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Robin Hood in Film and Television

By Dean Nicholas | Posted 19th February 2013, 11:30
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In our March issue Sean McGlynn goes in search of the real-life Robin Hood and presents new evidence linking the possible identity of the folk hero to a 13th-century man from Kent.

Ahead of the article's publication we thought it might be interesting to look at some of the many depictions of Robin Hood in film and on television. Below are a few clips; let us  know which you think was the 'definitive' version of the character.

Read Sean's piece in full in the March issue of History Today.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Though not the first, the 1938 film, starring Errol Flynn, is one of the best-remembered and helped define the character's popular image.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L10fR31jC1w width: 612px]

The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952)

Disney's second live-action film took on the tale of Robin Hood. It wasn't to be their last effort.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIv0_CowuNk width: 612px]

Robin Hood (BBC TV series, 1950s)

The melodic title music from the popular BBC series. You'll be humming it for the rest of the day...

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbyYr6L5xQM width: 612px]

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1973)

An animated film version produced by Disney, populated by anthropomorphic animals; Hood is a fox, while his nemesis King John a lion -- one voiced by none other than Peter Ustinov.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-mByTnigJM width: 612px]

Robin and Marian (1976)

A hirsuite Sean Connery played the title role in this romantic adventure, opposite Audrey Hepburn's Maid Marian. Here's the trailer:

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKPVGIdJr-k width: 612px]

Time Bandits (1981)

And now for something completely different... Terry Gilliam's film saw his fellow Python John Cleese portray a rather different Robin Hood:

[video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=167IhlXnN2Y width:612px]

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

The hugely successful Hollywood blockbuster had an all-star cast, including Kevin Costner's memorable turn as the character. Here's the trailer:

 [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCxzyVfAz3E width: 612px]

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

An altogether less reverential interpretation, Mel Brooks' film spoofed Prince of Thieves among other films, and introduced song, dance and comedy to the tale.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mqQBgobTY width: 612px]

Robin Hood (BBC, 2000s)

After a 50-year hiatus the BBC got round to updating Robin Hood in the 2000s. Here's a gladiatorial battle:

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwDFlu0HYKo width: 612px]

Robin Hood (2010)

And finally, here's a scene from Ridley Scott's epic 2010 film, starring Russell Crowe:

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if34bKbBqXI width: 612px]


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