Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen… Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his merry men… if that theme doesn’t get you then you must be dead inside. For today’s Lockdown Rewatch we go all the way to 1938 with The Adventures Of Robin Hood. While this film was not the first (or second… or third..) on-screen iteration of the iconic English folklore character – that was, in fact, a 1908 silent film directed by Percy Stow – but it remains the only one nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award (well that Kevin Costner one was bollocks…). It stars Errol Flynn as the Nottingham outlaw at his most Errol Flynn-ish….
But did you know…
1) The Adventures of Robin Hood was the studio’s first film to be shot using the original three-strip Technicolor process – exposing three strips of black-and-white-film to light filtered through a beam-splitting prism, ultimately recording blue, green and red colour. At the time only shy of a dozen Technicolor cameras existed, and the production used all 11 of them. Each camera had to be returned to Technicolor after each day’s filming wrapped. The film also made some distinctive colour choices, such as using a deep green for Robin (which has now become eponymous with the character) and a vivid crimson for Will Scarlet.
2) Errol Flynn might fit the Robin Hood character to a T, but he wasn’t the first person considered for the role. James Cagney was originally cast to portray Robin Hood, and Warner Bros’ execs even started developing a script with him in mind. However, Cagney departed the project in 1935 over a contract dispute with Warner Bros, and the production was halted for a whopping three years. The studio then approached Flynn as a replacement.
3) The film sparked (and continued) a number of collaborations amongst its creatives and talent. The picture was the first out of twelve that Michael Curtiz would direct Errol Flynn in, and the fifth out of eight films that Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (Maid Marian) would make together.