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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In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this Flynn version relied on several legendary episodes that had never before been filmed, notably the battle between Robin and Little John (Alan Hale Sr., who played this part three times in his long career) and the "piggy-back" episode between Robin…  See more details below


In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this Flynn version relied on several legendary episodes that had never before been filmed, notably the battle between Robin and Little John (Alan Hale Sr., who played this part three times in his long career) and the "piggy-back" episode between Robin and Friar Tuck (Eugene Pallette). The film ties together the various ancient anecdotes with a storyline bounded by the capture in Austria of Richard the Lionheart (Ian Hunter) on one end and Richard's triumphant return to England on the other. Robin Hood is already an outlaw at the outset of the film, while Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) is initially part of the enemy camp, as one of Prince John's (Claude Rains) entourage. Marian warms up to Robin's fight against injustice (and to Robin himself), eventually becoming a trusted ally. James Cagney was originally announced for the role of Robin Hood, just before Cagney left Warner Bros. in a salary dispute. William Keighley was the original director, but he worked too slowly to suit the tight production schedule and was replaced by Michael Curtiz (both men receive screen credit). A lengthy opening jousting sequence was shot but removed from the final print; portions of this sequence show up as stock footage in the 1957 Warners film The Story of Mankind. The chestnut-colored Palomino horse ridden by de Havilland in the Sherwood Forest scenes later gained screen stardom as Roy Rogers' Trigger.

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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
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Special Features

Commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer; Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938 featuring vintage newsreel, musical short Freddie Rich and His Orchestra, classic cartoon Katnip Kollege and Angels With Dirty Faces theatrical trailer; 2 in-depth documentaries:; Welcome to Sherwood: The Story of The Adventures of Robin Hood; Glorious Technicolor, celebrating this revered color filmmaking process; Outtakes; Robin Hood Through the Ages: Excerpts from the 1912 first screen adaptation, Douglas Fairbanks' rousing 1922 silent and this 1938 version - dubbed in German; A Journey to Sherwood Forest: Basil Rathbone and Erich Wolfgang Korngold home movies shot during production; 2 classic cartoons: Rabbit Hood and Robin Hood Daffy; Splitting the Arrow: historical art, costume design, scene concept drawings, cast & crew, publicity & poster galleries; 2 vintage short subjects: Cavalcade of Archery and The Cruise of the Zaca; Breakdowns of 1938: Studio Blooper Reel; 3 audio-only bonuses:; Music-only audio track showcasing the film's Oscar Winning score; The Robin Hood Radio Show; Korngold Piano Sessions; Errol Flynn trailer gallery

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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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The Adventures of Robin Hood 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Errol Flynn was born to play the role of Robin Hood, and he played it better than anyone ever has or probably ever will. During an interview to promote his film, “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”, the smug and arrogant Kevin Costner referred to Errol Flynn’s version of the movie as “hokey”. Fifty years from now the public will still consider Flynn’s ''hokey'' version as the best, but they won’t even remember who Costner was or what movies he was in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While there have been 60 years to review and appreciate the movie, the news here is that this ancient ghost has been re-created in such fine style that for the very first time we can see it almost as it would have appeared on cinema screens at its release. The sound is still tinny, but the pictures are magnificent. You'll watch it over and over. And with the option to switch off the dialog and just hear the music, Korngold steps to the podium and steals the show. Pure movie enjoyment. Kudos to the restorers!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Adventures of Robin Hood' was the second film to be made based on our hero in green tights. The original silent version starred Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and, although in this version Errol Flynn lacks something of Doug's viceral masculinity (he does look a tad feminine in those tights), Flynn more than makes up for this shortcoming with bravado, charm and dialogue! The film concerns Robin¿s (Flynn) attempt to steal from the rich and give to the poor. His run ins with the law, of course, immediately brand him an outlaw to the temporary aristocracy helmed by the evil Prince John (Claude Rains) and his diabolical henchman, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone). Olivia DeHavilland - long a Warner stock romantic lead, costars as Maid Marianne. At first she abhors Robin¿s bravado to which she associates deception, but later learns of his charitable work and succumbs to his sexy good charm. From that point on it is all sword-fights and high comedy in this effortless and masterful swashbuckler from director, Michael Curtiz. Unfortunately, Warner's transfer is a mixed bag. After a beautiful main title sequence we get several opening shots that are excessively grainy. Here and there the grain structure crops up - particularly in long shots. Because it's not consistent it tends to look glaring when it does show up. Although the negative looks better than ever before there continue to be chips present throughout. Also, there's NO EXCUSE for the aliasing and edge enhancement that crops up every now and then - once again, particularly in long shots. Extras include documentaries, audio commentaries, featurettes, musical outtakes, trailers and oh, just too, too much to discuss herein - almost 4 hours worth. You really get your money's worth with this disc! Bravo! Considering the vintage of the film elements and, in considering how bad the film looked before, Warner Brothers has achieved a monumental restoration effort. If they could get a handle on the digital mastering they'd really be off to the races! Still, A MUST HAVE for any classic film buff!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I used this film as part of a medieval unit for 6th grade students. They had the choice of this movie and a much more current day film. Most choose this film, which surprised us. The best part was that they loved it and they were "glued to it" for most of the movie. I think that says a lot for the quality of the film. After all it was made in 1938 and kids and adults still enjoy it today.
ThomasChacko More than 1 year ago
Many would consider 1939's "GONE WITH THE WIND" as the perfect fiction to film transfer, but there is at least one other, from the previous year: "THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD", starring Errol Flynn. It is the perfect example of actors perfectly cast, and directors, writers, costumers, and set designers giving the project their all. The result is a classic, a cinematic storybook for all ages that holds up beautifully, to this day, over 70 years later. Furthermore, it leaves all subsequent versions of Robin Hood - British, American, or otherwise - in the dust! Let's begin with the star: Errol Flynn, at the height of his powers, proved that he was born to play this role. It is shameful that he was never even nominated for an Oscar! He is given fabulous support: by Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Melville Cooper, and Montagu Love as his slimy adversaries; Alan Hale, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, and Herbert Mundin as his "Merry Men"; and Olivia DeHavilland as the fair Maid Marian! Who could ask for more? The Technicolor photography is exquisite, the camerawork and set design absolutely perfect. Warner Brothers was the perfect studio for this sort of filmmaking, especially with talent on hand such as composer Erich Korngold and director Michael Curtiz (both of whom would work with Flynn two years later on "THE SEA HAWK"). Truly Hollywood filmmaking at its best!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
''Brilliant'' is a word that only begins to describe ''The Adventures of Robin Hood.'' It is a timeless masterpiece that captures all the finest qualities of the art form: the cast, particularly Errol Flynn as Robin; the acting; the dialog; the direction and cinematography; the sets and costumes; even the color film stock; and certainly not least, Eric Korngold's classic, incomparable score. If I were given the nearly impossible task of chosing the best film ever made, this would be it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a simple yet magical movie. It is much like the Wizard of Oz - it simply cannot be improved upon. The casting is also superb. Just as Judy Garland IS Dorothy, so too Errol Flynn IS Robin Hood. This timeless classic MUST be put on DVD!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quite simply,THE greatest film ever made (in my humble opinion!)Flynn,Rathbone,et all are superb,the colours are fabulous,etc.etc. This was the first film that I videotaped (back in '82) and I wouldn't dream of throwing it out even tho' it's virtually black and white now after repeated playback. It was shown a few years back on satellite tv complete with an original screen trailer(fantastic!) Why isn't it on dvd? is there anything we fans could do to arrange this? Long live Sir Robin Of Locksley!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is phenomenal. It is the best Robin Hood movie and possibly the best Errol Flynn movie (Captain Blood is close). The cast is great, the scenes and great and the story is timeless. I've burned through 2 VHS copies, working on a third. Went to see the re-release 2 years ago. Absolutely fantastic! Must have in DVD format.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt the greatest Robin Hood. Erroll Flynn will always be Robin Hood for me. Wish they would make it in DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best Robin Hood film of all in time - in my opinion. It is time that it was released on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD is a classic telling of the famous legendary outlaw--and over the years it has lost none of its charm. Delightful action, swordplay, romance and humor--and an impressive cast headed by Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains--all classic stars at the height of their appeal. Wonderful Oscar-winning background score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold gives added dimension to this treasure of a film. Flynn and de Havilland are perfectly cast as Robin and Marian--and Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains make perfect screen villains. A gorgeous to look at film in the new three strip Technicolor makes the forest and castle settings glow with a life of their own. Not to be missed! Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Editing, Best Original Musical Score, Best Art Direction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent movie. Lot's of fight scenes & humor. Just plain fun.