Ah… Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland! The best onscreen couple to never actually be a couple in real life. Though Ms. de Havilland did just admit that she was in love with Flynn… she just didn’t want to commit adultery.
Luckily, the characters they played on the big screen were always single… most notably in my favorite of their team-ups, The Adventures of Robin Hood! It’s the best Robin Hood story, too. But more on that later.
Until now, the two leads had been engaging in a lot of belligerent sexual tension: she was offended by Robin’s blunt ways, and he went out of his way to offend her. But then she begins to see what he’s fighting for, and admire his sense of honor behind his atrocious table manners and arrogant laugh. And I’m sure the fact that he’s gorgeous in those green tights helped, too. He likes her looks. It’s not perfect, but they do improve as the movie goes on.
They come to respect each other– she his cause and he her courage and intelligence. When he was caught in the Sheriff of Nottingham’s trap, it was Lady Marion who thought up his dramatic rescue from the gallows. And this is what leads to the romantic moment.
Marion is talking with her maid, Bess, about Robin. Bess tells her what being in love is like (apparently the old dear had been engaged five times in the past), and then Robin climbs through the window. Marion is, understandably indignant, but she is also very glad to see him, her plan to save him having been successful. Still, she tells him she doesn’t love him, and he, jokingly, asks her which man in the courtyard below will best break his fall (he eventually decides on a group of five guards). His humor gets through to her, and she admits she loves him. They kiss, have a tense moment when Sir Guy of Gisbourne pauses outside Marion’s door, and have a nice goodbye.
It’s very traditional, this scene. But I think this Robin and Marion are the best that have been put to the screen. They’re a fairly believable couple– more so than Captain Blood and Arabella Bishop– and it’s beautifully shot. I haven’t seen this movie in years, yet it was one of the first I thought of when I started compiling this list.