Tales of Robin Hood (1951)


The year before Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood opened in London; Hal Roach Jnr’s Tales of Robin Hood was released in the USA through Lippert Pictures Inc. Film production began on 17th August 1951 at the Hal Roach studios and it was released in the USA on 21st December of that same year. (IMDb dates differ).

I must confess I have never seen this version (so if you know where I can get a copy, please let me know!) but it has been described by some as low-budget and more like a television episode! This could be due to the fact that it was rumoured to have been considered originally as a pilot for a TV series, but the series never materialized, so it was released to theatres.


This 60 minute black and white version of the legend did get good reviews for its cinematography by Hollywood veteran George Robinson, although Robert Clarke and Broadway musical star Mary Hatcher make a lacklustre Robin and Marian. Leroy H Zehren’s original story and screenplay has Robert Clarke as the young Saxon Earl of Locksley, losing his property to his new Norman overlords and fleeing to Sherwood Forest where he eventually meets Little John and Will Scarlet played by Wade Crosby and Robert Bice respectively. The film has the familiar themes; Robin robs the wealthy to give to the poor, attends an archery contest, has a climatic duel and eventually is reinstated with his noble title. The movie concludes with Friar Tuck announcing the engagement of Robin and Marian.

Some scenes were shot on the set that had been created for the 1950 Sierra Pictures film Joan of Arc, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Ingrid Bergman.

Cast

Robert Clarke - Robin Hood

Mary Hatcher - Maid Marian

Paul Cavanagh - Sir Guy [de Clermont]

Wade Crosby - Little John

Whit Bissell - Will Stutely

Ben Welden - Friar Tuck

Robert Bice - Will Scarlet

Keith Richards - Sir Alan

Bruce Lester - Alan A. Dale

Tiny Stowe - Sheriff of Nottingham

Lester Matthews - Sir [Hugh] Fitzwalter

John Vosper - Earl of Chester

Norman Bishop - Much

Margia Dean - Betty

Lorin Raker - Landlord

George Slocum - Captain of the guards

John Doucette - Wilfred

John Harmon - Robber

Matt McHugh - Guard

David Stollery - Robin as a boy
____________________

CREW

• James Tinling - Director

• Hal Roach, Jr. - Producer

• George Robinson - Cinematographer

• Leon Klatzkin - Composer (Music Score)

• McClure Capps - Art Director

• Richard C. Currier - Editor

• Author: LeRoy H. Zehren

6 comments:

Clement of the Glen said...

"Tales of Robin Hood (1951)"
Hal Roach Jnr.
Robert Clarke
Mary Hatcher

Neil said...

Must admit I am not familiar with this film at all although I see it is available on VHS and possibly DVD. Wonder if it was ever released in England - probably so I would guess but maybe as a second feature as it only runs for 60 minutes.

Robert Treskillard said...

Tony!

Just sending you a quick note to let you know our album, Greenwood Gone, has now been released!

http://epictales.org/blog/robertblog.php?title=wren_song_s_debut_albumamdash_greenwood_

Thanks so much for the use of your photo for the cover. We'll be sending you a complimentary copy of the CD in the post in a week or two!

-Robert

Clement of the Glen said...

Neil,

I did read that the movie was two tv episodes put together and turned into a film because the series was shelved. Maybe that was why it was released in black and white.

Robert,

I have played some of the sample tracks and was very impressed. I was also thrilled to have my picture used for the cover! I will produce an article about the Wren Song album very soon.

Allen W. Wright said...

I bought a VHS copy off Ebay years ago. I'd offer to share, but of course that would be criminal and it's not like I hold with generous criminals or anything.

Oh ... wait a minute....

Clement of the Glen said...

Hmmm!Nod!Nod! Know what you mean wink! wink!