Robin Hood

A Cinematic History of the English Outlaw and His Scottish Counterparts


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About the Book

From Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner to Daffy Duck, the bandit of Sherwood Forest has gone through a variety of incarnations on the way to becoming a cinematic staple. The historic Robin Hood—actually an amalgam of several outlaws of medieval England—was eventually transformed into the romantic and deadly archer-swordsman who “robbed from the rich to give to the poor.” This image was reinforced by popular literature, song—and film.
This volume provides in-depth information on each film based on the immortal hero. In addition, other historical figures such as Scottish rebel-outlaws Rob Roy MacGregor and William Wallace are examined. Nollen also explores nontraditional representations of the legend, such as Frank Sinatra’s Robin and the Seven Hoods and Westerns featuring the Robin Hood motif. A filmography is provided, including production information. The text is highlighted by rare photographs, advertisements, and illustrations.

About the Author(s)

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Allen Nollen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 38 photos, filmography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3757-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1262-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Part I: Robin Hood in History      5
1. Sad Stories of the Death of Kings (1066–1276)      7
Early Outlaws of England      10
The End of Norman Rule      13
Richard the Lionheart      13
King John      18
Robert Hod, Outlaw, and Other Rebels      19
2. Was Robin Hood a Scot? (1066–1329)      22
The Hammer of the Scots      23
Sir William Wallace      26
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots      36
Wallace, Bruce and Robin Hood      41
3. English Rebels and Hoods (1322–1450)      46

Part II: Robin Hood in Story and Song      51
4. From Minstrel’s Yeoman to Playwright’s Aristocrat (1400–1700)      53
5. Robin Returns to Scotland (1671–1734)      59
The Making of an Outlaw      63
6. Storybook Outlaws (1771–1900)      73
Fascination with Tradition      74
The Scottish Chiefs      75
Rob Roy      76
Ivanhoe      78

Part III: Robin Hood on the Screena      85
7. Shadows of Sherwood: Early Silent Films (1908–1913)      87
8. No Heavy Footed Englishman: Robin Hood (1922)      89
9. Fluent Treason: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)      99
10. A Round of Robins: Variations on the Legend (1946–1954)      121
Ivanhoe      123
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men      128
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue      133
11. Low-Budget Brigands: The Hammer Hoods (1957–1973)      138
12. The Chairman of the Board as the Prince of Thieves: Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964)      147
13. The Revised Robin: Robin and Marian (1976)      157
14. Beverly Hills or Barnesdale? (1991)      169
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves      170
Robin Hood      180
Robin Hood: Men in Tights      185
15. Robin’s Caledonian Renaissance (1995)      188
Rob Roy      188
Braveheart      201
16. Wither the Greenwood?      219

Appendix A: Films About the English Robin Hood      223
Appendix B: Films About the “Scottish Robin Hoods”      235
Appendix C: Robin Hood Westerns      241
Chapter Notes      243
Bibliography      249
Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

“informative…always readable…recommended”—ARBA; “well written and researched…an absolute delight…a valuable addition”—Film & History; “traces the Sherwood Forest merry men in film, fact, and folklore…filled with interesting film trivia”—C&RL News; “detailed, illustrated critical study…interesting…well-informed study”—Interzone; “both the legend and the film representations are covered”—Classic Images; “covers all of the performers”—The Intelligencer Record; “the exploration of the actual legend is interesting and dealt with in two lengthy sections. Written with enthusiasm”—Film Review.