The decadent Prince John (a smoothly conniving Claude Rains) takes advantage of King Richard's absence to tax the country into poverty but meets his match in the medieval guerrilla rebel Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, who rise up and, to quote a cliché coined by the film, "steal from the rich and give to the poor". Stocky Alan Hale Sr plays Robin's loyal friend Little John (a part he played in Douglas Fairbanks' silent version), Eugene Palette plays the portly Friar Tuck and Melville Cooper is the bumbling Sheriff of Nottingham. Flynn's confidence and cocky charm makes for a perfect Robin and his easygoing manner is a marvellous counterpoint to Rathbone's regal bearing and courtly diction. The film climaxes in their rousing battle-to-the-finish sword fight, a magnificently choreographed scene highlighted by Curtiz's inventive use of shadows cast upon the castle walls. --Sean Axmaker
Picture quality is very good too, marvellous technicolor for its time. About time it was released on DVD though, with a digitally remastered soundtrack. It will be a must buy; cannot wait for that.
For this DVD release picture and audio have been restored and digitally transferred, and I must say that the picture quality, sharpness and colour are simply mind-blowing and completely belying their age.
The special features spread over the first and second disc are all of great interest. Film historian Rudy Behlmer provides significant audio commentary to the movie. There is a documentary about the making of the movie, and features that will learn you everything about the cast, the crew, and even the figure of Robin Hood and his many movie adaptations. From the movie itself there are a few outtakes and bloopers. Not to be missed by anyone interested in Hollywood history is a revealing documentary about the development and fame of Technicolor (narrated by Angela Lansbury). And much more, turning this set into a surefire investment that will provide many hours of home movie pleasure.
In short: highly recommended.
For the first time they have managed to tame the highly over saturated Technicolor of the original film, and we can see it with a natural colour balance revealing masses of previously hidden detail. As a result all our favourite bits of the film are better that ever, the perfect cast of Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Raines, and the music of Korngold, the magnificent sets.
But it wasn't originally planned like this, and the excellent special features and commentary by Rudy Behlmer provide endless detail and fascinating facts. In addition there are light hearted extras,, two Robin Hood inspired Looney Tunes, two other shorts and a varied and not always relevant section called "Night at the movies 1938".
A wonderful re-issue of a wonderful film.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions