Alexis over at the Tao of D&D was writing about his thought process leading to him implementing a system of cross-class weapons training. Along the way, he mentioned the classic Errol Flynn The Adventures of Robin Hood, and how many younger gamers have probably never even seen it. Well, I've seen it. Have it on DVD even. And it got me thinking of one of MY favorite classic films, the 1924 black & white silent movie The Thief of Bagdad, starring Douglas Fairbanks.
Since it's a public domain movie, it's free to watch online. If the poor quality is a problem for you, well, there is a remastered version, but apparently commentary and a new score was added in order to renew the copyright on it, so you'll have to pay for it.
Anyway, I started re-watching it this evening, and taking notes of elements of the film that seem similar to things in D&D. I know Gygax only listed fantasy fiction as inspirations for the game, but he didn't come up with the idea of the Thief class originally. So maybe, just maybe, this classic film may have led to some of the inspiration for the class. Obviously the published version owes a debt to Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, and Cugel the Clever. But it seems plausible that The Thief of Bagdad may also have played a part in inspiring the class.
I kept getting interrupted though, so I'm only halfway through the movie and starting to nod off a bit. I'll finish it tomorrow and post up my notes.
And I may make this a thing. I have the 1940 remake on DVD, which is fairly different (and Disney ripped it off hard when they made Aladdin back in the 90's). And there are a lot of old films, whether from the silent film era or talkies, black & white or color, that I've never seen. Seems like a series of posts that would be good for me. I can rewatch some old favorites, and also take the time to watch some of the classics that I've still yet to see.
So thanks Alexis, for the roundabout inspiration.
1 hour ago