The Adventures of Robin Hood

Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     15 June   King John “signs” Magna Carta, 1215 On this day in 1215, the king of England put his seal to Magna Carta (the Great Charter) at Runnymede, near Windsor, England. It is in effect a bill of rights, one forced on the king by feudal barons unhappy with the levels of taxation, John’s abysmal record when it came to fighting wars and his supine relationship to the Pope. Designed as part of a powerplay to unseat the king, it proposes limits to the power of the king, making that power more contractual in nature, and denies … Read more

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Errol Flynn in lancer's helmet in The Charge of the Light Brigade

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     28 March   Crimean War escalates, 1854 On this day in 1854, Britain and France declared war against Russia. Russia and the Ottoman Empire had been at war since October the previous year, when conflict had broken out ostensibly about the rights of Christians in the Holy Land – being restricted by Muslim Ottomans and being protected by Orthodox Russian if you accept the Russians’ diplomatic rhetoric. In fact the war was about territory, the Turks being on the decline after centuries of dominance in the region, the Russians keen to continue their expansion west into Europe and … Read more

The Adventures of Robin Hood

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    “Only the rainbow can duplicate its brilliance” ran the tagline to the swashbuckler from 1938 which took a young Tasmanian and gave him a movie role that would define him for ever. Errol Flynn may have become a fat roué in later life but here, as Robin Hood, he is every inch the handsome, athletic, cocky, light-hearted and brave hero. The film too is full of that brio, telling a story of good v bad, true love v convenience, rich v poor, idealism v cynicism. That “brilliance”, by the way, comes from the costly and technically demanding Technicolor three-strip process, which produces colours more saturated than any subsequent process has managed. … Read more