Best Picture Winners #11a – The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

So for 1938, we had down on our list two movies: the actual Best Picture winner (You Can’t Take It With You) and then a nominated-but-didn’t-win-but-we-want-to-watch-it-anyway (The Adventures of Robin Hood). A sentimental screwball comedy and an exciting adventure movie set in medieval times.

Wonder which one of those I liked the most….

😀 😀 😀 😀

This is also a movie that Andrew won’t be reviewing, See, he grew up on this movie and has fond memories of it from childhood. So no need to write a review! When we saw that movie had been nominated, I mentioned that I had never seen it before (I know the Disney version very well, though!) and he insisted that we watch it! And I said, hey, sure, why not? Woohoo!

I. Absolutely. Loved. This. Movie.


It’s got action, it’s got adventure, AND it’s also IN COLOR! Yes, this was the first color film of our project so far! Not even colorized. No, it was originally released in technicolor! Vibrant greens and reds all around. It had a look to it that you just don’t get in movies anymore, to be honest. I have nothing against digital stuff, but the look of these older color movies is just….. Wow! Such eye-popping colors!

As for the plot, well, it’s simple. In fact, it reminded me of Game of Thrones but without the blood and nudity. King Richard the Lionheart is being held captive by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, while returning home from the Third Crusade. Realizing that his brother isn’t around to stop him, Richard’s brother Prince John takes over the throne and oppresses the Saxons. Specifically, raising taxes that he claims are to help his brother’s ransom, but which is actually to secure his position as king. Sir Robin of Locksley (Errol Flynn), a Saxon knight, is the only nobleman who disagrees with Prince John, and for the rest of the movie, does everything in his power to oppose John and help restore the rightful king to the throne. Of course, other events happen (an archery tournament that Robin enters under a disguise, etc) but really, all you need to know is good guy versus bad guy.

Oh and of course, along the way, he meets a love interest, the beautiful Lady Marian Fitzwalter, played by none other than Olivia DeHavilland (the second movie with her and Errol Flynn that we’ve seen so far; the first was Captain Blood). And I don’t need to tell you this but I will: they end up together in the end.

But of course!

One of the most fun movies of the project so far, hands down!

Of note: the duel in the closing scenes between John and Robin is clearly the template for a similar fight in the movie The Rocketeer (incidentally, a movie that loved and watched all the time as a child just as Andrew watched this one!). There’s a scene about a half hour into The Rocketeer where the Timothy Dalton character is filming a movie with a scene that is very similar to the closing duel scene. Even fighting on a stone spiral staircase, just like in this movie.

First, the Robin Hood duel scene..... Note the stone staircase and everything.....
First, the Robin Hood duel scene….. Note the stone staircase and everything…..


Hey, wait, that looks familiar! :)
Hey, wait, that looks familiar! 🙂


Five out of five stars

Next time: A classic movie that I saw almost ten years ago with a college friend who rated it her most favorite movie of all time: Gone With The Wind. Also….. The longest movie so far. A movie of epic length, you might say…… 😀 🙂