The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
|The Story of Robin Hood and
His Merrie Men
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ken Annakin|
|Produced by||Perce Pearce
|Written by||Lawrence Edward Watkin|
|Music by||Clifton Parker|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
|Box office||$2.1 million (US rentals)|
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men is a 1952 live action Disney version of the Robin Hood legend made in Technicolor and filmed in Buckinghamshire, England. It was written by Lawrence Edward Watkin and directed by Ken Annakin. This is the second of Disney's complete live-action films, after Treasure Island (1950), and the first of four films Annakin directed for Disney.
Young Robin Hood, in love with Maid Marian, enters an archery contest with his father at the King's palace. On the way home his father is murdered by henchmen of Prince John. Robin takes up the life of an outlaw, gathering together his band of merry men with him in Sherwood Forest, to avenge his father's death and to help the people of the land that Prince John are over taxing.
- Richard Todd as Robin Hood
- Joan Rice as Maid Marian
- Peter Finch as the Sheriff of Nottingham
- James Hayter as Friar Tuck.
- James Robertson Justice as Little John
- Martita Hunt as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Hubert Gregg as Prince John
- Elton Hayes as Alan-a-Dale
- Anthony Eustrel as the Archbishop of Canterbury
- Patrick Barr as King Richard.
- Anthony Forwood as Will Scarlet
- Bill Owen as Will Stutely
- Louise Hampton as Tyb, aged nurse of Maid Marian
- Richard Graydon as Merrie Man
- Michael Hordern as Scathelock
- Bill Travers as Possie Man
- Clement McCallin as The Earl of Huntingdon
Production began in April 1951 at Denham Film Studios in London. This was the second movie Disney made in the United Kingdom, the first being Treasure Island (1950). These and several other Disney films were made using British funds frozen during World War II. The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men was filmed in 3-strip Technicolor.
The world premiere was in London on March 13, 1952; the New York opening was on June 26, 1952. In the wake of this film a promotional short entitled The Riddle of Robin Hood was produced.
The New York Times called it "an expert rendition of an ancient legend that is as pretty as its Technicolor hues and as lively as a sturdy Western... (T)he action - the courtly speeches and romance are kept to a sensible minimum - is robust and fairly continuous"; and Leonard Maltin similarly noted a "Zesty, colorful retelling of the familiar story, filmed in England by Walt Disney with excellent cast. Not as personality oriented as other versions, but just as good in its own way"; and the Radio Times wrote, "This may not hold a candle to the Errol Flynn version, but the authentic English locations and fine Technicolor photography make it excellent family entertainment. Richard Todd enjoys himself as the famous outlaw, but is up against strong competition from Peter Finch as the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham and the delightful Hubert Gregg, cast against type as the evil King John."
A Laserdisc was released in 1992, a VHS tape was released in 1994 (the Walt Disney's Studio Film Collection) and a limited Disney Movie Club DVD was released in July 2006. All releases are 1.33:1 fullscreen in monaural (as shot).
- Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 266. ISBN 0-517-546566.
- "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
- "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men". Turner Classic Movies.
- "The Story Of Robin Hood". TVGuide.com.
- "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men DVD Review (Former Disney Movie Club Exclusive)". www.dvdizzy.com.
- "- Disney Shorts: 1950ies".
- "Robert Beatty in boxing picture". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 31 January 1953. p. 3 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
- "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men – review - cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.
- "DisneylandRecords.com - DQ-1249 Walt Disney Presents The Story Of Robin Hood". disneylandrecords.com.