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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Robin Hood (released in 1922) - A classic movie starring Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery and Enid Bennett

Robin Hood released in 1922 is considered one of the most costliest movies ever made. It cost a whopping 1.2 million dollars to make his movie and is considered the ultimate spectacle. Douglas Fairbanks starred in this movie portraying the outlaw Robin Hood who robs the rich to give it to the poor.
The earl of Huntington becomes King Richards favorite by wining a jousting tournament against the cheating Guy Gisborne. He becomes the kings right hand man and this enables him to meet Lady Marion Fitzwalter and he falls in love with her. When Richard the lion-heart leaves for the crusades, Huntington accompanies him. Richard appoints his cruel sadistic brother John as regent who fancies Lady Marion. Goaded by Guy, John usurps the throne as Richard departs and set him-selves as the tyrannical ruler.
Lady Marion send a message to Huntington and tells him about all the tyrannies of John and urges him to come back. When Huntington asks Richard permission to leave, Richard suspects cowardice and refuses leave. Huntington, not wanting to divert Richards attention from the battle ahead leaves on his own accord and is branded a deserter. He is captured and imprisoned by Guy who wants to kill him to gain Marion. But Huntington escapes and sets himself as an outlaw Robin Hood, in the jungles of Sherwood and wows to defeat King John.

He soon forms the band of merry men with Little John, Friar Tuck and others and they oppose the enemies like Sheriff of Nottingham who terrorize the poor. He robs the rich and gives it to the poor and saves them from the yoke of taxation. Soon these band of merry men soon make King John life miserable and he tries to get back by imprisoning Marion. But Robin Hood arrives to save her and defeats Guy in a grueling battle. But Robin Hood is captured and is saved by the arrival of Richard at the right time. Soon John and his cohorts are captured and sent to prison and Robin Hood is given back his titles and Marion.
This silent era film is characterized by lavish sets and great camera work which makes it a very grand spectacle. It is said that the castle of King John is built even up to the minutest details and thousands of extras with the right clothing were employed to give feel of the era. However this movie is a Douglas Fairbanks vehicle and he steals the show. A major departure from the book, this movie does not portray Robin's meetings with little John, Friar Tuck etc and this is indeed a sore disappointment.
This movie scored high at the box office and is said to have been the first one to have a grand premier. All the actions and the spectacle is worth a watch even without the obvious absence of dialogues. The actions and portrayal of the actors as merry men is sometimes little funny but one has to understand that they suffer a major handicap due the absence of dialogues. Ultimately it is indeed Douglas Fair bank's Robin Hood and one need to watch this movie to watch this Athletic American star of yesteryears.

Robinhood (released in 1922) - A classic movie starring Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery and Enid Bennett

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