The Hero of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
While watching Errol Flynn play Robin Hood, you get the feeling he knows how ridiculous he looks in those green tights. But instead of embarrassing, his outfit energizes him. You can almost hear him thinking, “Well, the manliness contest is lost. Let’s party!” The whole cast seems to share his giddiness, making this one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen in some time. Who wouldn’t want to spend the green holiday with someone this easygoing and gorgeous?
(It’s easy to trace the film’s influence on an early favorite of mine, The Princess Bride, not to mention the parody Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Neither movie captures Flynn’s delirious enthusiasm, but that same sly humor is on full display in both, with Cary Elwes a worthy heir to his predecessor’s effortless style.)
The Heroine of Sadie Thompson (1928)
Sadie (Gloria Swanson) likes to pull pranks, tell dirty jokes, sing, dance, and most of all, laugh. The rarity of female attention partially explains the marines’ enthusiasm for her company in the story, but that’s not the only reason she attracts them. This woman is just so much fun. Like many supposedly “fallen women” in film, she has an easy camaraderie with others, is just as good a pal as a lover. And her confidence (until it’s shaken by the film’s villain) is breathtaking.
Nick & Nora Charles
Nick Charles (William Powell) of The Thin Man series is the life of the party, without making any effort to be so. He is cool, debonair, sarcastic, with just the right smidgen of childish to never take anything seriously but his partying. His wife Nora (Myrna Loy) is the perfect hostess. Obnoxious visitors entertain rather than annoy her. Party crashers are welcome. She calls room service to deliver “a flock of sandwiches” for her intoxicated guests, hands newcomers a drink before they’ve even gotten into the room. When asked if Nick is working a case, Nora responds, “Yes…A case of scotch. Pitch in and help him.” Could any line sound more like St. Paddy’s Day than that?