Friday, April 30, 2010
Hans Brinker - 1969
I guess you could call this Robin’s first real “starring” role. He landed this fresh out of high school and plays the title role. Hans Brinker is a teenaged boy in mid-1800s small town Holland whose father is a brain-damaged invalid as a result of a work accident 10 years prior. The family struggles along until hope comes in the form of a brain surgeon, whom Hans skates all the way to Amsterdam to beg to heal his father. This is a heartwarming, family-friendly musical which showcases Robin’s talent as a serious actor. His more lighthearted comedic roles are great, but I think they caused people to overlook the reality that he is a natural actor and really could have gone on to star in some more substantial leading man type roles.
Reading his autobiography is a must if you want to learn some funny and interesting “behind-the-scenes” tales from when he was making this! Especially amusing was that he and some of the other boys lied when auditioning for their roles, saying that they were advanced ice skaters, while in reality none of them knew how at all. Resulting in some quick “on the job” training in it at the last minute. I did notice that during all the fancy skating scenes, Robin is not given much screen time, even though he IS the star! Ha ha