Above is an absolutely stunning lobby card from the Douglas Fairbanks silent classic Robin Hood, the first feature –length movie about the outlaw.
It was on New Year’s Day 1922 that Fairbanks rapped the boardroom table, in dramatic fashion and announced to his staff that Robin Hood would be the most monumental film he would ever make. He intended to buy the old Goldwyn Studio at Santa Monica and Formosa and construct massive medieval sets, including a grand jousting tournament. The Fairbanks brothers eventually purchased the studio for $150,000. Unfortunately his backers were not persuaded to fund his Robin Hood movie, so Fairbanks went on alone at an estimated production cost of $1.5 million.
Using 500 construction workers, Fairbanks had a 90 ft castle constructed on the Goldwyn lot made out of chicken wire, plaster and old rocks. When Doug’s brother John asked him about the cost, he replied “These things have to be done properly, or not at all.” The drawbridge was powered by a gasoline engine!