Robin Hood's Chair














Over the last few years interest in my Disney's Story of Robin Hood Facebook page has been growning and there are now 41 members. One new member, Brian Varaday, has recently sent me another example of the use of what has become known as Robin Hood's Chair.


Brian has very kindly sent me a still from the movie The Dark Avenger (1955) which not only starred Errol Flynn, but also involved many people that would have been familiar with the chair when it was first used in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood (1952). Peter Finch, Michael Hordern, Ewen Solon, Guy Green, Alex Bryce and Charles Beard.



The original chair used in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood (1952)
                                                                 





The chair used in TV's Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960)
                            


A few years ago I was given the complete box set of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960) on DVD. It was during watching one of the first episodes of this wonderful classic TV series that I noticed a familiar piece of furniture, in the Sheriff of Nottingham’s chamber. It was a distinctive, highly decorated chair, with a circular headrest and pineapple decorated top.
I was sure I had seen it before-It couldn’t be could it?


I immediately paused the DVD and quickly grabbed my illustrated book of Disney’s Story of Robin Hood - I was right, it was the same chair!


This extremely elaborate and colourful chair designed by Carmen Dillon and her art department in 1951 for Walt Disney’s Technicolor movie had found its way to Nettlefold Studios and the set of the groundbreaking black and white TV series starring Richard Greene in 1955.


As a young lad, these two versions of the Robin Hood were hugely influential and remain my two favourite interpretations of the legend. So you can imagine my surprise when I recently found, what I believe to be that very same chair, appearing thirty years later in another favourite of mine, HTV’s excellent Robin of Sherwood (1984-1986)!

The chair used in Robin of Sherwood (1984-1986)

I made a few enquires about this remarkable coincidence and received this message from a member of the Britmovie forum:


“I think it’s quite normal for props and costumes and even whole sets to be used in other films over the years, studios normally had their own prop stores and there are also several large independent prop hire companies around London that have been on the go for years. I remember visiting one in Acton many years ago while helping a friend find some props for a theatre production; it was like an Aladdin’s cave with the proprietor cheerfully pointing out what other famous plays some of the props had been used for in the past.”


And:

"I guess most of the props these days are located in private rental firms. In the old days before studios went four walls they contained huge prop departments on site. I know Pinewood had a massive prop dept so it’s not unusual for the same prop to pop up in many films and are now privately owned. I know when MGM Borehamwood closed they flogged a lot off in a huge auction and many went down the road to Elstree."

The chair used in Men of Sherwood (1954)

A regular blog visitor kindly sent me stills of the chairs from the Story of Robin Hood  also being used in Men of Sherwood Forest (1954). This was the first of a trilogy of Robin Hood features made by Hammer Film productions and also their first colour movie. Recently some critics have described it as the possibly the worst sound film about the outlaw ever made, although American actor Don Taylor gives a good performance as Robin Hood and Reginald Beckwith is an excellent Friar Tuck in this low budget romp.



So there we are, what I like to call ‘Robin Hood’s Chair’ has appeared in all three of my all-time favourite Robin Hood productions.


Men of Sherwood (1954)

The various chairs from the Story of Robin Hood used in Men of Sherwood.








If anybody reading this, knows if that chair and other movie props from Disney's Story of Robin Hood are still stored away somewhere, please get in touch. I think that chair would look just great in my front room!

5 comments:

Clement of the Glen said...

Robin Hood's Chair

Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood (1952)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960)

Robin of Sherwood (1983-1985)

Herns son said...

well what a find , great to see that these props still pop up like that, would be wonderful to have any prop from our favorite film, i would love the Golden Arrow that Robin gave Marion. or a whistling arrow, or anything for that matter. good to see you back clement .

Clement of the Glen said...

Hi Hern's Son,

I was amazed to see this chair in all three Robin Hood productions.

I wonder what else it's been in?

Yes the Golden Arrow would be a fantastic keep sake!

Herns son said...

Hello clement, I too will look out for the Robin Hood chair. its quite distinctive so spotting it should be easy.or will it?.

Adele Treskillard said...

Clement,

Incredible! All three had it---whoa!

Smiles from Sherwood
Adele : )