We love it when people alert us to timely theatrical screenings of vintage classic films, especially when the movie prints have been spruced up for the occasion.
That bring us to Warner Brothers’ 1938 production of The Adventures of Robin Hood, which gets a full blown presentation this Sunday (June 28) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, Cal. Screen time is 5:30 p.m., so if you are in the neighborhood, why not drop by?
Since the screening is cosponsored by the Art Directors Guild, emphasis of the event is on the Academy Award-winning production design of the movie by Carl Jules Weyl.
We should also note that Robin Hood won a best editing Oscar for Ralph Dawson, and a best original musical score nod to Erich Wolfgang Korngold, an Austro-Hungarian emigre who arrived in Hollywood just three years before the picture was made. (The movie itself was nominated for a best picture Oscar, but lost out to Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take It With You).
But for our money, Robin Hood is a must see for its cast, especially Errol Flynn (pictured above) and Olivia DeHavilland.
As the share-the-wealth bandit of Sherwood forest and his lady, Maid Marian, both were in their Twenties when they appeared in the movie, at their physical peaks. She recalled later in her career that Flynn sometimes got erections during their love scenes.
Talk about chemistry onscreen! (No wonder that Flynn and DeHavilland were paired in eight movies.)
Here’s what one of our discerning readers, Mike Sheridan, wrote to us last year:
I watched ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ last night and what a treat. The movie could have been a milestone western. Great story great acting.
Olivia DeHavilland was a siren at 21, and Errol Flynn was magnificent. Could have been an even bigger star but was pigeon-holed into swashbucklers, I believe, because he was so athletic (like Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller). Eugene Pallette was very good as Friar Tuck.
And let’s not forget to mention that two of our favorites, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains, are also on board. Robin Hood was, after all, a prestige Warner production, the studio’s initial venture into three-strip Technicolor productions. In short, the picture still looks wonderful.
A bit of personal trivia: Michael Curtiz, the co-director of The Adventures of Robin Hood, was once married to Lili Damita, the first of Flynn’s three wives. In any case, the movie remains, in the words of screening organizers, “pure escapism epitomizing the very best in classic Hollywood matinee adventure storytelling.”
And we just couldn’t discuss the film without a shot of DeHavilland as Maid Marian.