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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Douglas Fairbanks version of "Robin Hood" is still good entertainment despite showing its age at times. The role gives Fairbanks a perfect chance to display his energy and charisma, and he is helped by lavish sets and scenery that recreate the world of medieval England. Wallace Beery as King Richard also is a nice complement to Fairbanks. Later versions, such as the Errol Flynn version which is still the best of all the Robin Hood movies, had many resources available to them that this one didn't, but this older version works well and is more enjoyable than most of the more recent movies based on the legend.
The story and characters are familiar from many other books and movies. But it includes some interesting scenes that cover or add parts of the legend that are not in a lot of other versions - for example, about the first half of this movie takes place before any of the events in the Flynn movie. It makes it interesting to watch even if you've already seen plenty of other "Robin Hoods", and amongst other things it gives Beery as Richard a lot more screen time. It is acted in the somewhat exaggerated style of many of the silent melodramas of the era, but in this case that tone, while perhaps providing an occasional unintentional chuckle, fits rather well with the subject matter. It's also worth paying attention to the grand sets that were constructed for the film. They were apparently rather renowned in their day, and they still do a good job of evoking the right background. Overall, it was a very good film for its time and one worth watching today.
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