The Adventures of Robin Hood (film)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (film)

name = The Adventures of Robin Hood

caption = Theatrical poster
director = Michael Curtiz
William Keighley
producer = Hal B. Wallis
writer = Norman Reilly Raine
Seton I. Miller
starring = Errol Flynn
Olivia de Havilland
Basil Rathbone
Claude Rains
Patric Knowles
Eugene Pallette
Alan Hale
music = Erich Wolfgang Korngold
cinematography = Tony Gaudio
Sol Polito
editing = Ralph Dawson
distributor = Warner Bros.
released = April 25, 1938
runtime = 102 minutes
country = USA
language = English
budget = $2,000,000
amg_id = 1:991
imdb_id = 0029843|

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" is an American swashbuckler film released in 1938 and directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley. Filmed in Technicolor, the picture stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, and Alan Hale.


When Richard the Lionheart, the King of England, is taken captive by Leopold of Austria while returning from the Crusades, his brother John (Claude Rains) takes power and proceeds to oppress the Saxon commoners. Prince John raises their taxes, supposedly to raise Richard's ransom, but in reality to secure his own position on the throne.

One man stands in his way, the Saxon Robin, Earl of Locksley (Errol Flynn). He acquires a loyal follower when he saves Much (Herbert Mundin) from being arrested by Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) for poaching one of the king's deer. Robin goes alone to see Prince John at Gisbourne's castle and announces to John's assembled supporters and a contemptuous Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) that he will do all in his power to oppose John and restore Richard to his rightful place. He then escapes, in spite of the efforts of John's men.

His lands and title now forfeit, Robin takes refuge in Sherwood Forest with his friend Will Scarlet (Patric Knowles). There they meet and recruit Little John (Alan Hale, Sr.). Other men join their growing band. Later, Robin provokes Friar Tuck (Eugene Pallette) into a swordfight, but then persuades the friar into joining him to provide spiritual guidance to the outlaws. Soon, Prince John and his Norman cronies find themselves harassed beyond all bearing.

One day, Robin and his men capture a large party of Normans transporting the collected taxes through Sherwood. Among Robin's "guests" are Gisbourne, the cowardly Sheriff of Nottingham (Melville Cooper) and Maid Marian. Robin and his men "liberate" the tax money, swearing to a man to use it towards King Richard's ransom. At first, Marian is disdainful of Robin and his "band of cut-throats", but becomes convinced of his good intentions. Robin tells the humiliated Gisbourne and Sheriff that they can thank Marian for their good fortune; in deference to her, he spares their lives and lets them go.

Prince John then comes up with a cunning scheme to capture Robin. He announces an archery tournament, with the grand prize a golden arrow to be presented by Maid Marian, knowing that Robin will be unable to resist the challenge. All goes as planned; Robin identifies himself by winning the competition and is taken prisoner. Gisbourne sentences him to be hanged. However, Marian warns Robin's men, and they manage to rescue him on his way to the gallows. Later in the dark of night, Robin sneaks into the enemy castle to thank her. Marian and Robin declare their love for each other.

Meanwhile, King Richard (Ian Hunter) returns to England disguised as a monk, but is recognized at an inn by the Bishop of the Black Canons (Montagu Love) after he overhears one of Richard's men call him "sire". The traitorous bishop hurries to inform Prince John. Upon receiving the news, John and Gisbourne plot to dispose of Richard quietly before he can raise an army. Dickon Malbete (Harry Cording), a disgraced former knight, is sent to assassinate him in return for the restoration of his rank and Robin's estate. Marian overhears them and writes a note warning Robin, but Gisbourne finds it and has her arrested and condemned to death for treason. Marian's nurse Bess (Una O'Connor) informs her boyfriend Much, who intercepts and kills Dickon after a desperate struggle.

Richard and his escort travel to Sherwood Forest to find Robin. When Richard is certain of Robin's allegiance, he reveals his identity. News then reaches them that John intends to have himself crowned king by the Bishop of the Black Canons.

Knowing that the castle is too strong to take by force, Robin decides to use guile, visiting the bishop and "persuading" him to include Robin and his men in his entourage. Through this ruse, they gain entry to the castle and interrupt John's coronation. A melee breaks out, during which Robin and Gisbourne engage in a prolonged swordfight. Gisbourne is finally slain, and Robin rescues Marian from her cell.

Richard is restored to the throne; he exiles his brother, pardons the outlaws, returns Robin's earldom and orders him to marry Lady Marian. Robin declares, "May I obey all your commands with equal pleasure, sire!"


* Errol Flynn as Robin Hood. (James Cagney was originally cast as Robin Hood, but walked out on his contract, paving the way for Flynn.)
* Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian
* Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne
* Claude Rains as Prince John
* Patric Knowles as Will Scarlet
* Eugene Pallette as Friar Tuck
* Alan Hale as Little John
* Melville Cooper as High Sheriff of Nottingham
* Ian Hunter as King Richard the Lionheart
* Una O'Connor as Bess
* Herbert Mundin as Much the Miller's Son
* Montagu Love as Bishop of the Black Canons
* Leonard Willey as Sir Essex
* Robert Noble as Sir Ralf
* Kenneth Hunter as Sir Mortimer
* Robert Warwick as Sir Geoffrey
* Colin Kenny as Sir Baldwin
* Lester Matthews as Sir Ivor
* Harry Cording as Dickon Malbete
* Howard Hill as Captain of Archers
* Ivan F. Simpson as Proprietor of Kent Road Tavern


"The Adventures of Robin Hood" was filmed on location in various areas of California. Bidwell Park in Chico, California stood in for Sherwood Forest. Several scenes were shot at the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios.cite web|url=|title=Filming locations according to|accessdate=2007-03-30]

It was produced at an estimated cost of $2 million, and was the first Warner Bros. film to be shot in the three-strip Technicolor processcite news| first=Roger| Last=Ebert|url=| title=Roger Ebert's review of "The Adventures of Robin Hood"| publisher=Chicago Sun-Times|date=2003-08-17| accessdate=2007-03-30] (one of the few major motion pictures of the 1930s to do this). It was an unusually extravagant production for the Warner Bros. studio, which had made a name for itself in producing gritty, low-budget gangster filmsFact|date=March 2007, but their adventure movies starring Flynn had generated hefty revenue and "Robin Hood" was created to capitalize on thisFact|date=March 2007.

A "MythBusters" episode revisited Robin Hood's feat of completely splitting the arrow of a competitor in an archery tournament, but all attempts to reproduce it failed. A close analysis of the images in slow motion suggested that the arrow split in the movie was likely made of bamboo.


The film was well-reviewed and became the sixth highest-grossing film of the yearFact|date=March 2007, with just over $4 million in revenues, at a time when the average ticket price was less than 25 cents.Fact|date=March 2007 Warner Bros. was so pleased with the results that they cast Flynn in two more color epics before the decade was overFact|date=March 2007: "Dodge City" and "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex".



* 11th Academy Awards:
** Best Art Direction, Carl Jules Weyl
** Best Film Editing, Ralph Dawson
** Best Original Score, Erich Wolfgang Korngold. An excerpt for violin and orchestra, the love theme of Robin and Marian has had a separate career as a concert piece.


* 11th Academy Awards:
** Best Picture, Hal B. Wallis and Henry Blanke

Other honors

* In 1995, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.

* In 2001, the film appeared at #100 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills list.


Due to the movie's popularity, Errol Flynn's name and image became inextricably linked with that of Robin Hood in the public eye, even more so than Douglas Fairbanks, who had played the role previously in 1922.

This was the third film to pair Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (after "Captain Blood" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade"). They would ultimately appear together in eight films.

Scenes and costumes worn by the characters have been imitated and spoofed endlessly. For instance, in the Bugs Bunny animated short film, "Rabbit Hood", Bugs is continually told by a dim-witted Little John that "Robin Hood will soon be here." When Bugs finally meets Robin at the end of the film, he is stunned to find that it is Errol Flynn, in a spliced-in clip from this film. Other parodies were Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in "Robin Hood Daffy" and Goofy and Black Pete in Goof Troop's "Goofin' Hood & His Melancholy Men".

Trigger (then named Golden Cloud) was the horse ridden by Olivia de Havilland in the film. Roy Rogers liked what he saw and bought Trigger for his own films. This eventually made Trigger one of the most famous animals in show business.


External links

*rotten-tomatoes|id=1000355-adventures_of_robin_hood|title=The Adventures of Robin Hood
*imdb title|id=0029843|title=The Adventures of Robin Hood
* [ "The Adventures of Robin Hood" Movie Trailer]

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