Feb. 20th, 2014

tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
I'm not entirely sure what brought it on, but I had this idea I'd watch all the big Robin Hood movies in order. And then, I dunno, compare them I guess.

So I've seen the 1922 Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks, regarded as one of the first big business Hollwyood productions (a cast of thousands, humongous sets, and the first ever movie gala premiere); And a bloated, overlong melodrama it is too. Over two hours long, and Fairbanks spends more than half of it as plain ol' Earl of Huntingdon, knight to King Richard.

The entire first act of the film deals, oddly enough, with Richard thinking Robin (sorry, Huntingdon) spending all his time wrestling with his manfriends and shunning women is all a bit inappropriate, and he lays several plots to force Robin to like ladies. Then of course comes Marion and fixes Robin's homosexuality shyness.

Despite the film's length, the story is very pared down compared to, say, every single other Robin Hood film. Prince John is the primary villain, obviously. Sir Guy spends most of the movie in The Holy Lands, even after Robin leaves for home, and the Sheriff I forgot was even in the movie until he was mentioned in the climactic scene.

Most of the scenes where Robin comes head-to-head with authority reads more like Keystone Cops gags than tense melodrama, except once in a while Robin stops to murder one of his pursuers and immediately throws his head back and laughs like the cold-blooded motherfucker he is.

I'm probably being too hard on the film. It's 1922, that's pretty damn early. In any case it had some absolutely beautiful posters:

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