Amid big-budget medieval pageantry, King Richard goes on the Crusades leaving his brother Prince John as regent, who promptly emerges as a cruel, grasping, treacherous tyrant. Apprised of England's peril by message from his lady-love Marian, the dashing Earl of Huntingdon endangers his life and honor by returning to oppose John, but finds himself and his friends outlawed, and Marian apparently dead. Enter Robin Hood, acrobatic champion of the oppressed, laboring to set things right through swash buckling feats and cliffhanging perils!Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
In Medieval England, before he goes off to fight in the Holy Crusades, dashing Douglas Fairbanks (as the Earl of Huntington) draws thousands of spectators in a jousting contest win. Among those cheering and jeering are: the people's beloved King, the generous Wallace Beery (as Richard the Lion-Hearted); his sinister brother Sam De Grasse (as Prince John), who covets Mr. Berry's throne; and, the fairest maiden in the land, Enid Bennett (as Lady Marian Fitzwalter). Eventually, circumstances lead Mr. Fairbanks to become the legendary hero of the oppressed - "Robin Hood". With his band of merry men, Fairbanks' "Hood" steals from the rich to give to the poor.
A typically huge 1920s production, from Fairbanks and company, "Robin Hood" almost collapses under its own weight. The principals are introduced well - then, you have Mr. De Grasse usurping the King's throne, while Berry and Fairbanks fight the Crusades. Of course, there is romance - between our hero and Ms. Bennett ("I never knew a maid could be like you," Fairbanks tells her). For most of the running time, the film is laboriously paced; and, some of the directorial shots are lingering and unimaginative.
After Fairbanks becomes "Robin Hood", the film picks up (it takes well over an hour); and, it becomes much more exciting. Notable merry man Alan Hale (as Little John) reprised his role, for both Erroll Flynn in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), and John Derek in "Rogues of Sherwood Forest" (1950). Now, that's loyalty.
******** Robin Hood (10/18/22) Allan Dwan ~ Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery, Sam de Grasse, Enid Bennett
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