Robin Hood Press Advertisement

Above is a newspaper advertisement for Walt Disney's live action movie The Story of Robin Hood at the Regent in Portsmouth and Gaumont in Southsea. 

The movie had its Premiere in London in March 1952. We can see from the newspaper that Joan Rice (Maid Marian) and James Hayter (Friar Tuck) were both making personal appearances at those cinemas on Monday 7th April 1952. The times shown were 7.25pm at the Gaumont and after a 4 mile car journey they arrived at the Regent at approximately 8.55pm.

In previous posts we have looked at those 'Provincial Premieres' and wondered how many there were? Geoff Waite made us aware of these, two years ago. He discovered that Elton Hayes and Joan Rice had made personal appearances in Manchester and Liverpool.

Elton Hayes and Joan Rice at the Provincial Premiere in Manchester

So we now know that after the 'official' premiere of The Story of Robin Hood in London at the Leicester Square Theatre on the 13th March 1952, there were 'provincial' premieres the following month. These were held in Portsmouth and Southsea on the 7th April with Joan Rice and James Hayter. 

On April 24th Joan also joined with Elton Hayes (Allan-a-Dale) at the Odeon in Manchester. Then Elton Hayes visited the Gaumont Theatre in Liverpool on the 27th. The accompanying film on these occasions were Hammer, The Toff starring John Bentley and Patricia Dainton.

Were there any more of these 'Provincial Premieres?'

Richard Todd (1919-2009)

This week I have uploaded some images of the Irish-born British actor Richard Todd (1919-2009). He was chosen by Walt Disney productions to play the part of Robin Hood in their live-action movie The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). The RKO card above was sent in by John Nelson. It is a vintage German example singed by the great man himself.

Richard Todd c.1951

Richard Todd with his first wife Catherine Grant-Bogle

In the photograph above, we see Richard with his first wife Catherine Grant-Bogle in the early 1950's. Was he reading a draft of the Robin Hood film script?

Richard Todd as Robin Hood and Joan Rice as Maid Marian

Above is one of my favourite promotional shots of Richard Todd in the role of Robin Hood with Joan Rice as his love-interest, Maid Marian.

There are over 55 pages on the life and career of Richard Todd. So to read more please click here.

Favourite Pictures

Maid Marian in the outlaws camp.

I have neglected this blog recently, due to my other projects. But I never grow tired of this wonderful movie. So for this post, I have uploaded some of my favourite images from the film.

Richard Todd (Robin), Walt Disney and Joan Rice (Marian)

James Robertson Justice as Little John

Richard Todd as Robin and Joan Rice as Marian

Peter Finch as the Sheriff of Nottingham

Prince John is confronted at Nottingham Castle

Marian helps Robin recover

There are of course hundreds more images on this blog. And I have many other favourites! Just click on the task bar to view the various subjects.

Your Family Tree

Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were? Where they lived? What they did for an occupation? Let me help you take those first steps back to your family's past.

With over 25 years experience and a qualification in genealogy from Strathclyde University, I can search birth, marriage and death certificates for you. I can also access the Census returns - taking your family tree back to the 18th century.  Parish records also make it possible to trace back to the reign of Henry VIII. 

So message me and let’s start that journey today.

Anthony Forwood (1915-1988)

Anthony Forwood

Above is an image of Anthony Forwood in his role as Will Scarlet in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). 

Tony was born in the seaside town of Weymouth in Dorset on 3rd October 1915 and in 1939 he started courting the husky-voiced Welsh actress Glynis Johns, whom he later married. Their only child, Gareth was born in London in 1945. (Gareth Forwood was later to appear in films such as Ghandi in 1982). But it was during the filming of Robin Hood in 1951 that their marriage began to break up. Glynis was to appear the following year as a young Mary Tudor, in the Walt Disney production of The Sword and the Rose.

Anthony Forwood’s early films included :

Man in Black (1949)
Traveller’s Joy (1949)
Meet Simon Cherry (1949)
The Black Widow (1951)
Colonel March Investigates (1952)
Appointment in London (1952)
The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952)

Knights of the Round Table (1953)

In 1939 Tony had met Dirk Bogarde who was later to become one of the biggest British matinee idols of the 1950’s. They struck up a relationship that would last over fifty years, but they both kept their personal lives very private. Tony died aged 72 in London in 1988.

Dirk Bogarde, Kathleen Tynan and Anthony Forwood

Below is another still taken of Tony to promote Robin Hood. But this one has been rarely seen.

'Tony' as Will Scarlet

To see more images and read more about Anthony Forwood please click on the label in the task bar.

Richard Todd at Elstree

Richard Todd's plaque at Elstree

My fiancee and I recently visited Elstree, Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. It was an exciting day and one of the highlights for me was seeing the many plaques dedicated to the stars and films created at the legendary studios there.

The wall sculpture at Elstree station

The British Film Institute plaque to Richard Todd (1919-2009) is located on the south east side of Shenley Road in Borehamwood. It is one of a series commemorating 100 years of cinema. These memorials are now part of Elstree's Film & TV Heritage Trail.

Richard Todd's plaque contains a quote by the star saying:

Elstree Studios was my second home for fourteen years and I have the fondest memories of Borehamwood and all those those I worked with during those productive times."

It was in 1951 that Richard Todd filmed Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood at Denham Studios. This was the last major film production at those legendary studios approximately 20 miles from Elstree Studios.

Joan Rice as Maid Marian and Richard Todd as Robin Hood

To read more about Richard Todd, Denham Studios and the making of this wonderful movie, please click on the subjects in the task bar.

Scathelock's Farm

We have recently looked at some pages from the original script of the film The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men and seen how certain dialogue and scenes were dropped. 

Below is a very rare still from the movie that shows the moment when one of the Sheriff's men grabs a child at William Scathelock's farm. But this very rare still is taken from an unusual angle in the field. A shot not shown in the movie. Is this perhaps another example of a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor. What do you think?

If you have any rare images from the film, please get in touch.

Disney's Robin Hood Script 3

Richard Todd as Robin and Joan Rice as Marian

Below is another page from the script of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men which was filmed at Denham Studios and Burnahm Beeches in Buckinghamshire in 1951. The script was originally owned by Noland Blackburn, who worked for Walt Disney Productions during the 1950's. 

Robin describes his 'fair maiden'

I have featured a few pages from this script recently. The page above, shows an early scene in the movie in which Robin Hood (Richard Todd) teases Maid Marian (Joan Rice). But we can see that some of Marian's dialogue was eventually changed. The original script had her saying:

"Chop off infidel heads enough, you'd come back a knight. Forthwith, you'd be scrimaging in a tournament - - to please a lady - - and have your own head chopped of."

But those who have seen the film will know that this was later changed, so that Marian said:

" Chop off enough heads; you will come back a knight. As a knight, you would go jousting in a tournament, to please a lady, and have you own head chopped off!"

Joan Rice as Marian going through the script with Director Ken Annakin

In his memo, Walt Disney describes Joan Rice's difficulties with the dialogue. The director, Ken Annakin went into great detail in his autobiography about the problems he had with her; how he had to slavishly go over the script with her word for word. But it is worth mentioning, that she had been rushed through the ‘Rank Charm School’ a year earlier and that she had no experience in acting beforehand.

Joan Rice (Marian) and Richard Todd Robin Hood) during a break from filming

That page also shows that the original script had Robin holding out his hand 'a foot above Marian's head', showing how much taller his imaginary 'fair maiden' was. This was also eventually cut from the movie.

Joan Rice's costume is adjusted before filming

Below is a section of a picture strip that shows that scene with Robin and Marian.

Joan Rice on set as Maid Marian

To see the whole movie in picture strip form, or read about the lives of Richard Todd and Joan Rice, just click on the relevant label in the task bar.

Special thanks to Cindy for sharing images of the script.

Richard Todd's Signed Robin Hood Video

Signed video by Richard Todd

It is always great to see the memorabilia that readers have of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). So when I saw this signed video of our favourite movie, I must admit to being slightly envious of the owner. 

The signature is of the British actor Richard Todd (1919-2009), who played the part of Robin Hood for Walt Disney in 1951. The movie was filmed at Denham Studios and Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, England. 

Richard Todd as Robin Hood

The Story of Robin Hood was released on VHS video for the first time in 1987. It was then released again as part of 'Walt Disney's Studio Film Collection,' on September 13th 1991 along with a laser-disc version.

'Wonderful World of Disney' version

A DVD version of the movie was available exclusively through the Disney Movie Club in America on April 7th 2006. Three years later it was released again in the USA - this time as part of the 'Wonderful World of Disney.' But sadly the DVD was not for sale in the UK and only available in Region 1 through import. 

Disney's 'Story of Robin Hood' has been voted one of the best Technicolor films ever made in England. So perhaps one day, a special edition will be available here in the UK. We hope, this DVD will contain extras such as un-released scenes, behind the scenes footage and of course the promotional 'Riddle of Robin Hood!'