Friday, April 13, 2007

Robin Hood

Having noted its production dates in the fifties, I can assure you that it was on repeats of repeats on black and white TV in the late 1960s that I watched Richard Greene's Robin Hood.

Besotted wasn't the word. I had read Roger Lancelyn Green's version of the Robin Hood story (published by Puffin, the omnipresent books of my childhood). Here, on black and white TV, it all came to life. I can't remember noticing it being stagey, although looking at the stills on this page, I'm sure it was.

Errol Flynn's version I've of course seen (I'm sure they speeded up the swordfight!).

Robin McKinley wrote a good version in her book Outlaws of Sherwood (but then Robin McKinley's reliably good).

There were a couple of films in ?the 1990s, Kevin Costner battling Alan Rickman, who much as I love his work in Truly Madly Deeply, certainly chewed the scenery as the Sheriff; and another, rather overwhelmed by the Costner juggernaut one, which wasn't at all bad.

And now it's been revisited, with Jonas Stapleton as Robin in a new TV series.

According to some who've observed the costumes and style of it, this presents 'Robin Hoodie'. One of the episodes is called, Who Shot the Sheriff? so it sounds as though the writers had fun (it's not a comedy, though, in case that misleads you).

It looks, in this pic, as though he's still working out his archery technique, but the reviews are good and it starts on ABCTV on Sunday night.

This house will be unavailable for contact at that time....

ABC program information here.

On an utter detour, I still remember chuckling when a (rather portly, business-suited) former childhood idol, Richard Greene, was the guest on a Morecombe and Wise show (I'm still showing my age, aren't I?) and managed to cheerfully put up with Eric Morecombe popping onto the set at frequent intervals with a manic grin, parping out the 'tum-tiddly-um-tum-tum' trumpet call that started the theme music (Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen/Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men/Feared by the bad, loved by the good/Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood). Gosh. Some things just adhere in dark forgotten corners of your brain. Although I didn't know until this research that Paul Eddington (The Good Life, Yes Minister etc) played Will Scarlet in some episode of the Richard Greene series. (Ye gods. There's an image I don't want to dwell on!)

Picture sources: Richard Greene here, Jonas Stapleton here.

PS Candy points out in the comments that there's also a mooted film project with Russell Crowe as a good-guy Sheriff of Nottingham (presumably, not chewing the scenery) - that sounds worth seeing too. More information here. Thanks, Candy!


candyschultz said...

And apparently there is yet another incarnation of Robin Hood in the works with Russell Crowe as the Sherriff of Nottingham. I only know this because I adore RC. I will watch anything he is in.

Clement of the Glen said...

There was a live-action version of Robin Hood made in 1952 by Walt Disney. No not the awfull cartoon version!

I have a blog dedicated to this underrated movie and the complex history behind the legend at

Perhaps you would like to take a peek!