Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood
Douglas Fairbanks Pictures
October 18, 1922
This was my first experience with a silent film and was very much what I expected.
This film stars Douglas Fairbanks as the titular character in a story that is quite familiar to movie fans. This treatment of Robin Hood takes us on Crusade with King Richard and back to Nottingham to rescue to poor from the evil machinations of Prince John as he plays “king”. The only unique plot line I saw was that Lord Huntingdon (the future Robin) was afraid of the attention of women – I always pictured him as a lady’s man and that is how he is typically portrayed.
One prominent feature of a silent movie is the descriptive text and dialogue that appears on the screen to help the viewer to know what is going on. This was one area that I was apprehensive about because when text is displayed on the screen in modern movies it is frequently in small print and not left up long enough to read all of it. Here, the text was of appropriate reading size and left up for just the right length of time. The acting was overly dramatic, but appropriate because without dialogue you need to be engaged to the character and entertained. The image of this Robin and Marian is what I have always thought of when I envisioned them in my head.
One aspect I wasn’t thrilled with was the musical score – it felt too synthesized to belong to the era of time being depicted or to the time the film was made. I’m not sure if this was the original score or if it was redone (as the film had been lost for years and the music is not integrated into the film). It really reminded me of a video game – how it repeats the same thread of music over and over as well as the synthesized nature of it (honesty I was reminded of the original Zelda game for the Nintendo).
Overall, if you are an old film fan, Robin Hood fan, or want to check out a silent film, this would be a great choice. A well produced film.
Check out this video clip from one of the fight scenes:
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