The Adventures of Robin Hood (movie)

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 as Robin Hood.
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Errol Flynn as Robin Hood.

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a 1938 film based upon the Robin Hood legend. It starred Errol Flynn as the title character, Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian, Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Claude Rains as Prince John.

The film was written by Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller, directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, and scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Film critics and historians look upon this film as the finest of Errol Flynn's swashbuckler movies, and indeed it is seen as one of the all-time great adventure films.

The movie was an exercise in extravagance for the Warner Bros. studio, which had made a name for itself in producing harsh gangster films, though Flynn's adventure movies also generated hefty revenue. The Adventures of Robin Hood was produced at a cost of over $2 million, and it was one of the few major motion pictures of the 1930s filmed in color. Along with its critical appeal, the film was the 6th top grossing film of the year with just over $4 million in revenues at a time when the average ticket price was just under a quarter. Warner Bros. was so pleased with the results that they starred Flynn in two more color epics before the decade was over- Dodge City and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

Errol Flynn's name and image is seen in the public eye as inexorably linked with that of Robin Hood, because of this movie. The scenes and costumes worn by the characters have been imitated and spoofed endlessly since its premiere on May 14, 1938. For instance, in the Bugs Bunny animated short film, Rabbit Hood, Bugs finally meets Robin Hood at the end of the film and is stunned to see that it is Errol Flynn's character himself, in a spliced in clip from the feature film.

The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Quotation

  • Maid Marian: "You speak treason!"
    Robin Hood: "Fluently."
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