Richard Todd and Joan Rice

Richard Todd and Joan Rice

Above is a publicity still for Walt Disney's live-action movie The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men which starred Richard Todd, Joan Rice and a whole host of celebrated British actors and actresses. It is one of my favourite images from the film and I think you will agree that their passionate clinch is unusual for a Disney production.

The Story of Robin Hood had its world premiere in London on March13th 1952. On the back of the picture is the date June 18th 1952.  This is possibly an indication that it was used as promotional material for the films release in New York.

By this time, Richard Todd (1919-2009) was already a popular actor. He had received an Oscar nomination for his role as 'Lachie' in The Hasty Heart (1949) and recently finished Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950) and King Vidor's Lightning Strikes Twice (1951). 

But for Joan Rice, the former 'Nippy' from a Lyons tea house, this was her first big break. Joan had spent her childhood in a convent in Nottingham and had often played amongst the oaks of Sherwood Forest. So it must have been like a dream come to be personally selected by Walt himself to play the part of Maid Marian in his British production. 

To read more about the life of Joan Rice please click here.


Clement Glen said...

Richard Todd (1919-2009)

Joan Rice (1930-1997)

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

Anonymous said...

As you say here Walt Disney personally selected Joan Rice for the part - and as always Walt was proved right. The cinemagoers - and I include myself - just loved her in this role despite the comments made by Ken Annakin and Richard Todd himself. She was - and looked - very good in the role. Just wish she had got more big parts like this one.

Neil said...

Last comment from NEIL. Somehow missed putting my name in the normal place !!

Clement Glen said...

Great to hear from you Neil. It would be interesting to know the names of the other prospective candidates for the role of Maid Marian.