Friday’s child, joyeux anniversaire!

by chuckofish

Today the boy turns 28 on the 28th! We wish him a glorious birthday. He was actually born on the day after Thanksgiving, shortly before midnight.

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And now a this-is-how-my-mind-works side-note. Recently I watched The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) on TCM and the host noted that Errol Flynn was 28 years old when he made this film seventy-six years ago. I paid attention, because I was thinking about the boy turning 28. Errol, of course, is at the top of his game at age 28–handsome, athletic, smart–before he started that early slide precipitated by drugs and alcohol and a reckless lifestyle. Sadly, there has never been anyone quite like Errol Flynn in the movies since.

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Anyway, I highly recommend watching this great film tonight. I really think it is one of the all-time best movies ever made and one of my top-five favorites.

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The cast is perfect.

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Melville Cooper, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains

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Herbert Mundin, Errol Flynn and Alan Hale

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Cooper, Rathbone, Olivia de Havilland, Rains, and Flynn.

The script is tip-top–so witty and sophisticated, yet action-packed. The sets and costumes are un-paralleled and designed for technicolor which is–and so early in the game–vibrant and dazzling. The music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold is terrific and oft-copied. At the time, it was the most expensive movie ever made, and it shows. The studio’s money (for once) was not wasted. The director Michael Curtiz (one of my favorites) is the best.

It won Oscars for Art Direction, Editing and Score, but lost the Best Picture Award to You Can’t Take It With You. Please. You’ve got to be kidding.

It really is perfect on every level. I should also note that this movie boasts one of the all-time great female characters–Lady Marian Fitzwalter.

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As portrayed by Olivia de Havilland, Maid Marian is beautiful, smart, brave, and chaste. Buttoned up in high-necked gowns at all times, she is also undeniably sexy.  She stands up bravely to the villains in the film and does not run off with Robin when things start to get dangerous. No, she stays in the castle where she can do the most good spying for the good guys. She is wonderful. Please note: this is a type of woman Hollywood is completely unable to get right anymore.

So happy birthday to the boy

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Robin and Marian circa 1991

and have a great weekend!