A Heavy-Footed Englishman Trampling Around The Woods!


The International Association of Robin Hood Studies convened a while ago at the University of Rochester. The conference included an exhibition called "An Impression from the Middle Ages," featuring production stills and other items, including these boots, from the 1922 silent film Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks.

I recently purchased a DVD copy of this film and was overwhelmed by the sheer scale of this epic production. It was the first feature-length Robin Hood (1922) and was the greatest box office success of Douglas Fairbanks career, although initially he wasn’t interested in making a motion picture about the forest outlaw. When his brother Robert and director Allan Dwan first proposed a film based on the Robin Hood legends in the summer of 1921, Fairbanks immediately shot the idea down saying, “I don’t want to look like a heavy-footed Englishman trampling around the woods!”

But after persuasion and many brainstorming sessions, Fairbanks eventually changed his mind, and under the nom de plume Elton Thomas began to write a screen play based heavily on Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. He spent a quarter million of his own personal fortune in creating a gigantic ‘Nottingham Castle’ at the old Goldwyn Studio and went on to create the most energetic 'heavy-footed' Robin Hood the world has ever seen!

1 comment:

Clement of the Glen said...

A Heavy-Footed Englishman Trampling Around The Woods!

Douglas Fairbanks

Robin Hood (1922)