Much has been written about Warner Bros.' 1938 classic swashbuckler, including several posts at this blog. So, in lieu of a traditional film review, I decided to write about why I love The Adventures of Robin Hood. After extensive reflection, it has boiled down to these six reasons:
|Rains, Rathbone, and Cooper.|
2. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Score. For much of my youth, I didn't pay attention to a movie's background music unless there was a prominent theme (e.g. Laura). That changed when my sister and I gave my father an album featuring selections from Korngold's greatest scores, including The Adventures of Robin Hood. Korngold's exhilarating music stands nicely on its own, but it's even better as a tailor-made complement to a classic swashbuckler. Ironically, Korngold had doubts for his ability to score an action film, stating that he "had no relation to it." He was oh so wrong!
3. 1930s Technicolor. In his book Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930, Scott Higgins wrote: "The Adventures of Robin Hood is a turning point in Technicolor design. For the first time in a three-color feature, the palette is opened wide and intricately organized. Far from returning to demonstration, Robin Hood's assertive design modulates color to effectively direct attention and underscore drama." Certainly, it's a stunning visual screen experience with the many earth tone colors accented by brilliant reds and greens. With the exception of Powell and Pressburger's brilliant color films, I would argue that the three-strip Technicolor films of the 1930s are unmatched in their graphic splendor.
|Olivia looking concerned during the|
6. Let's form a team! I once devoted a whole post to my love of movies in which the hero forms a team to go battle the bad guys, steal something valuable, or liquidate a witch. I call it the Robin Hood Syndrome because, for me, it originated from watching The Adventures of Robin Hood. I think the appeal has to do with the idea that even the bravest hero needs help and that (to paraphrase Mr. Spock) the strength of the many is stronger than the strength of the one.