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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Robin Hood (1922)

The Earl of Huntingdon (Douglas Fairbanks) joins King Richard (Wallace Beery) in the Crusades. While Richard is away, his devious brother Prince John (Sam De Grasse) takes over the throne and proceeds to tax the peasants till they are homeless and tosses those loyal to Richard into prison. Directed by Allan Dwan, this was one one of the most expensive films of its era and it looks it. The production design is awesome and it has a cast of what seems like thousands. But it's a disappointment. Fairbanks, the King of swashbucklers, would seem to be the ideal choice to play Robin Hood and he is. But Robin Hood as a character doesn't enter the movie until the second half of the film! The first hour is devoted to Fairbanks as the Earl, his pallid romance with Maid Marian (Enid Bennett) and it's all rather tedious really. It really picks up in the second half and Fairbanks is up to his old swashbuckling tricks and it's pretty enjoyable but oh that first hour! The 1938 Flynn ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD easily remains the definitive Robin Hood movie. The movie is saddled with an awful score by Victor Schertzinger which is typical of bad "silent movie" scores. With Alan Hale (who would play Little John again in the 1938 film), Paul Dickey and Willard Louis.

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