Starring: Jon Hall, Patricia Morison, Adele Jergens, Alan Mowbray, Michael Duane, H.B. Warner, Gavin Muir, Syd Saylor, Lowell Gilmore
Director: Howard Bretherton
1948 | 72 Minutes
“Cutpurse I may be but not a cutthroat.” – Robin Hood
Robin Hood (Jon Hall) rescues Lady Marian Claire (Patricia Morison) and her brother Allan (Michael Duane) from a mysterious attacker. Because of their opposition to the rule of the ruthless Prince John, their lives are in danger as is the impending marriage of Allan to Lady Christabel.
I’m on a bit of a mission. I have always been a big fan of Robin Hood stories but I’ve recently realized that there are TONS of Robin Hood movies that I have never seen… or heard of. The Prince of Thieves happens to be one of those and gives me a chance to review something from a time period I rarely if ever touch.
I don’t watch a lot of older movies. You can think me a simpleton for this. I really don’t care. They generally just aren’t my thing. What I do find on the very rare occasion that I do watch something more than 50-60 years old is that the colors have a very painterly quality to them. For the average drama or comedy I don’t think this would matter much. But for a fantasy/adventure such as this, it’s such a breath of fresh air. It’s really beautiful and makes me want to track down some more movies from this time period that might still be in my action movie wheelhouse.
Jon Hall is another nice change of pace as Robin Hood, what with his exposed barrel chest and tad of facial hair showing just how rugged this movie’s Robin is. He’s not Batfleck ripped or anything but you can tell that he was quite the figure for this era. I might have to track down some of his Ali Baba type roles at some point.
The rest of the Merry Men take a back seat to characters like Lady Christabel and Sir Allan Claire, though Little John, Will Scarlet and The Friar (Tuck) are present.
The fights are fun but are not even remotely well choreographed by today’s standards. It very much looks like the type of fights one might find on a low-mid tier play. But it’s entertaining in a throwback kind of way.
It’s fun to go back and watch some of these lesser known Robin Hood movies, if for no other reason than to say I did and experience something I wouldn’t otherwise go looking for. The Prince of Thieves wasn’t a great movie but I definitely found many aspects to it that I enjoyed. I just have a feeling that it won’t crack my top 10 Robin Hood films if/when I make it through them all and decide to compile a list like that.