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.