Today was an intensely busy day at work, but during one of the few bits of down time (more accurately, waiting for someone to call me back time), I was talking to my co-worker Mary Reeves and I brought up the fact that TCM is starting its annual summer series of family-friendly classic movies, “Essentials Jr.,” this Sunday, with one of my all-time movies ever, the glorious 1938 version of “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, Alan Hale (Sr.) and a host of wonderful character actors. Notice in this clip how much Alan Hale looks like his son, Alan Hale Jr., the Skipper from “Gilligan’s Island”:
Also notice that, even in a video embed on your computer screen, the color is brilliant. This movie has to be one of the best uses of the old three-strip Technicolor process ever.
I still hate the name “Essentials Jr.,” but I am delighted about this year’s host, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Bill Hader. I wonder if he’ll break out his Vincent Price impression at some point….
This year’s schedule of movies is excellent, with such classics as “Horse Feathers,” “King Kong” and “Gunga Din.” There are, as usual, a couple of movies that (as much as I , personally, love them) seem odd in this context of introducing kids to classic film. For example, I’m not sure kids will get that much out of “His Girl Friday,” which seems more like a movie for grownups. But I’m not a parent, so maybe I’m way off base on that one.
Anyway, whether you have kids or not, whether you plan to watch any of the other movies or not, tune in this Sunday at 7 (Central) for “Robin Hood.” They do not make movies like that anymore.