dazzling adventure-comedy, with the virile, dashing Errol Flynn in green tights and goatee, his head always tilted to the heavens in raucous laughter. The dialogue in this telling is anachronistic and sprightly. When Robin sprawls out at a dinner table in the foul Prince John’s castle and insults his host, the lovely Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) gasps “You speak treason!” and Robin replies “Fluently.” This (along with Gunga Din) may be the template for all other adventure films. There’s nothing bashful about the filmmakers’ desire to give us a rollicking good time, and the film is simple and colorful, like the best storybooks. Oscar-winning score (by Erich Wolfgang Korngold) and editing (Ralph Dawson). With Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, Claude Rains as Prince John, Patric Knowles as the blissful Will Scarlett, Eugene Pallette as Friar Tuck, burly Alan Hale as Little John, Ian Hunter as King Richard the Lion-Heart, and the memorably silly Una O’Connor as Bess, Marian’s maid.