Joan Rice at the Premiere


Above is a rare picture of Joan Rice arriving at the premiere of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men at the Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 13th March 1952. She is being greeted by Bill Brooks, one of the score of ‘Merrie Men’ dressed in Lincoln Green who acted as guards on the night.

In the audience were many distinguished guests and celebrities, including the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Nottingham who presented a gift to Joan Rice (Maid Marian in the movie).

Other guests included Claudette Colbert, Donald Peers, Petula Clark, Herbert Wilcox and Anna Neagle.

The Mayor of Westminster also attended, along with the ‘real’ Sheriff of Nottingham who met up with Peter Finch (the Sheriff in the movie) at the reception. The theatre attracted hundreds of sightseers and was covered by the ‘television newsreel cameras’ of the time.

2 comments:

Clement of the Glen said...

Joan Rice arriving at the premiere of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men at the Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 13th March 1952.

It would be wonderful to see the newsreel footage of the film premiere. I wonder if it still exists?

Neil said...

I am sure that newsreel exists and is accessible but none of us have found it yet. This must have been a big occasion and there was loads of publicity around. We have to remember that not that many people had a TV but there were very many film magazines and newspapaer articles so this would be where the thrust of promotion would be. It always amazes me that Walt Disney by this time had become a world known figure for films long before the internet and satellite TV made it relatively easy. As I have already commented in the past, the British made films starting with Treasure Island then Robin Hood helped Walt Disney greatly and seemed to coincide with his company being much more financially succesful.