A Warner Bros. digital restoration of the 1938 rousing adventure classic The Adventures of Robin Hood will be screened on Sunday, June 1, 2008, at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The program will also feature a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.
Presented by the Academy's Science and Technology Council, the evening will be hosted by Academy Award-nominated visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound editor Ben Burtt. Following the screening, Warner Bros. studio archivist Leith Adams will display and discuss the history of a rare matte painting used in the film, and archery expert Dale Smith will reproduce the arrow sounds from the film.
When people talk about how great movies from the 1930s and 1940s were, I often wonder if they have watched many of those movies lately or if it's just their memories playing tricks on them. The Adventures of Robin Hood, on the other hand, is a classic that deserves to be called so.
Shot in vibrant Technicolor (by Tony Gaudio and Sol Polito), the Michael Curtiz- and William Keighley-directed period adventure stars Errol Flynn at his most dashing: taking from the rich to help the poor (where is he now?), crossing swords with Basil Rathbone, and making love to Olivia de Havilland. Also in the flawless cast, a magnificently villainous Claude Rains (as Prince John), Melville Cooper, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, Alan Hale, Ian Hunter, and Una O'Connor.
Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller co-wrote the lively and witty screenplay. The Sherwood Forest sequences, by the way, were shot at Bidwell Park in Chico, California. (See images. Below, Tony Gaudio, William Keighley, Patric knowles, and Errol Flynn. Note: Flynn and wife Lili Damita, bottom photo, are sitting on a prop rock.)
The most expensive Warner Bros. production up to that point, The Adventures of Robin Hood deservedly earned Academy Awards for Art Direction (Carl Weyl), Film Editing (Ralph Dawson), and Music – Original Score (Erich Wolfgang Korngold), in addition to a Best Picture nomination.
Craig Barron is a veteran of Industrial Light & Magic and currently heads the Marin-based effects company Matte World Digital. He also serves on the Academy's Board of Governors (Visual Effects Branch).
Ben Burtt won Oscars for his sound effects work on the original Star Wars, two Indiana Jones movies and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. He also served as film editor on the latest Star Wars trilogy.
In conjunction with this program, the Academy's exhibition Playing God: The Art and Artists of Matte Painting will be open for viewing. The exhibition displays the matte artists' cinematic “tools of the trade” and features several of the matte paintings created for such films as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Spartacus (1960), and The Birds (1963).
Tickets to The Adventures of Robin Hood are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office, or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved.
The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue).
For additional information, visit www.oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.
Photos: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library