long before the 'Cutthroat Island' (1995) there was this..
Rosvo-Roope is not the best film ever made, it's not even the best Finnish film ever made, but it's probably the only successful pirate film ever made in Finland, or should I say only pirate film ever made in Finland because yeah, Renny Harlin made a flop called the Cutthroat Island but it was really an American film made by a Finnish person.. On the whole, this film actually drew audiences like mad when it was released in the 40s.
The film is based on a popular tune, so if you've ever heard the Finnish ballad called 'Rosvo-Roope' then you basically know the plot. A guy called Robert arrives too late to find that his girlfriend Helena has already married a rich and evil baron, because her dad owes him some money.. well, different events occur, Robert sings a song, hits the baron and then Robert and Helena run off together.. (does this sound oddly familiar??? Those who have seen another Finnish classic, Kulkurin Valssi (1941), will recognize few similarities :) But yeah, Robert's and Helena's happiness is short lived
the baron's men find them living in the woods, they take Helena and beat
Robert. And thus, because he feels he has been betrayed by a woman, he becomes the person of the title - Rosvo Roope, a pirate.
Like the song goes, the story takes us to St. Petersburg (where the women are still shaking their heads), Tallinn (where an unfortunate Estonian girl burns her heart) to the Åland Islands (where a girl from Åland sows a button back to his shirt and something else as well) and finally back to Finland where the story ends..
It's good entertainment with Tauno Palo (THE Finnish leading man) a collection of lovely ladies and oh yes, pirates. I know it may take a while to get over the fact that there were pirates in the Baltic Sea (must have been a summer hobby - it's a bit icy over here during winter :) but all in all, good entertainment as I mentioned, and I'm sure generations to come will find Tauno Palo as attractive and hunky as those 40s audiences. Watch it. It's even been released on DVD in Finland. Talk about progress.
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