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LIGHTS, CAMERA, CRUCIBLES 4: Robin Hood #125

Warwick Fairfax

July 27, 2022

“Rise and Rise again, until lambs become lions.” There’s a motto to live a life of significance by, to inspire not just perseverance in the face of crucibles, but noble triumph over them. It’s the central truth explored in this episode of the summer series LIGHTS, CAMERA, CRUCIBLES: What Our Favorite Movie Heroes Can Teach Us About Overcoming Setbacks and Failure. Host Warwick Fairfax and cohost Gary Schneeberger discuss the many lessons to learned from ROBIN HOOD, particularly the Russell Crowe version of the film, in which a common archer preserves England’s sovereignty and becomes a champion of the downtrodden and dismissed. Robin finds a life and builds a legacy of  significance by cultivating his character and putting the needs of others ahead of his own wants. Be sure to catch the intermission – this is a series about movies, right? – where Warwick and Gary discuss the versions of the Robin Hood legend that have resonated the most for them for decades.

Highlights

  • Why we chose Robin Hood for this series (4:03)
  • The character’s rich cinematic history (7:00)
  • How Robin Hood leaves success behind to pursue significance (10:03)
  • The original film depiction of Robion Hood in 1922 (11:38)
  • Why Robin Hood has been around so long (13:32)
  • How Robin Hood is like James Bond (15:36)
  • His similarities to Spider-Man (18:19)
  • The scene that depicts Robin’s character (21:23)
  • The king’s righthand man is not an honest man (30:34)
  • You can’t inherit a vision — or nobility of character (33:19)
  • The knights in Warwick’s family tree (36:50)
  • “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions” (40:51)
  • Intermission: Warwick and Gary share their favorite version of Robin Hood (43:11)
  • Longstride begins to find his purpose … while pretending to be someone else (52:41)
  • The legacy his father left him (55:49) 
  • The origin of the Magna Carta  (1:01:36)
  • The power of one small step (1:06:50)
  • Robin Hood becomes an outlaw (1:09:55)
  • Warwick’s final thoughts (1:14:28)

Transcript

Warwick Fairfax:

Welcome to Beyond the Crucible. I’m Warwick Fairfax, the founder of Crucible Leadership.

 

Sir Walter Locksley:

You need to know what I know. Your father was a stone mason. Is that pleasing to you?

 

Robin Longstride:

Yes, it is.

 

Sir Walter Locksley:

But he was more than that. He was a visionary.

 

Robin Longstride:

What did he see?

 

Sir Walter Locksley:

That kings have a need of their subjects, no less than their subjects have need of kings. A dangerous idea. Your father was a philosopher. He had a way of speaking that took you by the ears and by the heart.

 

Robin Longstride’s Father:

None of these things can be written down, Robin. You must commit them to your very soul. This is the science of memory.

 

Robin Longstride:

Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.

 

Sir Walter Locksley:

Finally, hundreds listen, thousands, who took up his call for the rights of all ranks from baron to serf.

 

Robin Longstride:

Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Now there’s a motto to live a life of significance by. To inspire, not just perseverance in the face of crucibles, but noble triumph over them. Hi, I’m Gary Schneeberger, co-host of the show. This week on our special summer series, Lights, Camera, Crucibles, what our favorite movie heroes can teach us about overcoming setbacks and failure, Warwick and I discuss the lessons to learn from Robin Hood. We’ll spend most of our time discussing the Russell Crowe version of the film, from which that clip you heard was taken, in which a common archer preserves England’s sovereignty and becomes a champion of the downtrodden and dismissed.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Robin finds a life and builds a legacy of significance by cultivating his character and putting the needs of others ahead of his own wants. And don’t miss our intermission. The series is about movies, right? Where Warwick and I discuss the versions of the Robin Hood legend that have resonated the most for us for decades. Spoiler alert, mine involves Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. The reason why, listener, this is going to be a lot of fun is that this is part of our series, Lights, Camera, Crucibles, what your favorite movie heroes can teach you about overcoming setback and failure. And this week’s exploration is on a subject, on a movie hero, that that has meant a lot to Warwick since he was a boy, as we’ll talk about here. And before I say said character’s name, I’m just going to do this, so you can see who we might be talking about today.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Warwick, there you go. It is indeed, Robin Hood. It’s why I’ve got an arrow here on my jacket. And that’s why if you’re listening, not watching on YouTube, you have no idea why we just laughed. I’ve put a Robin Hood felt hat on my head. So, I very commonly wear hats on the show. I will not wear this one the whole episode though, Warwick, because it’ll probably distract you. So I’ll take it off now, but there it goes. So, that was my way of making sure I was on brand here for our discussion of Robin Hood. The reason that we chose Robin Hood, listeners, is one of the things that we try to do with every hero that we select is: what are the key learnings from the movie experience of that hero that apply to what Crucible Leadership aims to help you to do?

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And that is to overcome your setbacks and failures and lead a life of significance. And Robin Hood is a great example of that. And I’m going to throw out a couple of biographical notes, and then I’m going to let Warwick sort of explain a little more about it. But Robin Hood, as you all know… If you know only a little of him, he’s the guy who takes from the rich and gives to the poor. And he’s a legendary heroic outlaw depicted originally in English folklore, and then subsequently featured in a lot of literature and a lot of film.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

According to legend, he was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. In some versions of the legends, he’s depicted as being of noble birth. In some modern versions, he’s depicted as being a yeoman. But some of the general beats that are there for all of them is, he’s taken part in the crusades or he’s served King Richard who was running the crusades, and he’s often dressed in this hat that I was just wearing. But it’s that idea of fighting for the oppressed, and helping them become less oppressed, I think is sort of the headline of who Robin Hood is if we had to nail it down to a tweet, right, Warwick?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. Yeah. He’s always fighting for the common man, common woman. Obviously, different adaptations. Kind of originally in the earliest myths dating to 1100-1200’s and beyond, he was sort of this yeoman, common man figure. And then in later versions, and I don’t know, 1600’s through 1800s, he becomes a noble, I guess, because the writers of mythical fiction back then wanted him more to be this heroic noble figure. So yeah, there have been different versions of him, but he’s this mythic person that fights for the oppressed against the rich and powerful.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

That’s one of the things that I’ve found really interesting about it because I have not been a huge Robin Hood fan my whole life. He is big in America, as well, but certainly not as big as perhaps in England and Australia. But I sort of always assumed at some point in my life, I forget when I stopped assuming this, and he was based on a real life figure. And that has been something that historians have tried to prove over the years, but they had never been able to do it, have they? That Robin Hood was actually based on one person who actually existed.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

No, it is really a mythic heroic figure. And it’s just fascinating, as I guess we’ll get into, is just the different versions of him in film have changed a bit, but we’ll get into this 2010 Russell Crowe movie we’re going to chat about a lot here. If anything, that’s more of the original story of Robin Hood. But the mythic figure I grew up with is really typified in the 1938 movie with Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian, and was The Adventures of Robin Hood. And so, that’s sort of the classic version that pre-Russel Crowe, even the Kevin Costner version, that is what, today, people commonly think of as Robin Hood. He is this nobleman that goes off to the Crusades, at least in some of them, kind of comes back. King Richard is captured somewhere in Austria, I think it is, and is held for ransom for years. And so, Robin is back in England because he opposes then Prince John and his tyranny, he becomes an outlaw.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So you have this nobleman who basically gives up his title, if you will, by fighting for the oppressed. And at the end of the 1938 movie, King Richard comes back and all is restored, and everything’s good. So that is the classic tale, be it in Kevin Costner’s version or in Errol Flynn’s version. Wealthy nobleman, basically in a sense, puts everything on the line to fight for the oppressed, but at the end he has it restored. Anyway, that’s the normal version, if you will, in the last, I don’t know 80, 90 years of the Robin Hood myth.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And it’s interesting to hear you explain it that way because we say often at Crucible Leadership and Beyond the Crucible that success and significance aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have success, and that success can be also part of a life of significance. What’s interesting as I hear you describe Robin Hood in that way, in the traditional reading of the Errol Flynn film and the Kevin Costner film, he sort of had to cast success aside to find significance. He wasn’t one who initially was able to meld those two together. He had to leave behind success. He had to become an outlaw. And then through that, in helping the oppressed, he found significance, and as you said, it’s restored. But that’s an interesting concept. There’s not a whole lot of times we talk about that on this show, that success and significance don’t exist in the same universe. In the universe of Robin Hood, many times, that’s true. Success, as the world defines it, and significance do not coexist.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. I mean, sometimes you have to be willing to risk at all for the greater good. In really, every version of Robin Hood that’s popular, it’s never about him. In the 1938 classic version with Errol Flynn, not only does he want to rob from the rich, the oppressive King John, who was imposing ridiculously high taxes just to benefit his own wealth and coffers, but also he wants to help raise money to free King Richard in Austria, help raise ransom money.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

There’s a wonderful scene in the 1938 movie when he is trying to explain to her, in the Sherwood Forest, what it is they do. And they’ve just plundered a whole bunch of stuff, taxes from some wealthy henchman of Prince John, and he asks his men, he says, “Men, should we divide up all this money, the spoils, for ourselves? Or should we use it to ransom King Richard in prison in Austria? What do we do, men?” And they all shout, “This is for King Richard.” In other words, they could have used the money for themselves, but none of these men were about themselves. It’s all about combating oppression and freeing their beloved King Richard, who wasn’t perfect, but certainly was a way better king than Prince John.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, certainly better than his brother turned out to be for sure.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Oh, man. In every version, Prince John, and then King John is the bad guy, which was true in real life.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Sort of like guy Guy Gisbourne as the sheriff, right? I mean, he’s a bad guy in all the versions, as well. Speaking of all the versions, you have talked a little bit here about the 1938 with Errol Flynn. We’re going to really unpack the 2010 with Russell Crowe, but it all kind of begin filmically in 1922 with Douglas Fairbanks. And that is an interesting film because not only does it set Robin Hood on his filmic journey, but it’s sort of the start, you could argue, of action heroes. You and I were talking beforehand here, and you said that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone all owe a little bit of a debt of gratitude to Douglas Fairbanks. How so?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah, absolutely. So the original 1922 version starring Douglas Fairbanks, I mean, he did an early silent movie version of Zorro and pirates, swashbuckling movies. He was the original action hero swashbuckler that everybody from Errol Flynn onward owe a debt of gratitude. I mean, back in the twenties, he was the box office gold. Everybody wanted to see the latest swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks action hero. He was married to another movie star, Mary Pickford, and arguably you could say they created Hollywood. Back in the early twenties, it wasn’t a whole lot out there and with their movies, and they built this big house, Pickfair, somewhere in, I don’t know, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, somewhere like that. It just became a magnet. So yeah, Douglas Fairbanks was huge in many ways, both in terms of helping to create the Hollywood that we now have, as well as just the original art in the story, the action heroes, an amazing guy.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And all this that we’ve been kind of talking about, let’s gather it up here and put it in perspective for the listeners. What makes Robin Hood so timeless and ageless, why he’s still around these 80, 90 years, I can’t do the math, is because of what he inspires in us, the viewers, right? And that’s to live a life on purpose dedicated to serving others. If there was a logo for that aspect of what Crucible Leadership stands for, Robin Hood’s a pretty good logo for that, isn’t it? A life on purpose dedicated to serving others.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. And in the Robin Hood myth and every version, putting everything on the line for your beliefs. It’s almost like in the military, they say in the US, “Duty, honor, country.” People go in the military knowing they may well have to risk their lives for their country. It’s in one sense, you could say the ultimate noble sacrifice to… And in this particular case in the Robin Hood era, he is willing to lay down his life to combat forces of oppression, in this case, led by Prince, and then King John.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And it’s not about his own wealth, irrespective of the version. Whether he’s a yeoman, common man in the 2010 Russell Crowe version, or Kevin Costner, Errol Flynn version where he’s more of a wealthy nobleman, it’s all about putting everything on the line, not just for a cause, but for a cause that’s devoted to helping other people, right? That, in a sense, is the ultimate life of significance and that you were willing to risk everything to help others for a higher purpose for a life of significance. That’s why it’s such a compelling story and why people have been fascinated by the story of Robin Hood for years, if not centuries.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And one of the things that’s interesting about it, and we’re going to get into talking now about the Russell Crowe 2010 version. But sort of to set the table for that, one of the things I found fascinating about looking through all these movies that have been based on the Robin Hood legend have drawn their inspiration from that is that, this movie, this 2010 movie, you’re exactly right, it’s lasted through generations and each generation has sort of gotten its own kind of Robin Hood. I liken it to… As I was watching this movie for this show, it made me think of James Bond. And I just so happened to be, aside from the work I do at Crucible Leadership here, I’m writing a book on the films of James Bond, and I’ve watched from Sean Connery through to then Daniel Craig. And what happens is, Sean Connery’s kind of a rake, right? He’s kind of charming and he’s witty, and Daniel Craig is gritty and violent and really strong and powerful.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And the same sort of thing can be said about the early Robin Hoods, and then to this 2010 with Russell Crowe. It’s kind of like Daniel Craig’s version of Bond, Russell Crowe’s version of Robin Hood is very much for its time today. It wouldn’t be boxing, right? Boxing’s described as a sweet science, right? That’s Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, I think. Russell Crowe’s is MMA, mixed martial arts. It’s much more physical and much more gritty. But yet, the importance, again, for our discussion, is that the beats of the story about dedicating your life to serve others and rising above crucibles, is a throughline through all of these iterations of it. The 2010 Robin Hood begins with a fantastic preamble. The preamble says this: “In times of tyranny and injustice, when law oppresses the people, the outlaw takes his place in history.” This movie takes place, as most of the Robin Hood legends do, in 12th century England. That’s a pretty good summary of what we’re about to see in this movie, and frankly, what we see in all the Robin Hood depictions, most of them.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Exactly. It’s all about Robin Hood as being this champion for the underdog in fighting against tyranny and injustice. I mean, sadly, tyranny and injustice have been around ever since there were humans. It’s the nature of humans that there will be some that choose to oppress, even enslave others. And it’s true of most, if not every culture, and it was certainly true in 12th century England, as we’ll see later. The rise of Kings back then was pretty much absolute. They could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Pretty much no rules, none of this Marquis de Queensbury rule stuff like in boxing they had.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, it’s like, you’re the king… At the risk of being slightly humorous, I’m reminded of that Mel Brooks movie, I think it’s History of the World, Part II, or something. I don’t care if there ever was a Part I, just started with Part II. And there’s a scene where King Louis of France says, “It’s good to be the king.” And it’s kind of like that. It’s humorous in a way. It’s good to be the king. You could do you could do whatever you wanted, bad for everybody else, but these were dark times.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And speaking of Mel Brooks, even he did a Robin Hood movie. Robin Hood: Men in Tights, which was a comedy, which is funny in that Mel Brooks kind of way. I’m going to do something I haven’t done in the series yet because you just have been talking about kings and absolute power. Our next episode is going to be on Spider-Man. And there’s a key beat in the Spider-Man story. It varies from movie to movie on who tells it to him, but Spider-Man lives on with this belief, birthed from a crucible, birthed from pain, that with great power comes great responsibility. And that is what we’re not seeing in the bad guys in Robin Hood. They have a lot of power, many of the rulers, but they’re not living it responsibly. And that’s where Robin, as he develops power, he continues to live responsibly.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

He starts out with no power living responsibly and as he begins to become a hero, he doesn’t lose that sense of responsibility. The basic beats of this story, in Robin Hood 2010, King Richard the Lionheart, he’s been away for a decade. He’s fighting his crusade and he’s away for 10 years, and the people, as you’ve indicated, have suffered because they don’t have a leader with his character. They don’t have a leader with his… He’s not a perfect leader, but he’s got a hearty character. The barons in the country are not united. They’re all kind of operating independently. And everyday citizens are oppressed by greedy and unscrupulous leaders, including, as depicted in this film, the church is not non-complicit in what’s going on. And into all of this backdrop, we meet Russell Crowe who plays Robin Longstride. Talk a little bit about Robin Longstride, as portrayed by Russell Crowe in this film, at the beginning, when we first meet him.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So he is just this common man. He has been in the Crusades with King Richard. After 10 years, at least as depicted here, they’re back in France, which at the medieval times, I don’t know what, 1000, 1100 through maybe 1200, 1300’s or so. England fought over various parts of France, not to get to in the weeds here, but at the time we’re talking about, 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy and Northern France conquered England. So, you had the Normans and the Saxons. Robin is of the sort of Saxon class, which was sort of oppressed in a sense at the time. So King Richard, after 10 years in the Crusade, he’s in France and he is sort of one more siege away from returning to England, at least that’s what they say in the movie. And so, here’s Robin Longstride and he’s just a regular guy.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

He’s an archer. Certainly in English history at this time, for the next couple hundred years, the archers, the Longbowmen of England were sort of the ultimate weapon that other nations couldn’t compete with. The ability to shoot these arrows from these massive bows, long distances, shoe armour. It’s certainly around English history. So he was an archer, which certainly had some respect in the military back then, but he was a common man. He wasn’t this nobleman. So, that’s the Robin Longstride of this version. And in some sense, in the original myths of Robin Hood, that is in a sense back to the original myth, if you will.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And he has a moment early on in this movie with King Richard. This is a very interesting… This is a great episode to be here, listener, because you’re going to get a chance now to… And it’s funny that we refer to things that don’t show up in a final product as being on the cutting room floor. So Warwick had parts of his book, Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials To Lead a Life of Significance, ended up on the cutting room floor. And now, we’re talking about movies where the idea of a cutting room floor actually does really exist because they would cut film out and they would land on the cutting room floor. But there’s a scene that helps explain the character, and by character, I mean the internal fortitude of Robin Longstride that you had originally put in your book, Crucible Leadership, to help people understand how you develop character, help people understand those kinds of things. So, unpack that a little bit. Let’s kind of walk through that because it’s a fascinating look at how you speak truth to power, I think is the headline on that.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely, Gary. So originally in my book, in the current book I have a couple chapters that deal with organizational leadership. How do you organize a team of committed followers and that kind of thing. And so in the original version that was cut literally years ago, I had a scene from this 2010 version of Robin Hood. And in the movie, King Richard the Lionheart, he’s laying siege to this castle in France, and he’s chatting with Sir Robert Locksley, his right hand man, and he’s feeling a bit melancholy that they’re in his tent. And Sir Robert Locksley is saying, “They’re going to rejoice when you come home.” And King Richard says, “Well, I’m not so sure. My army knows better. The Lionheart is a bit mangy.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

He feels like some of the luster of his character has worn off a bit, a little bit of self awareness. He’s sort of a bit melancholy. And so, Robert Locksley says, “But everybody in the army idealizes you.” And he says, “Oh, come on.” And so he says, “Let’s see if we can find an honest man.” He wants to see if he’ll find an honest man in the English army that will tell him the truth. That’s what he’s looking for, and really credit to him, I suppose, for doing that. So somehow he comes along, slide this command arch Robin Longstride. So basically, there’s a scene in which he ends up meeting him and, if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know the context, but he starts out the relevant portion of our dialogue by saying, “Are you honest enough,” to Robin Longstride, “To tell the king something he doesn’t want to hear? What’s your opinion of my crusade? Will God be pleased with my sacrifice?”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Now, that’s about as tough a question as you’re ever going to face. What’s your opinion of the crusade? And will God be pleased with my sacrifice? And so, Robin takes a minute, and he looks at the king and says, “No, he won’t.” In other words, God won’t be pleased with your sacrifice. I mean, in this day and age, as we said, Kings had absolute power, which meant that the king could have killed him on the spot. There’s no Supreme Court, no appeals. I mean, you’re literally taking your life in your own hands by saying that, and Robin did. And so obviously, Richard says, “Well, why do you say that?” And so Robin says, “The massacre at Acre…” Which was in the Middle East and in Palestine. And so Robin says, “You had us herd two and a half thousand Muslim men, and women, and children together and basically killed them.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And he said, “There was a woman that just looked at me and she just had pity in her eyes. Not anger, but pity. And in that moment, Robin said, “We will be Godless. All of us, Godless.” In other words, they were betraying their faith, they were betraying God. They’re doing everything morally and spiritually that was abhorrent and absolutely wrong. So at that point, King Richard says, “Honest, brave, and naive.” Clearly he was missing a few beats in his character, the fact that he could even think that was justifiable, that horrific act. And so what happened to… You would think he could have been executed at that point and ended the movie after 15 minutes. But no, he was put in the stockades, if you’ve seen those at fairs where you stick your arms and legs in stocks.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, he could have been killed. At least flogging would’ve been mild. And so, that’s sort of the end of that scene. It shows tremendous bravery on the part of Robin. And one final beat to this story that’s not in the movie, but is really cool. In real life, King Richard does indeed die at the siege of this castle in France. He gets shot with a crossbow and he lays dying. He wants to know which French soldier has killed him and turns out it’s some French guy that I don’t know, supposedly in some other battle, King Richard’s killed his father, brothers, wars, this stuff happens. And King Richard says, “Well, I understand that. I forgive you. And you are to be free. In fact, I’ll even give you some money.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, who gives their person who kills them money? It makes no sense. So it’s a great story, and it’s totally true. Sadly, after King Richard dies, some other mercenary kills this young guy in pretty gruesome fashion. Sometimes, forgiveness is good, but when you die, it’s not necessarily inherited by the next generation. King Richard is an interesting guy. A flawed hero, if you will. But as we’ll see, coming up, the now King John, as flawed as Richard was, and he was deeply flawed, King John was a whole nother level of evil. He truly was evil without any redemptive qualities whatsoever.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah. And we will get to King John, who is King Richard’s youngest brother, his only surviving brother. But something you said as you were telling that story, Warwick, really struck me. And it’s the first time I thought about it this way, but you mention Robert Locksley, who is with King Richard when he’s looking for an honest man among his forces. You mentioned that Sir Robert Locksley is the king’s right hand man, but the king’s right hand man is not the honest man that the king’s searching for. I mean, the king doesn’t know he asks someone, “Let’s see if I could find an honest man.” And his right hand man who he asks, is not an honest man because clearly, as you’ve explained, that massacre was something that a right hand man would know that was not the right thing to do.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But again, he was perhaps more interested in holding onto power, holding onto authority, than he was in doing the right thing. And that’s something that you’ve talked about in the book a lot. We talk about it on the show all the time, surround yourself, leaders, with people who will tell you what you need to hear, not only what you want to hear. And Richard had surrounded himself… Sir Robert Locksley was someone who told him what he wanted to hear and didn’t tell him what he didn’t want to hear.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. It’s a fascinating point. I hadn’t really thought about this, but I think another beat to the story of Sir Robert Locksley, I don’t know that he was a bad person per se, but sometimes around this mythic hero, like a King Richard, and you put blinders on. You see the heroic figure, the one that the men cheer for, and you forget the bad stuff because you don’t want to take your hero off the pedestal. So for those of us, it’s good to have heroes, but look at them with sober eyes. Don’t think our heroes have no flaws because every person does. So if you’re a follower, if you’re a Sir Robert Locksley, don’t idealize a hero so much that you can’t even see the bad or their deficiency. So, there’s lessons for King Richard. There’s also lessons for the Robert Locksley’s of this world. Have a sober appraisal of your heroes because no hero in the world is perfect. Everybody has their flaws and Robert Locksley was not willing to see that. He just saw the mythic hero figure, not the deeply flawed king that Richard was.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah. And we find out more about Sir Robert Locksley, in fact, and in one of the next big scenes in the movie that has some import for Crucible Leadership. And that is, he is wounded in the battle that commences, that cost King Richard his life. He’s wounded, as well. And as he’s laying dying, Robin Longstride is walking through among the injured men and Locksley stops Robin and says to him, he asks him to return his sword. He hands him his sword and says, “Please return this to my father back in England.” Again, speaking to perhaps the character of Robert Locksley having some holes in it. He had taken this sword from his father without letting his father know that. His father’s also Sir… I forget his name. Sir… What’s his name? Walter. Sir Walter Locksley. And he wants Longstride to bring the sword back to his father.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And he begins the conversation, Locksley does, with Robin by saying, “Surely, you know what it’s like to have a father who loves you.” And he says, “No, I don’t know what that’s like.” Robin says. From his point of view, he feels his father abandoned him at age six. But here’s the interesting point, Robin agrees to bring that sword back to England and give it to Robert Locksley’s dad. And I think the key Crucible Leadership truth there is, we say a lot of the time, you can’t inherit a vision and that is entirely true. You cannot inherit a vision, but at the same time, you don’t necessarily inherit the kind of nobility that leads to character rather than position. Robin Longstride, at that point in his life, had no really memorable father influence.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

There was no heritage there that he felt that he heard. And yet, he built his own character on his own doing his own thing by telling the king the truth in that time. And by this man, who’s basically a stranger he’s fighting alongside, who he knows is of high station, but he says, “Yeah, I’ll go back to England and I’m going to bring this sword back to your father, because this is your dying wish.” And Robin Longstride, as a man of honor, takes on that responsibility to execute that. And there’s a lesson in that for us, as well, about the development of character. You can’t inherit character from someone, but what Robin didn’t inherit from his own father, in his own sort of upbringing, he certainly built on his own in taking on this responsibility for Robert Locksley.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. It’s such a good point, Gary. Nobility of character and nobility of spirit, it’s not something you inherit, it’s sort of intrinsic to who you are, or it’s something that you believe in, develop. So this was an incredible scene where, as you say, Robert Locksley lays dying, he’s sort of murdered in an ambush. He’s got a few moments to live and he basically begs Robin Longstride, “I didn’t leave my father in a good position. I took his sword from him. I didn’t ask. I want to be reconciled to my dad. What I did was wrong. I love my dad. He’s a good man. Please give the sword back to him.” And just begs him. And Robin Longstride says, “I will do that.” As soon as he said that, Robert Locksley then dies. He’s at peace now, knowing that there’ll be…

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It was not just the sword will be given back to his father, but there’s some sense of reconciliation. There’s some sense of, “Forgive me, Father. What I did was wrong.” And so, it’s a great, not just returning the sword, but in a sense, giving some measure of healing and restoration to the relationship between father and son, even after the death of the son. So, it’s an incredible thing that Robin Longstride does. And as you say, it shows his character, his nobility of spirit, which is something that is irrespective of your place in life and birth. We can all have that nobility of character and spirit that Robin Longstride has.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah. I mean, there are people in this movie who are called Sir, who have the title of Sir who don’t deserve it, who don’t have the character to match it. Gottfried being the great example. Is he English? Is he French? He’s playing both sides against the middle. He’s sort of the chief villain of the piece, but he’s got nobility in some sense. King John has nobility in a regal sort of aristocratic sense, but he doesn’t have any of that nobility of character that you talked about.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

No. I mean, just an interesting beat on that, since we’re talking about sirs and knights. As listeners would know, there were actually three knights in my family in a row, and not inherited. You can’t inherit a knighthood, at least in England, but typically not in Australia, where my father was Sir Warwick Fairfax. His father was Sir James Oswald Fairfax. And then before him, Sir James Redding Fairfax. And in theory, you’re meant to be given a knighthood for service to the community for doing things that are meritorious for your country. That’s the theory.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

In practice, obviously, certainly back then, it wasn’t always that case. But I think I might have mentioned this occasionally, but my father was knighted while we were living in England when I was about six. And so, he actually got knighted in Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth the Second. At age six, it seemed like some cavernous auditorium in the palace. I felt like I was in… I don’t know, sort of the bleachers, upper bleachers somewhere. But you could see, just like in the movies, my father kneeled, and she got out the sword, and puts the sword on both his shoulders flat side. Obviously, you don’t want to do the sharp side, otherwise knight’s not going to be a knight too long. If anybody’s knighting people, flat side first, just tips here.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

There’s some leadership tips.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Exactly. And then she says, “Arise.” To Warwick, just like in the movies. It was pretty impressive. So yeah, I’d like to think my father was one of the the good nobles, one of the good knights, if you will. But yeah, they weren’t always that way, unfortunately.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Now that you’ve told that story, you have to tell the funny thing that you mentioned in the book that I’ve heard you tell a couple times. Not everybody… I mean, people who aren’t from England or Australia don’t necessarily understand sirs, and Knights, and lords, and all that stuff. And weren’t there people sometimes that sort of misidentified your father by giving him a bit of a royalty promotion of some sorts? Explain that a little bit cause it’s just funny.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. Yeah. So after I graduated from high school in, I guess, ’78, and then was going to Oxford later in fall of ’79. We toured around the US for a couple months because I loved American history, and that was where I wanted to go. My dad said, “Well, you got in to Oxford. I’ll take you anywhere you want to.” And I wanted to go to the US, so we were traveling around and, as you say, people, certainly back then, didn’t get all the differences, and they would call him Lord Fairfax. I mean, the word Lord Fairfax… Back in the day in Northern Virginia, There was a Lord Fairfax that helped George Washington get his start, which is another story. Well, a lord is a step up on being a knight, and there’s probably 15 different levels of knighthood, believe it or not. Knight is George, and the garter, and goodness knows how many gradations there are, but yeah. When they called him Lord Fairfax, he didn’t say, “And actually, no, I’m just Warwick.” He just said nothing. “You want to give me a promotion?”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I wouldn’t have said anything either. In a passing thing going by, that’s fine. If that’s what you want to believe, that’s perfectly okay with me. Back to the sirs though, that sword that Sir Robert Locksley gives Robin to bring back to his father, Sir Walter Locksley, Robin is messing with the grip on it. He unwinds the grip and he sees a slogan emblazoned in it. And it says this: “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” And it’s pretty obvious when you hear that, but later in the film we learned that sort of just means never give up. And that’s another key point in Crucible Leadership. We’ve done an entire podcast series on resilience about keeping bouncing back. It’s never too late to allow the crucibles of our lives to season and motivate us to a life of significance. Resilience is critical to not only recovering from a crucible, but living a life of significance afterwards. And that’s a lesson that Robin Longstride, as this movie plays out, certainly learns, isn’t it?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It really is. And we’ll see, later on here in the movie, even the broader significance of that phrase, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” Yes, absolutely. On one level it means perseverance and you never give up, but on another level, on an expanded level, the question is, never give up about what? And basically what Robin Longstride’s father is saying, “Your life should be in service of others.” It should be, as we say, in Crucible leadership, a life of significance. A life dedicated on purpose to serving others. When his dad is saying, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” Until the common people have strength, have justice, will be another way of putting it. So never give up, but make sure your life’s purpose, your life cause, is a life of significance, a life on purpose dedicated to serving others. That was Robin’s legacy, as we’ll see later, but there’s a lot of just deep meaning behind the words on the hilt of that sword.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah. And just so you know, I also wore a t-shirt with a lion on it today because I knew that was coming.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Awesome.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I always dress for the part in costume. So that was a pretty significant, and not heavy beat, but that was a definite important point to let sit with listeners. And let’s do that, and do what they do at movies sometimes, especially long epic movies. They take an intermission. And so, let’s take an intermission in our discussion of Robin Hood and Robin Hoods, as they appear on film for our series here, Lights, Cameras, Crucibles. And let’s talk about… You and I both have on the list of the 75 Robin Hood versions that are out there, you and I both have favorites or some that have more meaningful to us. For you, it’s… Well, explain what it was for you. What’s your kind of one that really tugs at your heart?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Well, in the sixties and seventies growing up, there was this black and white English TV series called Robin Hood. I think it ran in the UK and in the US maybe like ’55, ’56, through ’59. It wasn’t really a campy version, but back in those years, it certainly wasn’t gritty. And it starred Richard Green as Robin Hood, and every episode was him battling the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John, fighting for the oppressed. You had his love interest Maid Marian who back then, as in the traditional version, she was in the court of Prince John, Sheriff of Nottingham. And she would basically get the scuttlebutt, and pass it on to Robin Hood. “Hey, something’s coming down, you better…” Like a spy in the court, so nobody kind of knew.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And yeah, it’s not really a gritty Robin Hood, but it’s just this classic series. A little bit like the black and white version of Zorro in the sixties with Guy Williams, similar kind of TV series. It was somewhat serious, but it wasn’t gritty. And it was the underdog, I mean, Zorro’s somewhat similar in that sense. An aristocrat who’s fighting for the oppressed. Somewhat similar beats, but yeah, it was just a fun series and I loved it. Had a…

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, I was going to say, and there’s one of the reasons why you loved it, and fifties TV shows in particular were good at this, and that was the series theme song. I think of the Lone Ranger had a great theme song, and Zorro had a great theme song. And this particular Robin Hood series in the fifties had a great theme song, and we’re going to let listeners hear it right now.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

So, does that bring back warm memories for you, Warwick, when you hear that theme song?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Oh, it does. I love that opening scene where you see Robin Hood pull back the bow and the swish of the arrow as it hits the tree. And then, the ending theme tune, which was over the credits. And just that line, I won’t sing it. You just heard the music, but it says, “Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen. Robin Hood, Robin Hood with his band of men. Feared by the bad, loved by the good. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.” I mean, that’s iconic, mythic stuff. It’s no wonder that Robin Hood is this amazing figure, both in the silver screen, as well as in TV series. It’s such a wonderful character.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, and my special Robin Hood story is a little bit different. It’s the 1964 musical film, Robin and the Seven Hoods. Get it? Robin and the Seven Hoods. It’s a play on words, but it stars Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. It’s one of their rat pack films, and I love it. And I actually know a bit about it because I just wrote about it in my new book, Frank Sinatra on the Big Screen, the Singer as Actor and Filmmaker. The thing about that movie that was so great is, it was a great conceit that they set up. Frank Sinatra, who plays Robbo, and his merry men, who are all his kind of associated hoods, are good natured hoods in prohibition era Chicago. This whole idea of taking from the rich and giving to the poor turns into kind of this PR stunt that Robin does, where he raises money for a charity to help disadvantaged kids.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And at first, it starts out as he just wants to do it as PR because, “Oh, look at Robbo!” Because he wants to get ahead of Guy Gisbourne, played by Peter Falk, who just steals the movie. He wants to make sure he can stay a step ahead of him in the battle for who’s going to control the city’s illegal liquor. Not often a phrase you hear with Robin Hood, by the way, illegal liquor, but that’s true in Robin and the Seven Hoods. Even in that movie, which is a comedy, which is a musical, has some great moments in it. It’s got Sinatra singing, which is everything. Bing Crosby plays Alan-a-Dale, one of Robin Hood’s merry men. In this movie, he comes alongside as kind of the accountant to Robbo to keep track of all these donations that are coming in for the kids.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But there’s a great scene in that movie, that’s musical, as well, that speaks to this idea of taking from those who have, and giving to those who don’t, and about building character. Bing Crosby sings a song to these orphan children as they’re going to bed. It’s like a bedtime… Not a lullaby, but a bedtime kind of “Okay, quick, go to bed now.” Song. And again, it speaks to this spirit of the character that we’re talking about. And that song, we’ll play a little bit for you right here. It’s called, Don’t Be a Do Badder.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Now all day, I am going to be in my head singing, “Don’t be a do badder, a do badder.” Cause that’s one of the only songs I’ve ever heard that has a rhyme for step ladder in it, but there it is. So, there’s our intermission. Intermission is over. I just thought we’d do that to kind of give you a feel for one of the things we want this series to be, is informational and inspirational, but also fun. And hopefully, Warwick, kind of recalling his days of watching Robin Hood on TV, and me snapping my fingers to Don’t Be a Do Badder makes you smile. Going back to Robin Hood 2010 with Russell Crowe, he returns to England. He’s got the sword. He’s going to return it to Sir Walter Locksley. And when he gets there, he meets Sir Walter and Sir Walter’s daughter-in-law, Lady Marian.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

So this is Robert’s wife, now widow, though she doesn’t know it quite yet. And he ultimately pretends to be Sir Robert, at the urging of Sir Walter. So Sir Walter says, “Okay, things are kind of unstable here. We need some stability. We need to have the people who are trying to oppress us to believe that my son has come home.” So Robin Longstride impersonates Robert Locksley when he is back in England because they need a man of grit and strength to help them survive kind of what’s happening back home in England. As that beat plays out, how does that feel for you as Robin begins to step into a different identity than he’s known? And I think that’s a nice bridge to what ends up being his life of significance.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

We have opportunities in life, in which you make a choice just to follow our own path and the sense of do what we want to do, but not in a good sense, just, “Hey, I want to do it because it’s just about me. I don’t care about anybody else.” But we have opportunities in which we can decide, “Okay, is life more than me? Maybe I need to serve my fellow man, my fellow men and women.” And in this case, Sir Walter Locksley, who’s I think in his eighties at the time, he’s pretty much blind. He knows that without an heir, that everything will be taken away by King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And so he says, “Look, for the moment… My son is dead. I want you…” It’s 10 years later in the crusades, 10 years is a long time. He was young when he left. “I want you to play my son.” And Robin does that, not for his own glory. It’s like, “This old man needs me. He’s going to tell me more about my father and about the sword.” He doesn’t get the full story yet. “And if I can help Sir Walter Locksley and Marian, and the people in the village around Nottingham, then I will.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So it wasn’t about glory, it was about serving other people and helping to fight oppression. Cause if he doesn’t take that up, it’s going to mean all those people that live in that village are going to be ripe for oppression and persecution by King John and his henchmen. So this is what Robin’s thinking, “Okay. If I don’t do this, bad things will happen to regular folks. So, what am I going to do?” He says, “Well, if I need to play this guy for the sake of protecting people, then I will.” It is a noble decision, in the best sense of that word.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And I love this discussion because we’ve used the word noble in different contexts several times. And it truly is. There’s the nobility of position, which is not what Robin’s after. There’s the nobility of character that he exhibits over and over and over again. The next big scene you heard, listener, we played it at the outset of the show, is when Robin does learn the truth about his own father. It’s told to him by Sir Walter, and it’s a moment, and I’ll let Warwick give the details of it because he understands this stuff a little better than I do. But in that moment, Robin receives something we talk about often at Crucible Leadership, and that is a legacy. He learns some things that his father left behind, ideas and actions that inspired citizens when his father was alive, and can inspire them again. And so Warwick, what is it? Unpack that clip that we played at the outset of what Sir Walter tells Robin and what he learns about his dad and why that’s so meaningful.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So in the clip, we see Robin with his father around the stone monument in the center of a town. And what he learns from Sir Walter Locksley, is that Robin’s father, he was a stone mason, which is a noble profession. You got to be very skilled, but as noble as that profession is, he was more than a stone mason. He’s told that his father was a visionary, a philosopher. In one sense, although they don’t use that word, he was really revolutionary, in the best sense of that word. When he wrote those words, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” On that stone, he was really talking about the concept of freedom, of liberty, is what he was really talking about.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Sir Walter Locksley says, “We took up his call for the rights from baron to serf.” In other words, from noble, to just the regular person, to anybody. One of the things that Robin’s father was doing, was organizing a charter. And there were names on that charter with people who really wanted to fight that everybody would have rights, would have liberty. And he was executed because Robin’s father would not give up the names on that charter. One of them was, indeed, Sir Walter Locksley, and some other characters that we see.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And that’s important to say, because we said earlier, Robin believed, for his whole adult life, and his youthful life after age six, he believed his father abandoned him. And one of the things that’s going on in this scene, is he realizes, not only did his father not abandon him, but his father lived a noble life in the sense of noble character.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. And we always talk about, you can’t inherit a legacy. This is one exception in which Robin, in a sense, did. We would see that this legacy of fighting for the oppressed, of fighting for liberty, even before Robin knew his father’s full legacy, that’s who he was. In some sense, I don’t know if it was inherited or it was just innate, or learnt, but in this sense, it’s one thing inheriting some family business legacy, but a legacy in terms of standing up for the oppressed and for freedom and liberty, that’s a powerful legacy. That’ll be a harder thing to say, “Well, okay, Dad, Mom, I know you were for liberty, and freedom, but ah, I’m not really into that.” It really, in a sense, his father’s legacy, was a legacy of significance, of living a life on purpose helping others. All of us, if we are so blessed to have that legacy from our parents, that’s a legacy.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And that may mean different things for us, but that legacy of serving others, a life of significance, and that was the legacy he inherited, which I’m sure as he fully understood it, I’m sure it meant the world to Robin. My dad was a great man. He died to keep the names of those who wanted to fight for freedom and for rights out of the hands of the wicked rulers at the time. So that’s just so powerful, that legacy that Robin realized, “My dad was a revolutionary, a philosopher, a visionary, a champion of the oppressed. That’s my dad?” He’d had no clue before. I mean, that is just an incredible scene.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

To the point of whether he inherited the legacy, you can’t inherit a vision, you can’t inherit a legacy. I don’t know that he inherited as much as he continued it, meaning he’d already, as you just indicated, and we’ve been talking about, Robin had already been living a life of significance. His arrow, no pun intended, was pointed toward a life of significance. So when he learns this, that gives him a chance to adopt that thing that his father was doing and add that to his quiver. Again, I keep making puns about arrows, but he gets to add that aspect of what his father was doing to the quiver that he has of his life of significance of helping people. As he picked up that mantle that his father had established and that was interrupted by his being murdered, as he picks up that mantle, Warwick, there’s something pretty significant that happens in the movie, and then just kind of in the arc of history. Unpack that a little bit for listeners.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. I mean, there’s a great scene where sort of the origin of the Magna Carta happens, which has been an inspiration for Britain and indeed the United States, this concept of liberty that happened in the Magna Carta, which we see a bit in this movie. And so, what happens after Robin hears about his heritage, at some point after that from Sir Walter Locksley, basically Sir Walter Locksley has been sent a message that Northern barons are gathering. Gottfried, we see in the movie, is plotting to create a civil war so that the Northern barons will attack King John. And while they’re at each other’s throats in some massive civil war, along will come, I believe it’s King Philip of France, and invade England and take it over. So, this is all part of a plot deliberately.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So basically, Walter is too old, and so he sends Robin in his place to represent him. In fact, he says to Robin, “Come at the hour, come at the man.” Which I’m sure we’ve all heard before, a great phrase. So here he goes to, in the movie, Barnsdale. He passes that very monument that we saw in that clip, it’s actually in the town, where they’re going to have this discussion about the Magna Carta and the Charter, at least in the movie anyway. So he sees that, and it’s, again, he’s sort of hit between the eyes, thunder struck, if you will, and is like, “Wow, I’m going to this big meeting. And those words are ringing in my ears. Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” Then Robin gives this unbelievable speech in which he says, in front of King John and the other nobles, “Can I say something?” Well, they think of him as Sir Robert of Locksley. They don’t really know who he is.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So he is a noble, every noble has the right to speak in this meeting. And so he says to the people and the king, the following. He says, “If you are trying to build for the future, you must set your foundation strong. The laws of this land enslave people to its king. A king who demands loyalty, but offers nothing in return. I have marched to Palestine and back, and I know in tyranny lies only failure. You build a country like you build a cathedral, from the ground up. Empower every man and you, the king, will gain strength. If your majesty were to offer justice in the form of a charter of liberties, allow every man to forage for his half, to be safe from conviction without cause, or prison without charge, to work, eat, work at the sweat of your brow, to be as merry as you can, the king will be great. Not only will he receive the loyalty of his people, but their love, as well.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And King John kind of scarfs at this a bit. Eventually Robin says, “What would have your majesty as liberty, liberty by law?” Well, at that point, King John is between a rock and a hard place. He knows the French are about to attack. He knows if the nobles are divided, he’ll lose. So in the movie, he grudgingly says, “Sure, I’ll sign this charter.” Or “I’ll sign the charter once we win.” Later in the movie, we find he rips it up. In real life, it is true that the Magna Carta, which was in Runnymede, south of England, near Windsor, was something that was drawn up that really did reclaim rights. It’s grown to mythic proportions.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Later on, and certainly in the eyes of the founders of the United States, one of their inspirations was the Magna Carta. And as they saw it, which is a little bit mythic about Robin Hood, they saw the Magna Carta as guaranteeing the rights to every person to trial by jury. So a little bit expanded perhaps, originally it was more about the rights of nobles, but it took on mythic proportions. So in the sense, back to Robin Longstride, here he gives this speech, and really, he’s inheriting his father’s mantel about the charter, and now the Magna Carta. It’s almost the same legacy, in a sense. And here he is, at least in this mythic portrayal, he’s in this key moment where the Magna Carta is drawn up, that will influence democracies around the world for centuries, including influencing the very forming of the United States.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So, talk about a legacy of significance. You are at a place where you are advocating for liberty and freedom against tyranny that will affect countries all over the world for hundreds of years and for generations. I mean, not many of us will have that kind of life of significance. But Robin wasn’t thinking that, he’s thinking, “Look, if we don’t do something, France is going to conquer this country. We’ve got to unite people. And I want to fight for freedom and liberty.” So he’s not thinking about the big legacy picture, he’s just thinking, “Look, something needs to be done here. We need to be united and we need to use this opportunity to fight for freedom and liberty.” It’s an incredible scene.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

We talk a lot at Beyond the Crucible and Crucible Leadership about the power of just taking one small step toward your goal. And as I think back over what we’ve just talked about for the last hour or so, Robin Longstride’s life, that we’ve just unpacked, is a series of one small steps. Step one, he tells King Richard the truth about what he feels about the Crusades. He has the courage to do that, where no one else does. Step two, he agrees, even though he doesn’t really know Robert Locksley, to take the sword that Robert Locksley had taken from his father and caused some estrangement there, he agrees to take that back to England and give it to his father. He steps into the role of Robert Locksley when Robert Locksley’s father asks him to do so, to help bring some stability and some strength to what is turning into a very bad situation for the people of England when he gets back there.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

He takes this small step of speaking in the meeting where they’re talking about this charter. And then, he takes, for him, was probably a small step, but not a small step in the movie, in that he takes a leading role. The next step he takes toward his life of significance is a leading role in the turning away of the French forces when they try to lay siege to England. And ultimately, preserving the freedom of England, not to be under France’s rule. That’s, again, another step he took to do that by fighting on the front lines to get that accomplished. Fascinating, isn’t it? How his life is a series… What we just talked about, is a series of small steps that lead to a life of significance.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It really is. I mean, that’s one of the last scenes of the movie, the battle scenes. It’s sort of epic when all the forces in England unite. The nobles may not like King John, but they don’t want to be overtaken by France. So, the greater enemy is the important one. And they’re probably skeptical that John will live up to the charter, but one lives in hope. But meanwhile, the greater enemy is France. So here they are, they come to this cliff, and there’s this great scene where one of the key honorable figures in English nobility, man that by the name of Marshall, who’s fighting for justice. He leads the cavalry on the beach and Robin leads the archers on the cliff, and the archers rain down all of these arrows on the French forces.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And as the French king is in his ship about to send his forces in, he says, “Well, this doesn’t look like a country at war with itself. This looks like you’re united.”I mean, as French would say, “Mon Dieu.” Which is, “My God.” I don’t know if he says that in the movie, but it’s the kind of thing a Frenchman would say at that point. It’s like, “Uh-oh.” Would be the rough English translation, “I’m in trouble.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Obviously, as you see the movie, the English forces win, they turn back the French. The evil English slash Frenchman henchman Gottfried gets killed by an arrow in an incredible shot by Robin. But one of the sad things, as we sort of wind up the movie, I think King John maybe asked Marshall, this good noble, “Who are they cheering for?” And it’s like, “They’re cheering for Robin.” I don’t know if everybody realized, he’s just a regular guy. He’s a regular guy that helps have a massive role in saving England from the French. Well, as we’ll see, King John is not a noble of character and he doesn’t like it when a person he discovers to be this regular guy is cheered for. So yes, the adulation that the troops give Robin, as we’ll see, prove to be his undoing. No fault of Robin’s, but King John is not one to play second fiddle, unfortunately.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

No. And as you have indicated, he tears up the charter and he declares Robin an outlaw. And what’s beautiful about that, from the perspective of what we’ve been talking about in terms of the Robin Hood legend, is this truly has been an origin story. You realize at that moment, when the Sheriff of Nottingham is going to hang a sign saying that Robin’s an outlaw. And he asks, “I need a nail.” Next thing that happens, an arrow splits his fingers, doesn’t go through his fingers, but it goes in between his fingers, and nails it to the tree. And that is the launching of Robin Hood as this figure who will take from the comfortable and the oppressors and give to the oppressed. And that’s when you kind of realize as a movie goer, was kind of a fun scene. It’s like, “Oh, what I’ve been watching was a complete origin story.” Just like how Spider-Man becomes Spider-Man, or Batman becomes Batman.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

It’s a film, it’s a movie length origin story, backstory that tells how Robin Hood becomes Robin Hood. And there’s lots of lessons to learn along the way that we can kind of put in our pockets as we begin to move out from our origin story and to pursue our life of significance, right?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. What’s fascinating about this ending of the Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, is it’s not really a happy ending. He helps to create what would become the Magna Carta. It was ripped up at the moment, but it did come to live on in English history and world history. He becomes an outlaw. Why? Well, because he helps save his country and King John didn’t like the adulation. He was jealous. And so, because of all the good he did, the good he did proved his undoing. So one of the lessons in life, is sometimes when you do good, other people get jealous and they don’t like it. So just because you live a life of significance and want to defend the oppressed and fight for liberty, it doesn’t always work out well. There’s not always a happy ending.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

In this sense, it’s not a happy ending. But my sense, as we see the closing scenes of the movie, where Robin is in, what one would assume, is Sherwood Forest, with Marian. They’re happy with the outlaws and protecting the oppressed. I doubt that they bear a grudge, but it’s sort of a sad ending between the traditional one, like a 1938 version of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. King Richard comes back from the Crusades, and all is well. He gets the girl, Marian, he gets his titles back and all is good.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Well, life isn’t always like a fairytale. And in some sense, is this more realistic? Maybe. But he lives his life of significance. He lives his convictions, whether or not fame or fortune comes to him. And in the end, fame and fortune do not come to him. He is on the run from the evil King John, but yet I’m sure if you asked him, “Do you regret what you did? Do you regret saving England from the French? Do you regret upholding your father’s charter? Do you regret fighting for liberty and freedom?” He’d say, “No. I may die, but I will have lived a life that I feel like I, and those who know me, can be proud of.” So, it’s a great story.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And in the context of this series, Lights, Camera, Crucibles, where we’re talking about movie heroes, it’s not an uncommon ending to a story. Think of Spider-Man, who we’re going to talk about next week. Spider-Man is a character who a lot of people think, especially the publisher of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, thinks he’s a villain, doesn’t think he’s a good guy. The Hulk isn’t thought of as a hero. A lot of the heroes that we have talked about, and will talk about, Batman, he’s a vigilante. He’s a bad guy. There is a little bit of that. And I think from the perspective of Robin Hood, or some of these other heroes that I’ve just talked about, that idea of being not a happy ending, not being able to rest, I think that fuels them to continue their life of significance in some way.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And they probably look at that as… I mean, Robin Hood’s life of significance is to defend the oppressed. And when you defend the oppressed, those doing the oppressing are going to be after you. So I think, he probably welcomes that in some way. That allows him to keep on keeping on in his life of significance. So as we wrap up here, Warwick, what’s the last, of all the things that we’ve talked about, pull the balloon strings together, and let listeners know what’s the chief learning, maybe, from Robin Hood.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Well, there’s probably a couple, but I love the fact that Robin is living his father’s legacy, but yet it’s his own legacy of fighting for the oppressed, fighting for the rights of men and women for liberty, equality. Giving people, whether they be noble or serf, as his father puts it, equal rights. When you live your whole life, and that’s your life of significance, in a sense, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s a wonderful legacy to be living. But realize, as you live your life as significance, sometimes things will go well for you, but sometimes, it won’t lead to fame and fortune, nor will you always be seen as the hero. Sometimes you’ll be vilified. Certainly the oppressed like Robin Hood, but the nobility who he was upsetting the apple cart, not so much.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And so, you’ve got to live your life of significance, not so much because of what other people think, but what you think in your inner core, what lines up with your own spirituality and faith and values. So a life of significance, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s meant to be something that’s rooted in your inner values, be it fame, fortune, be it approval, or condemnation, it’s living what you believe in the service of a greater cause and service of others. That’s what a life of significance should be, and really, Robin Hood models that so well.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I’d say that the plane has landed, but we’ve been talking about arrows, so the arrow has found its mark, Warwick. We have wrapped another episode of Beyond the Crucible’s special summer series, Lights, Camera, Crucibles. And next week, I’ve said it a couple times already, but next week, if you want to do a little homework, not homework, a little bit of fun, watch a movie with your family, enjoy it. We’re going to be talking about Spider-man next week. And the movie that we’re going to drill in on most is the first one with Tobey Maguire. It was just called Spider-man. So that’s the one that we’re going to drill in, but there’s a lot of iterations to talk about. So really, any Spider-Man movie you want to pop in, we’re probably going to be able to touch on that when we have our conversation.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

So until that time happens next week, listener, thank you for spending time with us on this episode. And please remember that we do understand how painful crucible experiences are. We know it’s difficult, we know it can knock the wind out of your sails, and it can change the trajectory of your life, but we also know that crucibles aren’t the end of your story. When you learn the lessons of them, when you apply those lessons, as you move forward to a life of significance, that journey can take you to the greatest chapter of the greatest story of your life. Why? Because where it leads you to is a life of significance.