Academy Conversations: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Welcome to Sherwood! In a special presentation before the film, Craig Barron and Ben Burtt, the Merry Men of Movie Magic, will illustrate with newly discovered rare stills, recordings and outtakes, how visual trick photography and sound effects helped make what they consider to be the best adventure film ever made a classic. Has there ever been a hero as dashing as Errol Flynn? A lady as fair as Olivia de Havilland? Villains as dastardly as Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone? Warner Bros. had revived the swashbuckler when they cast Flynn and de Havilland in Captain Blood (1935), but the studio hit heights even it couldn’t have imagined with the team’s third of nine films together. Oddly, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD had originally been planned as a comedy with James Cagney and the Warner Bros. stock company members with whom he had teamed for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935). When he briefly walked out on his contract, production manager Hal Wallis reshaped the project as a more serious adventure and took advantage of Flynn and de Havilland’s popularity in their earlier team-ups. Easily the most popular of their pictures, this version of Robin Hood helped inspire both the Indiana Jones films and the original Star Wars trilogy.

Dir. Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

In attendance: Craig Barron, Ben Burtt