Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Adventures of Robin Hood

Adventures of Robin Hood

4.9 19
Director: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland


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Warner Home Video's special edition of Michael Curtiz's The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) rivals the company's earlier special DVD editions of Casablanca and Singin' in the Rain. The film-to-video transfer offers resolution and color rivaling that of even restored theatrical prints, and is the first home-viewing edition to exceed the quality ofSee more details below

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Warner Home Video's special edition of Michael Curtiz's The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) rivals the company's earlier special DVD editions of Casablanca and Singin' in the Rain. The film-to-video transfer offers resolution and color rivaling that of even restored theatrical prints, and is the first home-viewing edition to exceed the quality of the Criterion CAV laserdisc of more than a decade past. In addition to the movie, the DVD comes with an optional commentary track by Rudy Behlmer, perhaps the foremost expert in the history of Warner Bros., who takes viewers on an entertaining tour through the movie, its history (including the origins of the Robin Hood legend and the original Warner Bros. notion of doing the film with James Cagney), its actors, directors (which included several beyond William Keighley and Curtiz), various creative hands, and the crew. By itself, that would justify the cost, but the second disc comes complete with outtakes, a chronologically related Warner Bros. blooper reel, a pair of thematically related Warner Bros. cartoons (the better of which features Bugs Bunny), a radio broadcast version of the story, a portrait of Errol Flynn, home movies of Basil Rathbone, and documentaries about the making of the movie and about Technicolor in the 1930s. All of this material, in tandem with Behlmer's work, makes the disc good for about a week of entertainment. The set is well organized, following the same pattern as on the Casablanca two-disc Special Edition. The first disc is the primary part of the release, and is a state-of-the-art creation. The Academy ratio (1.33:1) film is a full-screen release with no 16 x 9 enhancement needed or desired -- the sharpness is downright astounding at various points. The audio has been set at a healthy volume that brings out the boldness of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score, which Behlmer delves into in detail in his discussion. It's little known today, but The Adventures of Robin Hood very likely saved Korngold and his family from a terrible fate. The Viennese composer had hesitated to take on the movie, thinking it didn't offer him anything as a composer, and had returned home, when he was advised by a friend with better political instincts not only to accept the project, but also to arrange to bring his whole family to Hollywood while he worked on it -- they got out of Austria not too far ahead of the Nazis coming in. Both discs open automatically on menus that are nicely structured and allow the viewer to roam freely over their contents.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bruce Kluger
From the fine 1922 silent Robin Hood with Douglas Fairbanks to the Kevin Costner vehicle Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sherwood Forest has been fertile ground for moviemaking. No version, though, says "Welcome to Sherwood," with anywhere near the pizzazz of this 1938 classic, in which Errol Flynn memorably utters that very line from atop a tree limb, smiling with the debonair grace that defined his legend. The story's framework is adventure 101: Robin takes on the bad guys in the name of justice and, after a few setbacks, emerges thrillingly victorious in a climactic showdown and wins the hand of Maid Marian. But this familiar setup seems more blueprint than boilerplate thanks to Flynn's inimitable screen charisma. Swashbuckling through the action sequences (sword fighting, wielding bow and arrow, swinging onto rooftops), Flynn turns in what most critics agree is the finest performance of his film career. Amazingly, Flynn wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award, although the movie did pick up Oscars for art direction, editing and Erich Wolfgang Korngold's thrilling score. The supporting cast, meanwhile, isn't exactly an amateur troupe. Joining Flynn in his adventures are, among others, Olivia deHavilland as Marian, Claude Rains as Prince John, and Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisborne. Together they make joyous movie magic, the swashbuckling adventure against which all others must be measured.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Adventures of Robin Hood is one of the screen's greatest adventure films and an excellent example of how the studio system's production-by-committee method could create synergistically what, in that era, likely could not have been created by any single force. The hero behind the camera is co-director Michael Curtiz, who was installed by the corporate chiefs at Warner Bros. midway through production. Curtiz had little to do, though, with the impeccably selected cast. Errol Flynn may not have been the studio's first choice, but he is the screen's greatest Robin Hood. Among the film's many pleasures, you can watch for the meticulous attention to detail that was a hallmark of Curtiz's work. Incidentally, if you're wondering how the special effects were done on the split arrow stunt, there were no special effects. The astonishing shot was performed by professional archer Howard Hill who needed only one take.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; All-new 65th-anniversary digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements; Revealing documentaries on the movie's making and the Technicolor process; Audio commentary; Outtakes; Music-only audio track; Leonard Maltin hosts "Warner Night at the Movies" 1938, with trailer, newsreel, musical short, and cartoon; "Robin Hood Through the Ages"; Home movies; More vintage cartoons, short subjects, and studio blooper reel; Galleries of art/photo/publicity materials and Errol Flynn trailers; Audio-only extras: Radio show and Korngold scoring session

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Errol Flynn Robin Hood
Olivia de Havilland Maid Marian
Basil Rathbone Sir Guy of Gisbourne
Claude Rains Prince John
Patric Knowles Will Scarlett
Eugene Pallette Friar Tuck
Alan Hale Little John
Melville Cooper Sheriff of Nottingham
Ian Hunter Richard I the Lionheart
Una O'Connor Bess
Herbert Mundin Much-the-Miller's-son
Montagu Love Bishop of the Black Cannons
Leonard Willey Sir Essex
Robert Noble Sir Ralf
Kenneth Hunter Sir Mortimer
Robert Warwick Sir Geoffrey
Colin Kenny Sir Baldwin
Lester Matthews Sir Ivor
Harry Cording Dickon Malbete
Howard Hill Captain of Archers
Ivan Simpson Proprietor of the Kent Road Tavern
James Baker Philip of Arras
Wilfred Lucas Archery Official
Reginald Sheffield Herald at Archery Toumament
Lionel Belmore Humility Prin
Hal Brazeale High Sheriff's Squire
Edward Dew Outlaw
Herbert Evans Seneschal
Austin Fairman Sir Nigel
Alec Harford Outlaw
Holmes Herbert Archery Referee
Peter Hobbes Outlaw
Leyland Hodgson Norman Officer
Olaf Hytten Outlaw
Crauford Kent Sir Norbert
Marten Lamont Sir Guy's Squire
Charles McNaughton Crippen
Leonard Mudie Town Crier
Janet Shaw Humility's Daughter
Val Stanton Outlaw
John Sutton Richard's Knight

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
William Keighley Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Henry Blanke Producer
Fred Cavens Consultant/advisor
Ralph Dawson Editor
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Tony Gaudio Cinematographer
Howard Hill Consultant/advisor
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Score Composer
Seton Miller Screenwriter
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Norman Reilly Raine Screenwriter
C.A. Riggs Sound/Sound Designer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Carl Jules Weyl Art Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Adventures of Robin Hood
1. Credits and Foreword [3:16]
2. Sir Guy Gets the Point [3:01]
3. A Problem Saxon [3:11]
4. Uninvited Guest [2:32]
5. Escaping Guy's Castle [4:34]
6. Pass the Word [3:37]
7. Little John [3:22]
8. An Oath [1:44]
9. Messages Via Arrow [2:22]
10. Friar Tuck [5:39]
11. Welcome to Sherwood [5:03]
12. Hosting Nobility [3:51]
13. Reward Enough [4:25]
14. Escorts Homeward [1:44]
15. Archery Tournament [4:31]
16. Tightening on the Target [4:21]
17. Captured [2:37]
18. Marian Wants to Help [4:44]
19. Snatched From the Noose [4:25]
20. Love Declared [5:33]
21. Kent Road Tavern [3:04]
22. Secret Loyalties Uncovered [4:00]
23. Munch's Mission [3:30]
24. In the Best Hands [4:31]
25. Coronation Day [3:06]
26. Swords and Other Weapons [2:47]
27. Guy vs. Robin [2:26]
28. The Lady's Hand [3:04]
29. Cast List [:36]

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