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Movie Matinee at Heritage House “Robin Hood”
August 21, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Organizer: Heritage House Arts and Civic Center, Phone: (423) 855-9474 https://www.facebook.com/HeritageHouseArtsandCivicCenter
Categories: Visual Arts
This month we will be screening “Robin Hood” (1922) Directed By Allan Dwan. Written by and starring Douglas Fairbanks, this film recounts the classic story of the vigilante thief who robbed the rich to help the poor.
TWO showings at 2pm and 7pm
FREE admission & popcorn
Check out the trailer on Youtube!
Here’s an informed review of the film from the Silent Era website:
With the production of The Mark of Zorro (1920), Douglas Fairbanks had tripped upon the swashbuckling larger-than-life characterization that defined the remainder of his motion picture career. Between Zorro and his next historical swashbuckler, The Three Musketeers (1921), Fairbanks made one more of the “habit of happiness” comedies that were indicative of his early career, The Nut (1921). After The Three Musketeers, he never looked back.
Robin Hood was Doug’s first $1 million-plus extravaganza. In those silent days, a big-budget film based on a public domain story could be undermined by a poverty row production company that would dash off a film based on the same story, give the film the same title and reach theaters before the major production could be completed. With the intent to thwart any such attempt to confuse audiences and cash in on his advance publicity, Fairbanks copyrighted and released his film under the title Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood.
From New Year’s Day 1922, the Fairbanks company kicked into high gear to produce the grandest spectacle the world had yet seen on film. The mammoth castle of King Richard and the Nothingham town sets required hundreds of carpenters and hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete, and they were authentic down to the smallest detail (as much so as Hollywood money could buy). Hundreds of extras had to be outfitted in historically accurate costumes. Months of shooting ensued. When the film was completed, the release prints made and the publicity paid for, Fairbanks had spent $1.4 million of his own money for Robin Hood. And it was a success. In the days when quarters bought you a movie theater ticket, Robin Hood made $2.5 million.
Does the film stand up under the weight of its historical story, its grand spectacle and its bloated budget? Of course it does, even for modern audiences. A film viewer today can readily understand why Fairbanks was a star. His energetic and enthusiastic performance still radiates from the screen today (that is, when the shy Earl of Huntingdon/Robin Hood isn’t required to talk with ladies of the court). Fairbanks is an engaging Robin Hood, but I question why the roles of Sam de Grasse as Prince John and of Wallace Beery as King Richard weren’t reversed. Perhaps for Beery’s brutish strength as Richard and for de Grasse’s shifty-eyed and villainous John. Sam de Grasse would later serve as an ideal villain to Fairbanks’ hero in The Black Pirate (1926). In supporting roles Enid Bennett portrays a flaccid Maid Marion and Alan Hale Sr. a dedicated and sincere Little John. — Carl Bennett
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