Robin Hood

( 2 )

Overview

Robin Hood, Douglas Fairbanks' biggest (though not necessarily best) production of the silent era, represents the first time that many familiar of the elements of the Robin Hood legend were presented on screen. To bring the project to full fruition, Fairbanks and his wife Mary Pickford purchased the old Jesse Hampton studio in Santa Monica, and on that site constructed a near-lifesized replica of 12th century Nottingham. The humongous castle set was so awesome that Fairbanks became worried that his own ...
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Overview

Robin Hood, Douglas Fairbanks' biggest (though not necessarily best) production of the silent era, represents the first time that many familiar of the elements of the Robin Hood legend were presented on screen. To bring the project to full fruition, Fairbanks and his wife Mary Pickford purchased the old Jesse Hampton studio in Santa Monica, and on that site constructed a near-lifesized replica of 12th century Nottingham. The humongous castle set was so awesome that Fairbanks became worried that his own performance might be dwarfed. It wasn't: take our word for it. When first we meet Robin Hood, he is still the Earl of Huntington, preparing to joust with his bitter enemy Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Paul Dickey). Despite Sir Guy's propensity for cheating, the Earl is victorious. Shortly thereafter, Huntington rides off to the crusades with Richard the Lionhearted (Wallace Beery). Upon learning that Prince John (Sam De Grasse), goaded on by Sir Guy, has usurped his brother Richard's throne, Huntington returns to Nottingham in a new guise: dashing righter-of-wrongs Robin Hood. While robbing from the rich, giving to the poor, and bedevilling the villains, Robin romances the fetching Maid Marian (Enid Bennett). The film's singular highlight is Fairbanks' slide down a two-story tapestry, a bit of bravado accomplished by hiding a playground slide behind the huge cloth. As in all of Fairbanks' films, Charlie Stevens, a grandson of Geronimo and Doug's "mascot," appears in several minor roles. Also appearing is Alan Hale Sr. as Little John, a role he'd repeat in the 1938 Errol Flynn Robin Hood, not to mention the 1950 swashbuckler Rogues of Sherwood Forest. Long thought lost, Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood (as the film was so copyrighted) was rediscovered in the early 1960s. Most current prints fail to do justice to Arthur Edeson's glistening photography; also, some versions are stretch-framed to slow down the action to "normal" speed, a process that retards the marvelously fast pace instilled by star Fairbanks and director Allan Dwan. We recommend that you seek out a good-quality, tinted print of Robin Hood, processed at the slightly faster-than-life speed at which it was originally filmed.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood is one of the silent era's best adventure films, a grandly staged epic that represents the height of production values for films of the early 1920s. Although by no means the first film version of the Robin Hood legends, it crystallized for 20th century audiences the popular elements of the Robin Hood stories. The film is a pure star vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks, who also had a direct hand in writing and producing it. He is showcased to great effect in some of the finest stunts and action sequences of the silent era. As with the later Errol Flynn version of the same story, the heroes are very heroic and there is no moral ambiguity. The sets are of particular note. The castle alone was more expensive to build than many films of the early 1920s cost to produce.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/3/2004
  • UPC: 738329047733
  • Original Release: 1922
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Douglas Fairbanks The Earl of Huntingdon/Robin Hood
Wallace Beery Richard I the Lionheart
Sam de Grasse Prince John
Enid Bennett Maid Marian
Paul Dickey Sir Guy of Gisbourne
William Lowery The High Sheriff of Nottingham
Roy Coulson The King's Jester
Billie Bennett Lady Marian's Serving Woman
Wilson Benge Henchman to Prince John
Willard Louis Friar Tuck
Alan Hale Little John
Maine Geary Will Scariett
Lloyd Talman Alan a Dale
Merrill McCormick Henchmen to Prince John
Technical Credits
Allan Dwan Director
Wilfred Buckland Art Director
Paul Eagler Special Effects
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Douglas Fairbanks Producer, Screenwriter
Edward M. Langley Art Director
Mitchell Leisen Costumes/Costume Designer
William Nolan Editor
Lotta Woods Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    There Is No Better Robin Than Flynn's!

    The only people who would even consider Fairbanks' portrayal superior to Flynn's are the deaf and blind. Flynn's Robin has fantastic Technicolor photography, beautiful set decorations, gorgeous costumes, great dialogue, a classic music score, and most of all - Errol Flynn. Better than Flynn? No chance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Even Better Than Flynn's Robin

    I saw pristine prints of the Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn versions of ''Robin Hood'' back to back on a big screen at the Museum of Modern Art last year and was astonished to see that Fairbanks' film was by far the better of the two. It has an altogether different and more vigorous energy swirling through it. The always mesmerizing Wallace Beery in a much larger Richard the Lionheart performance lifts this one into a different category, and Fairbanks has a flair in this part that Flynn, a much weaker actor, simply cannot match. In one scene, Fairbanks actually SKIPS euphorically through the forest, something one can't possibly imagine Flynn pulling off while retaining his he-man status.

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