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Home Classic Movies The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938: Errol Flynn in Rousing Hollywood Classic

The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938: Errol Flynn in Rousing Hollywood Classic

4 minutes read

The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Errol Flynn
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938: Errol Flynn at his most dashing in Michael Curtiz and William Keighley’s rousing Technicolor classic.
Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin HoodA Warner Bros. digital restoration of the 1938 rousing adventure classic The Adventures of Robin Hood will be screened on Sunday, June 1, 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 Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Tony Gaudio William Keighley Patric knowles Errol Flynn

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.

Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin HoodIn 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.

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 or call (310) 247-3600.

Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 images: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.

Errol Flynn Lili Damita The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938

The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Errol Flynn Olivia da Havilland

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Gary Higgins -

I never saw an errol flynn movie I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. They might not be the way history was, but they are the way history should have been.
God bless him!

William -

Errol Flynn was great – a vastly underrated actor…

Bariebel -

He was a great actor and not given proper credit for his acting abilities, most likely the people of the Academy Awards did not quite agree with his lifestyle and therefore ousted him. But let’s be grateful for the films he left behind like Captain Blood, Robin Hood, Sea Hawk and so many more for future generations to enjoy the Tasmanian Devil in his prime.

Autumn Carlson -

Your right. But Errol will always be remembered by fans everywhere for a long long time.

John Barrymore -

Dear Errol lived his life fast and met an early end… he paid the price of his short ride with his own money.


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