copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a known classic and, many argue, the best of the Robin Hood productions. There is truth to that, if you can handle its style.

This is a 30s movie and, as a true child of its age, it is very stylistic. It puts structure and style above everything else, which results in some strange (to a modern eye) presentation.

For example, there is plenty of fake laughter. I'm talking fists on the waste, head raised and "Ha ha ha ha". Acting is accentuated and rhythmic, almost wanting to switch to Shakespeare verses.

Everybody's costumes look clean, like fresh out of the washing machine. The same can be said for the sets. Even the nature scenes look polished.

As a result of this, at no point did I believe anything that was happening on screen.

On the other hand, the movie is well structured, well balanced. Scenes flow well and the action looks good, even if it is a bit over-stylized. You understand what is happening most of the time. The pacing is good.

I also liked that this movie maintained a historical political basis for the story all throughout the film. There is mention of the Norman-Saxon conflict, kings, nobles and external historical events. A later Robin Hood movie called Prince of Thieves would give a historical background at the very beginning and then forget about it for much of the rest of the film.

Overly clean look notwithstanding, I did like the way this film looked. The set up of the shots made sense with some mild symbolism thrown in here and there. I noticed some beautiful image boke in the background during close ups. The cuts are not too quick. Again, everything just makes good sense.

The orchestral music really tries to punch its way to the foreground and it is good, except it could have used more variation in its mood. It is all a bit too happy and high energy.

Overall, this film feels solid, a high quality piece of work, but it also feels really sterile, as many of the movies of that age tended to feel.

The Adventures of Robin Hood