The Adventures of Robin Hood

Year of release: 1938.
MPAA rating: PG.
Run time: 102 minutes.

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      "Errol Flynn stars in one of the defining roles of his storied career, Robin Hood.  Perhaps the best version of the Robin Hood mythos, The Adventures of Robin Hood captures thrills, energy, and action like no other swashbuckling film."

      Robin of Locksley (Flynn) becomes the outlaw Robin Hood in response to the treacherous rule of Prince John (Claude Rains) over England while his brother, King Richard, is away fighting in the Crusades.  Along with Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) and the Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John's oppression and abuse of the English people grows worse and worse.  Robin Hood becomes the leader of a band of outlaws who live in Sherwood Forest and who fight Prince John's high taxation policies by stealing from the rich and giving back to the poor.

      During the course of events, Robin meets, falls in love with and woos Lady Marian (Olivia DeHaviland), a royal ward of King Richard.  She eventually falls in love with Robin as well, and secretly helps him in his fight by passing information to him about the plans of Prince John and Sir Guy of Gisbourne.  Prince John's treachery reaches its zenith when he collects taxes under the auspices of paying a ransom to release his brother, King Richard, who has been taken prisoner.  However, Prince John actually plans to keep the money for himself and then to have his brother declared officially dead and to have himself sworn in as the King of England.  King Richard, however, has escaped and secretly returned to England where he and his traveling companions inadvertently become, first, prisoners and, later, guests of Robin Hood and his outlaws.  King Richard finally reveals his identity to the men of Sherwood Forest once he realizes that their loyalty is unquestionably to him.  Together, Robin and King Richard implement a plan to surprise and defeat Prince John.  After a lengthy battle, Robin and the King prevail.  Prince John is banished from England, Robin and his outlaws are pardoned by the King, and Robin and Marian are betrothed.

      There are several wonderful scenes in this movie including many of the swashbuckling sword fights.  My favorite section of the movie has always been when King Richard returns, in disguise, to England and winds up in the custody and companionship of Robin and his "merry men".  Several scenes show a look of pride on the King's face as Robin speaks of his duty to England.  The culmination of this occurs when Robin learns that the King has returned to England and fears that the King is in danger.  As he calls his men to arms to find and protect the King, King Richard reveals his true identity.  This revelation causes all the men of Sherwood Forest to kneel before their sovereign.  This is a touching scene of honor and character and nobility and has always been my favorite scene of the entire film.

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 .... High Sheriff of Nottingham
Ian Hunter .... King Richard the Lion Heart
Una O'Connor .... Bess
Herbert Mundin .... Much-the-Miller's-Son
Montagu Love .... Bishop of the Black Canons
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 F. Simpson .... Proprietor of Kent Road Tavern

Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Produced by Hal B. Wallis & Henry Blanke
Directed by Michael Curtiz & William Keighley
Screenwriter: Norman Reilly Raine & Seton Miller
Story by: Sir Walter Scott
Cinematographer: Tony Gaudio & Sol Polito
Original Music by: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Editor: Ralph Dawson
Art Director: Carl Jules Weyl
Costume Designer: Milo Anderson
Art Department: Gene Allen & Pat Patterson
Fencing Master: Fred Cavens
Stunts: Fred Graham, Albert Cavens,
Fred Cavens, Fred Kennedy,
Bert LeBaron, Post Park,
Gil Perkins & Buster Wiles

Academy Awards:
Best Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl
Best Film Editing: Ralph Dawson
Best Original Score: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Academy Award Nominations for:
Best Picture

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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