Unfortunately, I do not know which American newspaper the article below originally came from (possibly The Cleveland Press in Ohio), but I thought it would be interesting to post this small piece of cinematic history. The column below was written by Winsor French after he had attended one of the first screenings for reviewers, behind closed doors, of the sumptuous classic ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ which would later be released across the USA on 14th May 1938. Needless to say 72 years later, it remains the benchmark to which all later film versions of the legend are judged and this reviewer at the time was obviously impressed.
Original Press Article
“Casting an eye about on coming events, one of the most important is the impending arrival of Warner Brothers ‘Robin Hood’ at the Hippodrome Theatre, with Errol Flynn as the swashbuckling hero of Sherwood Forest.
Screened behind locked doors the other afternoon for reviewers it emerged as another example that while Warners can produce some of the most banal films today, they can also come forward with the very finest of cinematic art.
And ‘Robin Hood’ I believe will be just that. Photographed in Technicolor, supplied with an excellent cast, it is crowded with action and suspense as one exciting sequence followed another. Primarily perhaps for children, it also should have enormous appeal for adults as well, and no one will be able to deny the superiority of Basil Rathbone’s performance.
This is in no sense a review, but simply an announcement that as [?] ‘Mad about Music,’ with Deanna Durbin, has run its course, Mr. Flynn will be along with his portrayal of the famous bandit. And you should find it a very satisfying characterization."
Winsor French, April 29th 1938.
The Cleveland Press, May 12th 1938