Just seen the 1982 version of Ivanhoe again. Cinematically it’s aged, although there are no burgundy loons nor tank tops, and maybe I should consider that the extreme wealth in the higher echelons of English and European society might have allowed themselves to keep clean. Some of the stories about the western learning from the Islamic defenders of Outremer suggest that my expectations of Pythonesque medieval filth is more accurate.

When I first came across the story, it seemed to be all about the beginnings of the class war, with Robin Hood as the defender of the poor against the state and the acceptance of Richard II as the first class betrayal. This film version of the story however ties in various racisms, anti-saxon, anti-norman and anti-semitic and the misogyny of the coming ‘burn the witch’ cleansing, to some extent at the expense of the class contention.

Robin Hood is a bit ‘Men in tights’ and the Norman barons are a bit comedy baddies, but what do you expect from Gimili the Dwarf.




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