While we eagerly await the 2018 Lionsgate reboot of Robin Hood, starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, and Jamie Dornan, Bob White, chairman of the worldwide Robin Hood Society takes a look back at Robin Hood films and television series of the past.

When the film industry was developing in the early 1900s, there were seven Robin Hood films made before 1914 - proving that movie makers were quick to realise that the legend of the Sherwood Forest outlaw hero contained all the elements for a perfect film script. 

The combination of history, mystery, adventure and romance made the folklore tales ideally suited to be successfully adapted for the big screen, and the 1922 silent spectacular starring Douglas Fairbanks became the first film to be given a typical Hollywood premiere. 1938 saw the release of The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn, which is regarded by many critics to be the definitive, classic Robin Hood movie. Walt Disney was also fascinated by the traditional Robin Hood tales; in 1952 the studio released The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, a popular live action film starring Richard Todd, and later in 1973, a full length animated cartoon featuring a charismatic fox in the title role! 
 

Robin Hood Movie Collage


In 1961, Richard Greene brought his hugely successful 143-episode television series portrayal to the big screen with the release of Sword of Sherwood Forest. Just over a decade later, Richard Lester’s Robin and Marian (1975) depicted the couple in later life, with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in the title roles and Robert Shaw as the Sheriff.

1991 heralded the release of two big Robin Hood movies battling it out at the box office. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves emerged as the cinema-going public’s favourite, with its all-star cast including Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater and the late Alan Rickman’s scene-stealing performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The rival Robin Hood movie, starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman, was considered by many to be a far more authentic version of the legend but it couldn’t compete with the success of the rival production.
 

Robin Hood Movie Collage


In 2010, award-winning director Ridley Scott released his long-awaited Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchet in the starring roles, which despite receiving mainly good reviews, was not followed up by the planned sequel.

Across the decades, the story and character of Robin Hood has appeared on film in many different guises and adaptations, ranging from the comical cartoon antics of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tom and Jerry, to “spoof “versions of the tale, such as George Segal and Morgan Fairchild in The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) and Mel Brooks’ hilarious Men in Tights (1993).
 

Robin Hood Movie Collage


The tale continues to fascinate film makers the world over, with both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas acknowledging that the Robin Hood legend was inspirational to their work. The various movies continue to attract visitors to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – to wander through the remaining ancient woodlands of Sherwood Forest or take a photo alongside the famous Robin Hood Statue beneath Nottingham Castle’s walls.

To read more about Robin Hood, please click here.


This blog was written by Bob White, Chairman of the worldwide Robin Hood Society

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Robin Hood Statue | Visit Nottinghamshire

An iconic Nottingham landmark, join the hundreds of celebrities and visitors who have had their photo taken at the famous Robin Hood statue at Nottingham Castle.

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Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Home of Robin Hood and once part of a royal hunting forest, Sherwood Forest Country Park covers 450 acres and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland.

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