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The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) [HD DVD]

774 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A classic tale of Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood robs the rich to aid the poor, tries to rid England of Prince John's tyranny and gain the hand of the lovely Maid Marian.

Dashing Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in the most gloriously swashbuckling version of the legendary story. Warner Brothers reunited Michael Curtiz, their top-action director, with the winning team of Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (Maid Marian) and perennial villain Basil Rathbone as the aristocratic Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and pulled out all stops for the production. It became their costliest film to date, a grandly handsome, glowing Technicolor adventure set to a stirring, Oscar-winning score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The decadent Prince John (a smoothly conniving Claude Rains) takes advantage of King Richard's absence to tax the country into poverty but meets his match in the medieval guerrilla rebel Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, who rise up and, to quote a cliché coined by the film, "steal from the rich and give to the poor." Stocky Alan Hale Sr. plays Robin's loyal friend Little John (a part he played in Douglas Fairbanks's silent version), Eugene Palette the portly Friar Tuck, and Melville Cooper the bumbling Sheriff of Nottingham. Flynn's confidence and cocky charm makes for a perfect Robin Hood, and his easygoing manner is a marvelous counterpoint to Rathbone's regal bearing and courtly diction. The film climaxes in their rousing battle-to-the-finish sword fight, a magnificently choreographed scene highlighted by Curtiz's inventive use of shadows cast upon the castle walls. --Sean Axmaker

Product Details

  • Actors: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Patric Knowles
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
  • Writers: Norman Reilly Raine, Rowland Leigh, Seton I. Miller
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Henry Blanke, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (774 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I0RR76
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,464 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on August 21, 2003
Format: DVD
The pinnacle of Errol Flynn's string of swashbuckling adventures...The most expensive film Warners had ever made (until 1938), and in glorious Technicolor, to boot...The film with the most cherished of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's many film scores...The film that literally set the standard for every 'Robin Hood' and 'Knighthood' movie since...One of the greatest films, not only of the 1930s, but of all time...THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD is, in EVERY sense of the word, a CLASSIC, and the new DVD edition is LONG overdue!

The story of Sherwood Forest's favorite bandit had been a movie staple since silent films (Douglas Fairbanks' acrobatic 1922 version was regarded as one of his finest roles), and the WB, riding high on a string of hits by Fairbanks' younger and sexier successor, Errol Flynn, knew they had all the elements in place to create a grand entertainment that no other studio could match!

Originally intended for James Cagney, the property had languished for three years, until Errol Flynn exploded onto the scene, and the studio knew they had the actor 'born' to play the role. Not wishing to run into legal problems with United Artists, who'd produced the 1922 film, an original script, incorporating elements of "Ivanhoe", ancient legends, medieval ballads, a popular 19th century stage production, and a bit of Howard Pyle, was written by Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller (with some uncredited assistance by Rowland Leigh).
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2003
Format: DVD
Although James Cagney was the original choice, Flynn proved to be the definitive Robin Hood. It is possible but unlikely that a better portrayal of the 12th century folk hero will ever be filmed. The screenplay is based on the works of Sir Walter Scott. The cast is superb. The direction crisp and sure, once Warner Brothers replaced William Keighley with Michael Curtiz. In the latest DVD version, both image and sound are restored to their original clarity. Apparently no expense was spared to give this film production values of the highest possible quality. Although renowned for his indelible portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, Basil Rathbone could just as easily play the villain which he does in this film as Sir Guy of Gisbourne. His climatic sword fight with Flynn allows both to match wits as well as blades as they make their way throughout the castle. This exciting sequence offers probably the best example of the talents of cinematographers Sol Polito and Tony Gaudio. Special credit should also be given to Erich Wolfgang Korngold's rousing musical score. He also composed the scores for two other films directed by Curtiz and starring Flynn, Captain Blood (1935) and The Sea Hawk (1940).
Given the rapid development of various digital technologies, we now tend to take special effects in films for granted. Almost anything seems possible. Not so 65 years ago when The Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed. Curtiz and his crew had to solve all manner of problems to recreate not only Sherwood Forest but an entire medieval society. What they achieved is stunning. Indeed, forests have played an important role throughout centuries of British literature, from Beowulf to Harry Potter.
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109 of 117 people found the following review helpful By peterfromkanata on October 22, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are a small number of films in the history of Hollywood that can actually be considered perfect. "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with the incomparable Errol Flynn is one of them. With over a hundred reviews already, there is little for anyone to add. I will, however, provide a brief summary as to why this film is indeed perfect, a term I use very rarely.
The cast--the greatest of all swashbucklers at the peak of his charm and athleticism, Errol Flynn-- Olivia De Havilland, a lovely woman, a fine actress and an ideal partner for our hero--Basil Rathbone, oozing evil from every pore--Claude Rains, conniving and sinister as always--Eugene Palette, a jovial yet formidable Friar Tuck--Alan Hale as rough and ready Little John--and on and on--even the most minor character is just right.
The sets and costumes--absolutely gorgeous--the archery contest is just one of many scenes where technicolour shows its stuff !
The Directors--Messrs. Keighley and Curtiz could not have brought this legend to life more expertly.
The Music--unforgettable Korngold score.
Add all these ingredients and you have true cinema magic !
Warner Bros--the DVD is marvellous, and the extras on the second disc ( detailed in other reviews ) provide more treats for the lucky viewer. What a beautiful job !
So--if you have that dreary Kevin Costner/Robin Hood DVD, throw it on the trash heap, and revel in the real thing ! A triumph !
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Elwood Conway on November 2, 2006
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
Yes this movie looks wonderful in High Definition. Every detail comes through on the transfer, which is better than even the two disc high resolution remastered special edition. On top of that, some of the extras are in HD. The Looney Tunes in HD look AWESOME. If you can, make this movie one of your first HD purchases. Every classic motion picture should look this good in your home.
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Top 10 films that still have thier charm even though remade.
The Manchurian Candidate still packs a punch in its early 1960s dramatization, though it was remade in more recent years. Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) has never been remade, but was the forerunner of the James Bond films and oodles of other thrillers, and is still a potent thriller.
May 16, 2014 by K. Russell |  See all 3 posts
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