Such has been the plight of many ladies over the decades, no doubt. But it is not really Errol Flynn that we miss, because after all, we have enough womanizing alcoholics in the world. It is Robin Hood we remember, or the guy who saved Dodge, or the buccaneer with the trusting smirk. And seriously, when was the last time you ever heard of a “gallant” character in movies today? When was the last time that you developed a crush on someone in tights? That’s what I thought: not at all.
I have a special place in my heart for Robin Hood. I am watching it now, as a matter of fact. I turned it on because it is one of the ultimate feel-good movies—it has some of everything we look for in movies: action, suspense, humor, cunning, romance and a battle between good and evil. It is particularly feel-good for me, as it has been one of my favorite movies since about age five. My mom said that it was my first in a long series of “old movies” that I liked as a kid. And what’s not to like? Whether you are five or fifty, who can help but tingle when Old Errol makes his dashing debut on horseback, knocking Sir Guy of Gisbon’s weapon out of his hand with his medieval sharp-shooting? Or who can help saying ‘Boo Ya’ when he wins the archery tournament by splitting his competitor’s arrow on the bulls eye? That’s what I thought: no one.
It occurs to me that today’s audience might chide me for my praise of a domineering hero who predictably gets the girl in the end. Some might find this movie anti-feminist, and therefore criticize me for liking it as I do. But might I remind these critical folks that it was Maid Marion who saved Robin’s life, and that it was Maid Marion who refused to run away with Robin so that she could stay in the castle and uncover treachery? Marion is pretty kickass in this version. Robin may be charming and debonair, but he is melted by the wit, beauty and strength of his lady. This, I believe, should satisfy those of feminist persuasion.
Debonair is a wonderful word. I wish we could use it more often. But we need to have a subject to which we can apply this adjective, so shape up boys! We ladies have high expectations. Just be happy we aren’t asking you to put on the tights.