Archer of Fire (1971)
Robin of Italy
Have returned home to Nottingham for the first time since he was a lad Robin Hood (Giuliano Gemma) quickly discovers that his homeland is ruled by a tyrant by the name of Prince John (Daniele Dublino). After falling foul of the Prince and having to escape from a death sentence Robin forms a band of outlaws to fight against the Prince, leading them to kidnap the Prince's daughter.
Here is the honest truth, I watched "Archer of Fire", which also goes by the names of "L'arciere di fuoco" and "The Scalawag Bunch", hoping it would be a bad movie. Sound harsh but when you have a 1970's Italian movie about Robin Hood it isn't too unfair to expect something cheesy. Yet "Archer of Fire" is a pleasant surprise, a solid if unremarkable Robin Hood movie which at times feels better than some of the stuff which came out of Hollywood during the early 70s.
Now story wise we are in basic territory with Robin returning, confronted by the fact that Prince John is making life hard for the peasants and so forms a band of outlaws to do battle. And visually it looks like any other set from an old swashbuckler with some nice antique touches but nothing spectacular. It's the same with the costumes and so on and on one level "Archer of Fire" could have basically been using the same clothes, sets and story from another Robin Hood movie as it is that ordinary.
But what impresses is the quality of the acting with Giuliano Gemma doing an impressive job of playing Robin as a smiling hero. But what impresses more is his attempt to make him a dashing swashbuckler in the style of old Hollywood with sword fights which see him leap and bound around a room with an air of flamboyancy. Yes it all looks incredibly staged and over the top yet is also entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Archer of Fire" is by no means as bad as I expected it to be as whilst it lacks a unique story it has the same energy and flamboyancy of the old Hollywood swashbucklers.
Tags: Robin Hood Movies
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