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The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 34,487 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 206 user | 98 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

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(original screen play: based upon ancient Robin Hood legends), (original screen play: based upon ancient Robin Hood legends), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Melville Cooper ...
Ian Hunter ...
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Herbert Mundin ...
Montagu Love ...
Bishop of the Black Canons
Leonard Willey ...
Sir Essex
Robert Noble ...
Sir Ralf
Kenneth Hunter ...
Sir Mortimer
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Storyline

Sir Robin of Locksley, defender of downtrodden Saxons, runs afoul of Norman authority and is forced to turn outlaw. With his band of Merry Men, he robs from the rich, gives to the poor and still has time to woo the lovely Maid Marian, and foil the cruel Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and keep the nefarious Prince John off the throne. Written by Little Pine Weasel <kristinat@cerritos.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | saxon | king | norman | outlaw | See more »

Taglines:

Excitement...Danger...Suspense...as this classic adventure story sweeps across the screen! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for adventure violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 May 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robin Hood  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Hale, Sr. appears as Little John in this film having earlier played the role in Robin Hood (1922) then reprises the role again in Rogues of Sherwood Forest in 1950, 28 years after his performance in the Fairbanks film, which is probably the longest period for any actor to appear in the same major role in film history. See more »

Goofs

During the final fight with Gisbourne, a candelabrum is knocked over and Robin is trapped under it while Gisbourne gloats. A few seconds later, Robin gets up and the fight continues and the candles have dripped what looks like an hour's worth of wax onto the floor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Town Crier announcing capture of Richard: News has come from Vienna: "Leopold of Austria has seized King Richard on his return from the Crusades. Our king is being held prisoner. Nothing further is known. His Highness Prince John will make further public pronouncement tomorrow."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hardly high art but it is tremendous fun even after the better part of a century
6 June 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When King Richard is captured while abroad, his treacherous brother Price John uses the situation as his opportunity to seize the title for himself. With his wicked ways he oppresses the people, boosts taxes, hangs those who refuses to pay them and generally rules with an iron fist. Out of this situation a hero arises, Sir Robin of Locksley, who forms a band of outlaws to disrupt the actions of Prince John's men and steal the money back that they have stolen from the citizens of the land. However with Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John makes plans to capture Robin and make an example out of him – but they've got to find him first!

This film often sits high on many critics' lists along side many films that would be considered worthy because they would be called 'art' or generally be classic films in the traditional sense; indeed this film also sits high on the top 250 list on this site – and long may it continue to do so! Although this film is hardly the sort of stuff that the high-brow critic would pick in his top 100 list, the fact that it usually appears there says a lot for just how good it is – not as a classic and deep piece of art but as a really enjoyable adventure film. We all know the basic story and the film sticks to it well – although to be honest I can never remember if I know it from this film or from the legend itself! The plot is engaging but it is the manner of delivery that makes this film so much fun to watch.

The action is hardly groundbreaking (how could it be after 60+ years?) but given that it isn't based on effects, it has stood up really well and is enjoyable to watch – it's an overused term but the action here is what I would define as 'swashbuckling' fun! For my money the even better aspect of the film is that it manages to take this vein of good clean fun and run it through the entire film. Most enjoyably for me was the dialogue that was often laugh out loud funny – some lines were hardly of the period but were funny none the less! Outside of the comedy in the dialogue, the film manages to retain the sense of fun in all but the odd darker scene. This sense of fun is passed through (and sustained by) the performances, which are led by a typically cocksure (pardon the pun) Errol Flynn. He plays Robin larger than life, and rightly so. He is tremendous fun in the lead and he is major part of making sure it all comes off. Rains has a minor role but he is not a straight bad guy and has a strange humour about it – he may not have the ham that Alan Rickman would later bring to the role but he does it very well nonetheless. Playing a more traditional bad guy was Basil Rathbone – a good actor and made all the more enjoyable performance for me because I rarely see him in anything but the Holmes movies. De Havilland is pretty but doesn't make much of an impression as Marion but luckily Robin's merry men are roundly good with fun performances from Pallette, Hale, Knowles and others.

Overall this is a great film – not because the story is really deep or the special effects are astounding but simply because it is a really fun (and funny) swashbuckling adventure. With a real sense of fun running though the script, the cinematography (and wondrous Technicolor), the dialogue and the performances this film has stood up effortlessly over the past 60+ years and it will continue to do for long after my generation are dead and buried and other ones come to discover it.


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Someone needs to remake this. martingcrobertson
Now THIS was a robin hood! groundmans
Why do people slam this movie? angmc43
Basil Rathbone TheLittleSongbird
My grandfather was a stuntman in this film dewbie
last scene where richard banishes John joebep
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