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Directed by Allan Dwan
Produced by Douglas Fairbanks
Scenario by Douglas Fairbanks
Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery, Enid Bennett, Sam De Grasse, Alan Hale
Cinematography Arthur Edeson, Charles Richardson
Distributed by United Artists
Release date October 18, 1922
Running time 133 min.
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
This movie is part of our series "Other Favorite Films". This category includes films that do not feature a particular star from our site, but which in our view represent a major contribution of a silent movie to the Arts and Culture of the world.
"Robin Hood" is a historical romantic drama and a swashbuckler starring Douglas Fairbanks.
Here is a review of the film, written by our esteemed member Zach Snow.
This classic take on the medieval legend was one of the landmarks of silent cinema; a phenomenal box office success which helped to confirm Hollywood’s status as the motion picture capital of the world.
The story, more fleshed out than in later versions, starts with Robin as a knight who leaves the beautiful Marion behind to join King Richard in the crusades. Yet when Prince John proves to be a tyrannical leader, Robin returns to England to become the prince of thieves; he robs from the rich, gives to the poor, and becomes an iconic hero to the people.
This film version of the immortal tale was made at a time when the studio system was just starting to find its footing, with United Artists at the top of heap since it was still owned by many leading stars of the time. Intended from the start to be yet another action vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks, who partially ran United Artists and controlled most aspects of the production, the movie was given added verve by the direction of Allen Dwan. One of the unsung pioneers from the early days of cinema, and a prolific craftsman who would continue to make successful pics for decades, Dwan arguably reached a career peak with this expensive blockbuster.
For fans of the star there are some of the most elaborate action sequences of the time, with enough scenes of archery and fencing to appease any genre fan. The director also mixes in humor, romance, and some of the most elaborate sets ever constructed at the time; the result was one of the most exciting and successful silent films ever made and a testament to the popularity of Fairbanks at the peak of his power. The stunts that he performs, leaping from trees and buildings, seem almost inhuman and still impress; while the actor also displays enough charisma to set the standard for all subsequent Robin Hoods, from Flynn to Crowe. Wallace Beery has surprising majesty as the king, off fighting in the crusades, while Alan Hale took on the role of sidekick Little John for the first of several times, right up to the sixties! Enid Bennett is charming as the maid who captures Robin’s heart, Sam De Grasse as the tyrant John makes for a suitably hissable villain.
This film was such a huge commercial success that many historians cite it as the official beginning of the Hollywood system. At any rate, it’s one of the best action flicks of its day.
You can find more of Zach Snow's work here.
The film is ranked number 78 in the list of The Top 100 Silent Era Films of the influential website Silent Era.
It enjoys a very strong rating in IMDB.
Click to enlarge:
Wallace Beery waits for the shows and grabs a bite in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Sam De Grasse waits for the shows with his falcon in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks gets ready to compete in the final in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Enid Bennett also waits for the shows in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Wallace Beery congratulates the winner Douglas Fairbanks in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks meets Enid Bennett, who decorates him with the winner's crown in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks and Sam De Grasse face off over Enid Bennett in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks and Enid Bennett meet again in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Alan Hale and Douglas Fairbanks say goodbye in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Sam De Grasse and Paul Dickey make schemes and say goodbye in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Enid Bennett pleads in vain Sam De Grasse to stop the oppression in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Alan Hale brings a message to Douglas Fairbanks from Enid Bennett in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks decides to return back home in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks becomes Robin Hood, a fighter against the oppressors and a defender of the oppressed in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks is always welcome by the poor and the oppressed in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Wallace Beery survives an assassination attempt in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Wallace Beery learns about his brother's treachery in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Enid Bennett lingers in imprisonment in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Sam De Grasse hears from Paul Dickey that his brother is dead and proclaims himself a king in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks learns that Enid Bennett has been kidnapped in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Enid Bennett would rather die than to yield to the unwelcome advances of Paul Dickey in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks gives a knife to Enid Bennett as a last resort in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Sam De Grasse is fearful of Wallace Beery's wrath in "Robin Hood" (1922).
Douglas Fairbanks and Sam De Grasse
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