Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coming to DVD: The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)

Great news for Disney fans: Disney is finally turning loose of one of their postwar films made in Britain. THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD AND HIS MERRIE MEN is coming to DVD on April 26, 2009.

Robin Hood is played by Richard Todd, who also starred in the highly regarded film THE HASTY HEART (1949), with Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal (available on DVD in The Ronald Reagan Signature Collection). Joan Rice is Maid Marian, Peter Finch plays the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Martita Hunt is Queen Eleanor.

I'm pretty sure I saw a rerelease of this film in a movie theater when I was a young child, but my memories of it are extremely vague.

It would be nice if they have improved the DVD print since the movie's limited release with the Disney Movie Club; an Ultimate Disney review of that disc is here.

Here's a very interesting blog, Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood, which provides photos and a great deal of background information on the movie. I'll be exploring this site more as time permits.

Perhaps this signals hope for DVD releases of THE SWORD AND THE ROSE (1953) and ROB ROY, THE HIGHLAND ROGUE (1953). I've never seen either of these titles and would love to add them to my Disney shelves. Todd starred in both these films with Glynis Johns, who would play Mrs. Banks in MARY POPPINS over a decade later.

James Robertson Justice, who appears as Little John in ROBIN HOOD, also costars in both of the 1953 Disney films.

April 23, 2009 Update: Ken Annakin, the director of THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD and THE SWORD AND THE ROSE, has passed away at the age of 94.


Blogger NoirGirl said...

Wow - Richard Todd as Robin Hood. I'd love to see that! I bet he's a great Robin Hood. How unfair that this film has been hidden from public view all this time!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Ed South said...

This is my favorite (non-animated or comedic) take on Robin Hood. Really solid movie.

The Sword and the Rose is a great film also. Rob Roy is very dry and the accents are thick and a bit hard to understand. Rob Roy I found at a yard sale last summer in it's original Walt Disney Home Video white clamshell box. (I'm a sucker for those)

2:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Ed, thanks for sharing your knowledge of the Disney Todd films with us. I'm looking forward to catching up with ROBIN HOOD and hopefully the others as well at some point. The plot of THE SWORD AND THE ROSE sounds especially interesting.

Sounds like we have some good viewing ahead, Casey. :)

Best wishes,

3:17 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

This is great news. I'll be getting this one! I have vague memories of The Sword and the Rose also so I too would like to see this released.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Clement Glen said...

Thank you for the link to my Story of Robin Hood blog.

We eagerly await its release over here in England. It is a very underrated movie, but is just as colouful and exciting as the Errol Flynn version of the legend. In my oppinion even better!

10:00 AM  

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