The 1938 version of Robin Hood demonstrates they did know how to swash their buckles back in the day.
One of the things I appreciate about this version is the fact Gisborne, played by a very suave and attractive Basil Rathbone, is actually shown as a good swordsman. I love the fights between Rathbone and Errol Flynn as Robin and it is clearly them doing the brunt of it, not stunt doubles.
In the BBC RH they always seemed to make Guy look like a numpty with his sword, which seemed rather unlikely given he worked for the sheriff. I can’t see Sherry making him his master-at-arms if he was incompetent, no matter how much the Treacherous Troll enjoyed ogling Guy in his leathers. The numpty in this film is the Sheriff, who comes off as a complete buffoon. Prince John, as played by the ever-dependable Claude Rains, is deliciously nasty.
I admit seeing Errol Flynn in tights made me rather long to see Mr. Armitage in a similar costume–but ditch the little hat with the feather, please. Not that I would want Guy to give up all that buttery soft black leather. But the tights would look fetching.
The 1938 version was shot in glorious technicolor and they pulled out all the stops in the costume department in terms of colors–royal purple, emerald green, bright gold, cherry red, turquoise. You almost feel the need to put your sunglasses on. It is a rousing adventure with lots of action and derring-do, and a vein of humor running throughout. Robin is in a truly heroic mold here. I know the BBC version was supposed to be Robin for a new generation, that each generation has their own interpretation of the legend. Obviously I am hopelessly old-fashioned.
This chick prefers a Robin who isn’t a petulant, smug braggart sporting a boy band haircut and a hoodie. I’m just sayin’ . . . (photos courtesy of Google Images)