Guys. Olivia de Haviland turns 104 today!!! Isn’t that amazing? My first introduction to Olivia de Haviland was probably The Adventures of Robin Hood and it’s remained my favorite role of hers. I’m super excited to talk about it today. (Also, this will be the third blogathon post in which I focus on a Robin Hood character, from this specific film. I guess it’s Robin’s turn next!)
The main thing I appreciate about Olivia de Haviland’s Maid Marian is how fierce, yet feminine she is. And also how she doesn’t immediately swoon at Robin’s feet. In fact, she has a pretty strong disliking for Robin at first—and that doesn’t change until she sees why he fights and why his cause is so important. When their paths first cross, she sees him as a law-breaking troublemaker who isn’t worth the time of day. She isn’t one to be turned by a charming smile and some witty conversation. Instead, she sticks to her beliefs and doesn’t budge until she discovers the true facts for herself (that the Normans really do treat the Saxons awfully, for no good reason).
And that fierceness I talked about? Marian is absolutely stunning as she singlehandedly sets Robin’s rescue in motion, spies on Prince John and his cronies, and boldly defies Prince John as she stands before him in chains. I can’t praise her enough! She’s so brave and loyal and true. Yes, she ends up waiting for Robin to rescue her at the end—which some would probably see as a regression of her character—but come on, guys! She’s been amazing and resourceful all along and just because she’s locked up doesn’t mean that changes. Robin wouldn’t even be around to put King Richard back on the throne if Marian hadn’t gone to that tavern (BY HERSELF, as a NORMAN WOMAN, into the ENEMY CAMP [basically]) and shared her plan to save him.
Marian is an incredibly inspiring heroine all around. I love her so much.
But I haven’t even touched on the absolutely most important thing about her.
Okay. I’m kidding. They’re not the most important aspect of her character—by far—but they are gorgeous. The glowing Technicolor lends an extra dimension to both Olivia de Haviland’s beauty and the costumes’ magical glamour.
All in all, The Adventures of Robin Hood is a top-notch film with several great characters/performances, but Olivia de Haviland as Maid Marian is my favorite. And not just in this specific film either! She’s one of my favorite cinematic heroines all around, and I know so, so much of that is because of the wonderful actress who portrayed her.
Have you seen this movie? What’s your favorite Olivia de Haviland role? Who’s your favorite Maid Marian? Let me know in the comments!