Robin Hood's Promotion

Neil continues to unearth fascinating information about Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). His research has helped me continue to post information about all aspects of the making of our favourite movie and made this blog possible. Below is his latest input:

“I am very excited to have found this selection of photographs from ‘Today’s Cinema’ dated 27 March 1952.

One shows the amount of promotional material which was around then and typified Walt Disney's publicity campaign which was vast for this film and that is one thing that singles it out for me - even at a very young age.

Also the other shows the queues waiting to see the film in the West End - you will read the caption that sums it up better than I can.

The crowds impressed me as did the large poster outside the cinema - one we know well. This was the second week for the film but still the crowds were as shown.

One interesting note - the film Quo Vadis had been released some time earlier than this and seemed to do record business all over the UK wherever it went. Peter Ellenshaw worked on that one I think.

But these were very good, beautifully made films in glorious Technicolor and on a scale that was not often seen at that time. Another that springs to mind a little earlier was King Solomon’s Mines with Stewart Granger and that brought the crowds out. These have one thing in common though - they were all very good films and still are if viewed now.”

Many thank’s Neil!

The caption reads: ‘Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, the RKO release in Technicolor starring Richard Todd with Joan Rice, is keeping up its second week pressure, as evidenced by these photographs taken outside the Leicester Square Theatre, where it has been attracting spectacular business since its World Premiere on March 13. Part of the second week-end queues to one side of the house, with a defile waiting patiently across the other side of the street, facing that along the theatre itself.’

The second caption reads:‘Many of London’s biggest stores are collaborating with RKO Radio’s Exploitation department in window display tie-ins for Walt Disney’s British production in Technicolor, The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, the RKO release with Richard Todd and Joan Rice, which is currently scoring a hit on its World Premiere run at the Leicester Square Theatre.

1.     The ‘Robin Hood’ display put on by the Houndstitch Warehouse Company in their women’s outdoor wear window.

2.     The elaborate sports window tie-in at Selfridge’s Oxford Street.

3.     Vatric, Regent Street, purveyors of vacuum cleaners, use this modernistic ‘Robin Hood’ motif.

4.     Famed toy store, Hamley’s, of Regent Street, brighten their windows ‘Robin Hood’ cut-outs, bows and arrows.

5.     Cramer’s music store, of Kensington High Street, favours the eye-catching ‘Robin Hood’ music display.

6.     This ingenious ‘Robin Hood tie-in’ is on show at Anglo-French Shoes, of Victoria Street.'

We have often discussed on this site how much advertising and promotional material Disney used before the release of Robin Hood. But this evidence suggests the memorabilia was greater than expected. I wonder how much of these ‘Robin Hood tie-ins’ survive? We have had a few items in the memorabilia section, but if anybody out there knows of more, please get in touch.
As we can see in the pictures of the huge queue outside the Leicester Square Theatre, Disney’s live-action movie Robin Hood was a big success. But what eludes us is the amount this Technicolor masterpiece made at the box-office. Does someone know where we could find this information? If so, please get in touch.


Clement of the Glen said...

Robin Hood's Promotion

Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952)

The Leicester Square Theatre, London


Box Office Amount

paulalofting said...

Well done Clement. You continue to turn up more and more fascinating information about this movie.

Clement of the Glen said...

Thank you Paula. My loyal band of blog followers continue to help me to find a great deal of information about this wonderful film.

Mike Giddens said...

Great to see these fantastic shots, also my poster image , a magical image for me, Richard Todd firing his bow, that image has remaind with me all these years, i wish i knew the artist.

Neil said...

I do have more photographs of the early days of the film release which will be submitted to Clement. As regards the Box Office figures this must be known to someone but we can only speculate. The film was one of the most expensive to be made in England up to that time and I have said before that it is interesting to note that Walt Disney made his first Live-Action films here in England - the first two at Denham. The finances of the company improved after these films and in 1953 Disney had a gross income of over 8 million dollars and a profit of 510,000 dollars. Our film must have made a major contribution.

Mike Giddens said...

Fantastic shots Neil, its the film itself, the shere joy of "Living" the movie, it, becoming almost the background to my life from 1952 and thereafter.when we were forced to leave the Eastend of London i was so "Fish out of water" in my early teens that when we were as i saw it buried in the country, i found a small picture house in Stanford Le Hope and there was Walt Dineys "The Story of Robin Hood" showing ,it was wonderful to see it there and made me think that even though i was miles from my old haunts and feeling down, the film remaind with the same mood vastly improved from then on.

Clement of the Glen said...

Great to read your comments! As Mike points out. One of the many qualities of Disney films and in particular his Story of Robin Hood is the uplifting spirit. I believe this was a very important ingredient in the early 1950's as Britain licked its wounds and faced the uncertain future.

Trish said...

Love to read these comments. It's great, the way the film still touches people after so many years.