Annette and Will and I went to see The Adventures of Robin Hood tonight, part of the Michigan Theater summer movie program. We had seen the original (and silent) Peter Pan earlier this summer in the same series.
Robin Hood was the definition of “a hoot” in all kinds of fun and funny ways, but I had very much a “seen this before” sorta feeling. Only the 1938 film was the original, of course. While watching this, I just couldn’t stop thinking of Monty Python and The Holy Grail and the Food Network’s Iron Chef. Here’s why:
The connections between Robin Hood and Holy Grail are prehaps pretty obvious. There are all the fight scenes, including the ones where Robin takes out 100 guys with one arrow; the whole bit with people just getting shot with an arrow right out of the blue; fights where someone picks up a heavy-looking table clearly made out of cardboard and throws it at a group that instantly collapses under it. But then there’s other stuff too. For example, the outfits: all of the knights and other “bad guys” hanging around Prince John are all dressed like the knights in Holy Grail— or vice-versa, suppose. And then for some bizarre reason, Robin Hood has a minstrel (Will Scarlet– and hey, guess what? he dresses in red!) during the fight scene with Little John, not unlike Sir Robin in Holy Grail.
So, what’s the Iron Chef connection? First off, there is a lot of food in the movie. I mean, when these people aren’t fighting, they are eating and they are generally eating some animal hoof or whole bird just off of the fire. Second, Prince John (the chief bad buy played by Claude Rains) is dressed exactly like “the chairman” from the original Iron Chef, totally over the top with crazy colors and sequins and everything else. I can’t find any pictures on the web to prove my point, but believe me, if you’ve seen either either of these shows, you know what I’m talking about.
Slight photographic update:
Annette did a better job of researching pictures of Claude Rains than I did. Here are a couple of images from this web site:
Everyone has to have a cape in this movie….
That’s Claude as Prince John in the middle. This picture really doesn’t do this outfit justice because it includes black pants and shoes with weird silver accents everywhere. Very Iron Chef, IMO.