Adventure is a dying genre in film these days, but for now, let’s take a look at the greatest entry in the adventure movie category “The Adventures of Robin Hood” from 1938 starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Claude Rains, and Basil Rathbone. This is a classic in all movie terms. There is wonderful scenery, the musical soundtrack is excellent, the cast is perfect, and the costumes and sets fit the film perfectly. Hollywood has made a lot of versions of the classic tale of Robin Hood, but this adaptation is by far the best out there. It truly is a masterpiece.
The story isn’t anything we haven’t seen so far in a Robin Hood movie. Robin Hood forms a band of mercenaries to steal from the rich and giving the proceeds to the poor from the tyrannical rule of Prince John. As well as stealing the heart of Maid Marian inside Prince John’s castle. So that’s pretty typical of an adventure film. The hero has to stop the bad guy while saving the damsel in distress. Pretty basic if you ask me.
But it’s the cast that outshines the whole production and brings the story to a full circle. Errol Flynn makes you believe that he is Robin Hood. He’s the perfect hero trying to win the girl of his dreams. Originally, Warner Bros. wanted James Cagney, who at the time, did gangster films like “The Public Enemy” (1931), to play the role of Robin Hood. Now, would you really want to see a gangster play an adventure hero? I think not. Furthermore, with Olivia de Haviland playing Maid Marian, you get an amazing damsel in distress role that’s absolutely perfect. Yet I couldn’t forget mentioning the remarkable villains in this film. The villains here are even better cast than the heroes of the movie. We have Claude Rains, whose most memorable role is 1933’s The Invisible Man, plays the role of Prince John; a great role in which you feel he is menacing and threatening at the same time. One scene in particular is a moment in the film where Prince John is going to have Maid Marian executed for spying. You can tell that he is extremely mad in this situation. Claude Rains, in this performance, is the perfect villain for this film. Yet it’s Basil Rathbone that steals the show. He delivers the greatest performance of one of the best villains on screen: Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Rathbone is so malefic he’s almost evil. You have to watch his acting to see how good of a villain he is. Overall, the cast in this movie is so magnificent that you can’t keep your eyes off the cast.
“The Adventures of Robin Hood” is a brilliant film by showcasing some of the best costumes and sets ever to be seen on film. As well as listening to an amazing musical score accompanying the movie, making it perfect to listen on any occasion. The costumes look very beautiful, set time period of medieval England, and are overall, just a cool to wear. The sets and scenery showcase what England used to look like back in the 11th Century.
I could not find anything wrong with this film, except for the fact that some scenes in the movie are a little too short. Other than this problem, this is a wonderful film that needs to be seen no matter what. “The Adventures of Robin Hood” is a classic for a reason: it defines the adventure genre to its fullest. It’s an amazing piece of work and it’s one of my all-time favorite films. Go see this movie now.