Robin Hood Reviews
The story is what you would expect but better told than any other Robin Hood I've seen. Everything comes together and works so well. For a 90 year old film it zips along with great editing and timing, beautiful photography (wish I could find a better copy) some amazing action and acting.
Let's get to Fairbanks, he is Robin Hood. He leaps and bounds and skips and is more alive than any other version I've seen and it fits with the character. His smile and charm and sillyness shines through, but Robin has strength and confidence and when he's told bad news like Sherwood forest is surrounded by soldiers, he smiles and says perfect, lets kick butt.
It was the Roaring 20's and this is a Rip Roaring hell of a good time. You would not think this was a new art form watching this film, the skill and talent of all involved shine through. And the violent scenes are quite violent, the last fight scene with Robin and Gisbourne, well I loved it. And another scene where Robin kills a guy and throws his body from the castle wall, and he does it with this slight smile, satisfied with a job well done.
I will be watching this again, as well as the Errol Flyn version and more Fairbanks films. Douglas Fairbanks just simply owned this film. :D
I was surprised by the violence and some of the stunts.
The sets are impressively sprawling with great towering heights that is incredible to witness even on a small screen. When occupied by the throngs of extras, its easy to take for granted what we accomplish today with digital work is here in this film represented by real people and props. Every fluttering flag, every background person on horseback is real and not some computer graphic. This fact alone adds an extra bit of magic to the images onscreen. Standing most impressive is the main throne room set where the infamous slide down the tapestry happens and later the Sherwood forest stronghold of the Merry Men.
The story it self is well plotted for its length, with only some bits of humor feeling a bit strained. Its difficult to imagine why the early scenes where Fairbank's Earl of Huntington is made afraid of women. The movies makes good use of its multiple villains; wherein later versions its customary to just have one nemesis, here Robin Hood faces off against Prince John, Sir Guy of Gisborne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The action scenes are well staged, in particular the final fight between Robin Hood and Gisborne is quite gruesome when you realize what is happening. The montage of tortures that follow the transgressions against the new edicts of Prince John make for some strong images.
The movie does feel a bit long, especially when lots of Merry Men seem to be dancing about, but the movie does very well in sustaining its 2 hour-plus length.