Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
A feud, the origins of which can barely be remembered, has been boiling for decades between two sheltered mountain families, the Tollivers and the Falins. With plans to build a railroad ... See full summary »
Highly fictionalized account (see 'goofs' for examples) of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Sir Robin of Locksley, defender of downtrodden Saxons, runs afoul of Norman authority and is forced to turn outlaw. With his band of Merry Men, he robs from the rich, gives to the poor and still has time to woo the lovely Maid Marian, and foil the cruel Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and keep the nefarious Prince John off the throne. Written by
Little Pine Weasel <email@example.com>
Swordmaster Fred Cavens, who staged the duels in Captain Blood (1935), was assigned to make the fight scenes exciting. Cavens believed the duels should be magnified and exaggerated for effect. His approach was to create a routine that was choreographed like a dance, with counts and phrases. Basil Rathbone was already an impressive fencer, so Errol Flynn trained with Cavens, though many sources say Flynn was less than dedicated to the task and relied more on his innate athletic ability. In this area, liberties were also taken with history. Although broadswords that would have been typical for the era were used (but designed as lighter and more manageable replicas), the fight scenes incorporated fencing techniques that would not be developed until decades later. Medieval swordplay involved a lot more hacking than finessed lunges and parries. See more »
In many instances, when Robin's men engage the soldiers carrying pikes and halberds, the "metal" points are seen to wobble back and forth wildly, revealing that they are actually made of rubber. See more »
Town Crier announcing capture of Richard:
News has come from Vienna: "Leopold of Austria has seized King Richard on his return from the Crusades. Our king is being held prisoner. Nothing further is known. His Highness Prince John will make further public pronouncement tomorrow."
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Hardly high art but it is tremendous fun even after the better part of a century
When King Richard is captured while abroad, his treacherous brother Price John uses the situation as his opportunity to seize the title for himself. With his wicked ways he oppresses the people, boosts taxes, hangs those who refuses to pay them and generally rules with an iron fist. Out of this situation a hero arises, Sir Robin of Locksley, who forms a band of outlaws to disrupt the actions of Prince John's men and steal the money back that they have stolen from the citizens of the land. However with Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John makes plans to capture Robin and make an example out of him but they've got to find him first!
This film often sits high on many critics' lists along side many films that would be considered worthy because they would be called 'art' or generally be classic films in the traditional sense; indeed this film also sits high on the top 250 list on this site and long may it continue to do so! Although this film is hardly the sort of stuff that the high-brow critic would pick in his top 100 list, the fact that it usually appears there says a lot for just how good it is not as a classic and deep piece of art but as a really enjoyable adventure film. We all know the basic story and the film sticks to it well although to be honest I can never remember if I know it from this film or from the legend itself! The plot is engaging but it is the manner of delivery that makes this film so much fun to watch.
The action is hardly groundbreaking (how could it be after 60+ years?) but given that it isn't based on effects, it has stood up really well and is enjoyable to watch it's an overused term but the action here is what I would define as 'swashbuckling' fun! For my money the even better aspect of the film is that it manages to take this vein of good clean fun and run it through the entire film. Most enjoyably for me was the dialogue that was often laugh out loud funny some lines were hardly of the period but were funny none the less! Outside of the comedy in the dialogue, the film manages to retain the sense of fun in all but the odd darker scene. This sense of fun is passed through (and sustained by) the performances, which are led by a typically cocksure (pardon the pun) Errol Flynn. He plays Robin larger than life, and rightly so. He is tremendous fun in the lead and he is major part of making sure it all comes off. Rains has a minor role but he is not a straight bad guy and has a strange humour about it he may not have the ham that Alan Rickman would later bring to the role but he does it very well nonetheless. Playing a more traditional bad guy was Basil Rathbone a good actor and made all the more enjoyable performance for me because I rarely see him in anything but the Holmes movies. De Havilland is pretty but doesn't make much of an impression as Marion but luckily Robin's merry men are roundly good with fun performances from Pallette, Hale, Knowles and others.
Overall this is a great film not because the story is really deep or the special effects are astounding but simply because it is a really fun (and funny) swashbuckling adventure. With a real sense of fun running though the script, the cinematography (and wondrous Technicolor), the dialogue and the performances this film has stood up effortlessly over the past 60+ years and it will continue to do for long after my generation are dead and buried and other ones come to discover it.
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