Thursday, July 30, 2015

Best. Robin Hood. Ever?

Starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, Ridley Scott's Robin Hood opens May 14, prompting sister film scribe Moira McDonald to poll her readers about their favorite Robin Hood. It's a challenging question, as every Robin has his qualities.

Best. Robin Hood. Ever?

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Australians Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett as the iconic British figures Robin Hood and Maid Marian in the forthcoming Ridley Scott film.
Australians Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett as the iconic British figures Robin Hood and Maid Marian in the forthcoming Ridley Scott film.

Starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, Ridley Scott's Robin Hood opens May 14, prompting sister film scribe Moira McDonald to poll her readers about their favorite Robin Hood. It's a challenging question, as every Robin has his qualities.

For me, Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1937) is the canonical Robin (love the green tights, peaked cap and devil-may-care laugh, with  hands on hips). Sean Connery in  Robin and Marian (1976) is iconic as the mature Robin of Locksley (admire the middle-age melancholy and hard-won wisdom). Which makes Cary Elwes in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) the ironical Robin (sending up the genre conventions about redistribution of wealth). Of Kevin Costner as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), I have nothing to say, but I did enjoy Alan Rickman as the unapologetically evil Sheriff of Nottingham. As as for Maid Marians, moon-faced Olivia de Havilland shone opposite Flynn, flute-voiced Audrey Hepburn nicely complemented Connery and athletic Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio nimbly outpaced Costner. Of the Rat Pack Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) can we agree that the less said, the better?

Hope that Crowe's Robin possesses Flynn's sense of humor and Connery's sense of purpose. And wonder why Robin, this most British of icons, has twice been essayed by Australians (Flynn and Crowe). Is that that Australians boast that galvanic energy that seems to have been bred out of the British stock? (For this reason I would have loved to see a Robin Hood with Heath Ledger, who did such a fresh Robin-type character in A Knight's Tale.)

Your favorite Robin? Marian? Sheriff of Nottingham? Tell me why.

Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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