The Adventures of Robin Hood—Warner Bros. (Blu-ray)

Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 2.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5

A classic tale of Sherwood Forest. Errol Flynn is eternally charming as Robin, defender of the poor, tries to rid England of Prince John's tyranny and gain the hand of the lovely Maid Marian, in this rousing family adventure.

The classic tale of the knight of Sherwood forest in beautiful Technicolor. How many countless adaptations have we seen? Thankfully this is one of the better ones, despite its age. Flynn makes the most of the part and the production design was astounding for its time. I remember seeing this for the first time when it debuted on HD DVD and being surprised how edgy it was for its time. It has some pretty dark themes and visuals if you consider the era. Still, this is a fun classic that I was overjoyed to see Warner release.

Presented in its original 4x3 aspect ratio, The Adventures of Robin Hood is a remarkable transfer given the age of the film. The print exhibits gorgeous detail and breathtaking color rendition and this Blu-ray encode goes to show just how good these classics can look. The quality of the film wavers from time to time and the grain pattern can be a bit inconsistent but you can’t deny the beauty of the workmanship.

The Dolby Digital Mono mix is understandably front heavy but I was impressed with the breadth of the soundstage. Dynamics are underwhelming and the soundstage is a little thin but the film makers made the most of what they had. The score is playful and fills the front nicely and dialogue actually sounded reasonably natural. Overall better than I expected for the age.

Warner has done a really cool theme with this one entitled “Night at the Movies”. This includes an introduction by Leonard Maltin and brings you the film with the standard intro fare of the late thirties. This includes a trailer, some news reels, a short musical number and a cartoon (which is in full HD). There are also a few production features and a look at the iconic character. For Looney Tunes fans you also get a pair of themed cartoons in full HD that are a riot. Trailers for Flynn’s other works, outtakes and some short subjects are also included. Overall a terrific package.

This is one of the great classic adventure tales and Warner has done a spectacular job with this release. I love the themed mode for vintage viewing and the transfer is beautiful for its time. Highly recommended for classic film lovers!

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