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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
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
an American film made by a Finnish person.. On the whole, this film
actually drew audiences like mad when it was released in the
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.
If you'll fill my glass and I'd like to tell...That's how you could start the popular Finnish song in English, the ballad this movie is based on.It tells the story of Robert (Tauno Palo).Being at the sea for seven years he returns back home in 1762 and finds out his sweetheart Erkylän Helena (Helena Kara) has married an evil Baron.So he becomes Rosvo Roope, a pirate. Hannu Leminen's Rosvo Roope was made in 1949 and was quite a success back then.Today's critics might call it dated and perhaps too theatrical, but I won't do that.It has some big historic value and it's very well made, if you ask me.It's a movie of great feelings and big emotions.Tauno Palo, who was the biggest star of that time, is just amazing.He would fill the screen with charisma, something I could never do.You can't imagine anybody else doing the lead of this movie.Then there are all those beautiful women.Helena Kara is wonderful as Helena.Ghedi Lönnberg is brilliant as Gunvor.Kirsti Ortola as Barbara Ants with mysterious eyes is fantastic.Juliska Koka is terrific as Verushka.Then there's one Savonian character, Vekarus, who is greatly portrayed by Yrjö Ikonen.I'm Savonian and it's always nice to listen to Savonian dialect in a movie.Another reason I like this movie is the song, Rosvo Roope, which is heard pretty often in the movie.I just love that song.That song takes me back many years.There was a class party when I was doing elementary school and I sang it in a karaoke then.That is one great memory from the time that is long gone now.And so is this movie.There is no Tauno 'The Great' anymore.Pictures are made in color.Everything is different now.Things may change, people may die, but movies will live forever.Long live Rosvo Roope!
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