Real Actors!

Mexican Lobby Card

Vanessa has recently sent me this image of a Mexican lobby card for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). The title of the film was changed as Los Arqueros Del Rey which translates from Spanish into English as 'The Archers of the King.'

I do not know when the film was released in Mexico, but it's premiere in Madrid, Spain was on the 17th May 1954.
Vanessa says:
Please note just under the picture of Robin and Marian in blue ink it says "con actores reales" (with real actors). I suppose they wanted to make it clear so audiences knew it was not a cartoon movie for children as most of Disney early movies were.

That is a very interesting observation. I have seen these lobby cards before but never noticed that particular description. It shows how the audiences of the time would have been unfamiliar with the Disney organisation being associated with anything else other than cartoon animation (even though this was their second live action movie picture).

Many thanks Vanessa for sending this to me.

To see a collection of film posters for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men from all over the world, please click here. There are also various lobby cards here.

Joan Rice and Alice in Wonderland

Joan Rice at the premiere of Alice in Wonderland

Above is a lovely press picture of Joan Rice attending the premiere of Walt Disney's animated cartoon Alice in Wonderland at the Leicester Square Theatre in London on the 26th July 1951. 

By this time, filming of Disney's live-action movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) had just finished at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire. This would be Joan's first 'big' movie as she had been personally chosen by Walt to play the part of Maid Marian.  J. Arthur Rank had billed her as the 'next Jean Simmons', so she was very popular with the British newspapers and magazines of the time. We can only imagine how this former waitress felt when she attended the premiere of Alice in Wonderland knowing she was the new toast of the film world.

Coincidentally I have been contacted recently by Matt Crandall who has a blog dedicated to Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. It is a fantastic site, filled with amazing amounts of information and memorabilia from the classic movie. During his search for Disneyana connected to Alice, Matt had seen copies of the Belgian 'Mickey Magazine' containing the strip of Disney's Robin Hood and kindly said he would send me the images.

Below is an example of Matt's Alice in Wonderland blog:

Matt sent me this email:

I have recently come across what I believe is the complete adaptation as it appeared in Mickey Magazine in Belgium (French) issues 120-145.  Let me know if you'd like scans.


Matt has already sent me this sample (below) from the Belgium Mickey Mouse and there are more to come soon!

Matt's blog is here: Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Walt Disney's Robin Hood Stamp Book

Special thanks this week go out to Vanessa and Christian who have both sent to me images of their copies of the Walt Disney's Robin Hood Stamp Book.

This is Christian's copy of the stamp book  (above and below) which was published in New York in 1955 by Simon and Schuster. The story inside was adapted from Lawrence E. Watkin's screenplay by Willis Lindquist with illustrations by Hamilton Greene (that could be coloured).

But what makes this book a 'must have' for all fans of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) is the four pages of coloured stamps that were each titled and numbered. The owner had to stick these sixty stamps in the correct places on each page of the book.

Christian's copy has the stamp's still intact and his book is nearly in mint condition.

Readers of the blog will be familiar with most of these images on the stamps, but seeing them in colour like this shows why this wonderful movie was described as the best Technicolor film ever made in England. 

It also is another example of Walt Disney's phenomenal amount of promotion and advertising behind his movie production. 


Included among the stamps is an image ( shown above) of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Finch) using a bow and arrow with a dead soldier in the foreground. It is stamp number '32' and has the title, "BRING HIM DOWN"  SHOUTS DE LACY." This is very interesting as the scene must have ended up on the cutting room floor, because it was never used in the movie.

Vanessa has also very kindly sent me a picture of the Spanish version of the stamp book that is in her collection.

I would like to thank both Vanessa and Christian for sharing with us their much-treasured albums.

Elton Hayes as Allan-a-Dale

Elton Hayes as Alan-a-Dale

Above is another still from Walt Disney's movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men. It shows Elton Hayes (1915-2001) in his role as the minstrel Allan-a-Dale and I think you will agree that the lighting and atmosphere of this particular picture is quite unusual.

I have been amazed at how many various types of images from the film still exist. This is testament to the promotion and huge amount of publicity that surrounded Disney's second live-action film. The Story of Robin Hood would sadly be the last major movie to be produced at the legendary Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire, England but recent research on this blog has shown it to have been a big box-office success.

Down the years I have managed to accumulate many stills, posters and lobby cards from The Story of Robin Hood . In the Picture Gallery section there are now over 92 images and thanks to the input from my readers there are a lot more to come!

To access the Posters, Lobby Cards, Picture Gallery and the many other sections of this blog, just click on the links below and in the task bar.

Final Resting Places

I am very grateful to Christian who has very kindly sent in information regarding the final resting places of five of the actors and actresses in Walt Disney's live-action movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952).

These pictures are tinged with much sadness as those stars have contributed such joy and happiness to generations of people. But I am sure you will agree that it is interesting to see where these screen legends were put to rest.

Together with Christian's images I have included pictures of Laurence's wonderful autograph collection to remind us of their wonderful roles in the Story of Robin Hood.

Richard Todd is buried at St. Guthlac's Churchyard
Little Ponton
South Kesteven District

Anthony Eustrel's ashes were scattered at
at the Chapel of Pines Crematory
Los Angeles 
Los Angeles County

Bill Owen was buried at
St. John the Evangelist Churchyard
Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees
West Yorkshire

                                   Martitia Hunt is buried at
Golders Green Crematorium
Ivor Novello Bed
Golders Green
London Borough of Barnet

As a Royal Navy veteran of World War II 
Sir Michael Hordern's ashes
were scattered at sea.

To read more about the lives of the actors and actresses in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men please click on the relevant names in the side bar or below. 

Special thanks to Christian and Laurence for their contributions to this website.

Personal Details

It is always a thrill to be sent information and details connected to the making of Walt Disney's live-action movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) and the fascinating legend that inspired it. This blog is not produced for profit.

But someone wrote to me recently regarding their concerns about privacy and the publication of personal details. I would like to reassure all my readers and contributors that I never publish any personal information and will only pass on details if specifically asked to do so.
Thank you for you continued support.

Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood Capitol Records (78) DBX-3138

Capitol Record's 'Reader' Disney's Story of Robin Hood

We have recently looked at some wonderful comic strip art associated with Walt Disney's live-action motion picture the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). I thought this time I would feature another set of beautiful illustrations based on the film. So at the end of this post is a YouTube video that includes not only a narration of the story but every page of the colorful story book that accompanied the Capitol Record 'Reader' Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood. I think you will agree that the art work is delightful.

This double album with a 20 page booklet was originally released by Capitol Records in 1952 and was an adaption of the movie by Alan Livingston.

The Billboard from August 1952 announced: 
This is certain to be treasured by the many youngsters who will be lucky recipients of the album. What is etched on the two discs is just part of attraction. Bound into the album is a superbly illustrated 20 page book telling the Robin Hood story as it is given on the records. It is an excellent adaption of the Walt Disney pic by Capitol exec Alan Livingston. Nester Paiva is the narrator and songs are contributed by Eddie Pola, George Wyle, Elton Hayes and Lawrence E. Watkins with Billy May conducting the work. All do fine jobs. Dealers who tie in with the runs of the movie should move plenty of copies; also the set is capable of doing well enough on its own.

The movie had been released in New York on 26th June 1952 and the Billboard chart (above) was based on reports received for August 6th, 7th and 8th 1952. The records listed were those records selling best in American retail stores at the time. 

Below is the video that includes the narration and artwork by Paterson and Simonson :

Jessie Marsh's Robin Hood

Jessie Marsh (1907-1966)

I have posted this article before about the comic strip of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood (1952), but since then I have discovered more examples of the excellent artwork of Jessie Marsh.

The Story of Robin Hood was the first Walt Disney live-action movie to be adapted to a comic strip. This was yet another way in which Disney was able to advertise his new releases and keep the film fresh in the audiences mind. Above is an image of the original artist and animator who worked on the Robin Hood strip, Jesse Mace Marsh. His strip version of the film ran for twenty five weeks, from 13th July till 28th December 1952.

Below are some examples of Marsh's fine illustrations:

The first scene at Huntingdon

The archery contest

The death of Robin's father

Jesse was born in Florence, Alabama on July 27th 1907 his father was a small business contractor. From a very young age, Jessie had an interest in art and studied artists he admired in the local library and the museums. He was a self-taught and aspired to be a fine arts painter.

Robin Hood meets Little John

Friar Tuck joins the outlaws

The attack on the royal coach

When Jessie was twelve years old his father moved the family to California, where in 1939 his son’s talents were first noticed and used by the Walt Disney Studio. He was involved in creating the studio’s animated classics, such as Pinocchio and Fantasia, but by 1945 he had also joined some fellow Disney artists in freelancing at Western Publishing.

1n 1947 he began drawing his main claim to fame - the Tarzan Comic for Dell (later Gold Key Comics), from the comfort of his new studio at his home. Other strips were created there, including Gene AutryDaniel BooneDavy Crockett and many more.

Below are a few colorized examples of his Robin Hood strip:

This strip was first published October 12th 1952

But Jessie remained intermittently working for Disney, which included drawing their Sunday newspaper strip that usually featured the current Disney movie as a tie-in. His first was The Story of Robin Hood which had been released in America a few weeks earlier. He began Robin Hood on July 13th 1952 through until December 28th 1952 and worked alongside the strip writer Frank Reilly. 

This strip was first published December 14th 1952

Jessie remained as a staff artist for Western Publishing, often producing over a 100 pages a month, until 1965 when diabetes was seriously affecting his eye sight. Jessie sadly passed away on April 28, 1966.

It would be wonderful if Jessie's complete strip of Robin Hood could one day be released in book-form.

A Lost Scene in Burnham Beeches

Allan-a-Dale with Maid Marian and Midge the Miller in Sherwood Forest

This very rare image of Allan-a-Dale (Elton Hayes) with Maid Marian (Joan Rice) and in the background Midge the Miller (Hal Osmond) has intrigued me for quite a while. It's provenance is unknown to me, but it is a scene that was never used in Disney's live-action movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952).

The picture shows the characters cautiously walking through 'Sherwood Forest', where they eventually meet up with Robin Hood and the rest of the outlaws. This was clearly shot on location in Burnham Beeches by Walt Disney's second film unit, directed by Alex Bryce.

Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire is a forest of outstanding natural beauty and been used by many film and television production companies down the years. To read more about the ancient woodland and a list of the movies and TV shows filmed there please click here.

Areas used for filming by Disney at Burnham Beeches

Disney's second unit filmed many scenes in an area of Burnham Beeches known as Mendelssohn’s Slope which is filled with ancient pollarded trees. Also at Middle Pond, where Robin (Richard Todd) and Marian (Joan Rice) took their romantic evening stroll, accompanied by Friar Tuck (James Hayter) and Allan a Dale (Elton Hayes) singing ‘Whistle My Love.’

Perce Pearce (producer) Carmen Dillon (art director) and Alex Bryce (2nd unit director)

Burnham Beeches was the location chosen by Walt Disney to be his Sherwood Forest, not only because of its close proximity to Denham Studios (12 miles approx.), where two of the huge sound stages were used, but also because of its amazing ancient woodland that was ideal as a backdrop to this classic tale. I have noticed a number of film web sites state that Disney’s live-action movie was the only Robin Hood tale to be filmed in Sherwood Forest. This in incorrect, but shows what a good choice Burnham Beeches was.

Sadly Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men is not available on DVD in Europe. We can only hope that one day the Disney Organisation will see the error of its ways and release it worldwide, complete with missing scenes (like the one featured above) and outtakes.