Richard Todd in Fans' Star Library

Geoff Waite has recently sent me a very interesting little booklet from 1958. It is Fan's' Star Library No.8 and features Richard Todd. Priced at 10d the articles on Todd, cover his life story and film career up until the making of the movie Intent to Kill. It is packed with some fascinating pictures of his homelife with his wife Catherine Grant Bogle , their children and his farm.

There is some interesting detail on his second live-action film for Walt Disney, Rob Roy. But I was eager to see if there were any snippets of information on his making of Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). This is what I found:

"As soon as Flesh and Blood was completed, Walt Disney wanted Richard for the name role in his new picture Robin Hood. It is said that Disney chose Todd for the part after one of his own daughters returned from a cinema a confirmed Richard Todd fan-she had just seen The Hasty Heart, and she kept telling her father that this young British star had everything!

An outdoor man himself, the idea of playin the great adventurer appealed to Richard, but he didn't want to be forced to portray the outlaw as a costumed twelfth century Tarzan. He wanted to play Robin Hood as 'he' saw the great outlaw. Fortunately, Walt Disney had enough confidence in Richard to allow him his own portrayal and as we all know the picture was a tremendous success.

Robin Hood, starring our own Richard Todd, had its premiere at the Leicester Square Theatre on March 13th, 1952. It was a glittering oppening and raised a large sum of money for a worthey cause. This film has become a Classic, and will doubtless be shown for years and years.

Within four days of finishing Robin Hood, Richard flew to the South of France, to play the parrt of the incurable young gambler in Twenty Four Hours of a Woman's Life."

To read more about Richard Todd, the making of Robin Hood and the film premiere, please click on the labels.


Clement Glen said...

Special thanks to Geoff Waite for sending me the booklet.

Fans' Star Library

Richard Todd

Neil said...

I do have this little book and it is very concise and interesting too. Covers a lot of Richard Todd's active film years - at least the major ones - and it certainly covers The Story of Robin Hood. Within days of finishing Robin Hood he went off to the South of France to appear in a film that no-one would ever remember - I know that I have never seen it, and he did not attend the premier of Robin Hood in London for some reason. Richard Todd does not seem to me to be the best chooser of film roles for himself. He nearly turned down Robin Hood - which would have been crazy. He admitted that when his film career faltered in the early 60s he did not have an agent. With a good agent he would have got many better roles later on I think.

Clement Glen said...

I believe he is one of Britain's most underrated actors and regrettably overlooked in the nations honours list.

darren burn Fan said...

It’s a great shame that the present people who run the Disney organisation seem to have so little regard for this, one their company’s all time live action classics, that they will not re-master it properly for DVD. The presently available DVD, seemingly transferred from an ancient VHS video tape, and only made available for members of the Disney Club (or whatever it’s called), is far from as pin sharp as the original film and the colour in parts lacks contrast. I went to see this at the cinema many decades ago and it looked really beautiful. It was filmed in three-strip Technicolor and looked a treat. Can’t someone wake Disney up regarding a proper DVD release?

David Rayner, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

darren burn Fan said...

P.S. I forgot to add that, despite The Story of Robin Hood being a British film (albeit financed by the Americans) the present DVD is Region 1 only.

David Rayner, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

Clement Glen said...

I totally agree Darren! I can't understand why the Disney organisation used such an inferior quality for their release. The film has been voted one of the best Technicolor films ever-made in the United Kingdom.