Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Robin Hood (1973)

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

Starring: Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov, Terry-Thomas, Brian Bedford, Monica Evans, Phil Harris, Andy Devine, Carole Shelley, Pat Buttram

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The way it REALLY happened...

Plot: With King Richard (Ustinov) off to the Crusades, Prince John (Harris) and his slithering minion, Sir Hiss (Thomas), set about taxing Nottingham's citizens with support from the corrupt sheriff (Buttram) -- and staunch opposition by the wily Robin Hood (Bedford) and his band of merry men.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe in another 30 years.

I've been on a kick this week revisiting some movies from my childhood. Here's another. Plus, this adds one more to the Summer of Swashbuckling movie list. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw this in the theater when it came out. If not, then maybe in re-releases. See, for those of you not old enough to remember the days before home video (pre-VHS days before the early 80s), movies would get re-releases. STAR WARS (1977) did it at least once before EMPIRE came out and Disney did it all the time with their earlier animated features. Anyway, I always liked this one, being a Robin Hood fan, but largely because of Phil Harris. As a kid, I dug him because he was Baloo in THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967), my all-time favorite animated Disney picture. As an adult, he cracks me up after listening to countless hours of THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM. He was one cool cat.

ROBIN HOOD Doesn't come close to THE JUNGLE BOOK but it's still kinda fun. Naturally, it's geared toward little kids so I'm not diggin' it nearly as much as I did when I was 6 but that's not surprising. I didn't have the appreciation of Charles Bronson then that I do now so what the fuck did I know way back when, right? The humor is hit and miss and the songs are OK but are nowhere near the level of any of Disney's previous efforts which is the film's biggest weakness. I'd probably give it a lower rating if it weren't for the voice casting, the above scene and my nostalgia.

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