10 Good Robin Hood Movies

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 9:56 am

Since Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood is just around the corner, it seemed like an appropriate time to unleash this list of 10 good Robin Hood movies for your enjoyment. Fans of archery and Lincoln green tights should rejoice, as the following films are filled with swashbuckling action, romance, and even a little Frank Sinatra thrown in for good measure.

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Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) – When a Chicago gangster is gunned down by his own men, control of his operation goes to the treacherous Guy Gisborne (Peter Falk). This doesn’t please the dead hood’s pal, Robbo (Frank Sinatra), and soon a gang war breaks out. Along the way, Robbo and his men (including Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.) get famous for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. But will their newfound popularity be enough to deflect the schemes of a mobster’s daughter (Barbara Rush) and the director of an orphanage (Bing Crosby)? Filled with music and laughter, the film also features Edward G. Robinson and Victor Buono.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) – After escaping from a Jerusalem prison, Robin of Locksley (Kevin Costner) returns home to find the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) ruling England. In an effort to avenge his father and keep a promise to a dying comrade, Robin takes up arms against the Sheriff and his chief lieutenant, the raspy-voiced Guy of Gisbourne (Michael Wincott). Luckily, he’s assisted by men such as Will Scarlet (Christian Slater) and Azeem (Morgan Freeman). And don’t forget about the romantic angle, as it’s played out between Costner and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (as Maid Marian). Our hero’s accent slips from time to time (okay, a lot), but it’s still a rollicking good time.

Robin and Marian (1976) – Following the death of King Richard (Richard Harris), an older Robin Hood (Sean Connery) returns home to find Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn) a nun, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) up to his old tricks, and a kingdom crying out for a hero. The film marks Audrey Hepburn’s return to the screen after a nine year absence, and co-stars include Ian Holm, Nicol Williamson, Denholm Elliott, and Ronnie Barker. Pair this up with John Wayne’s The Shootist, and you’ll have yourself a solid double film about great men coming to the end of their days.

Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) – Following his successful leading role on television’s The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960), Richard Greene reprises his role on the big screen in this Hammer production. Peter Cushing plays the detestable Sheriff of Nottingham, and keep an eye out for Oliver Reed (known to younger viewers as Proximo from Gladiator) and Desmond Llewellyn (Q from the James Bond series) in supporting roles.

Walt Disney’s Robin Hood (1973) – This animated tale from Disney replaces humans with anthropomorphic animals, and the results are still fondly remembered by those who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Robin (a fox) battles Prince John (lion) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (wolf) as usual, but the film also introduces the nefarious Sir Hiss (snake) as an additional antagonist. Featuring the voice talents of Peter Ustinov, Roger Miller, Andy Devine, Monica Evans and Phil Harris.

Robin Hood (1991) – Released the same year as the Costner blockbuster, this film played in theaters oversees and served as the first TV movie for the fledgling Fox network in the United States. Revolving around the struggles between Saxons and Normans, the film stars Patrick Bergen as Robert Hode, a Saxon earl who saves a miller from the evil Sir Miles Folcanet (Jurgen Prochnow) and eventually ends up being branded an outlaw. Filled with gritty realism, the film also stars Uma Thurman as Marian.

The Arrows of Robin Hood (1975) – If you’re tired of the same old Robin hood plot, then give this one a try. Not only does it feature a number of musical numbers (by the famed Vladimir Vysotsky), but it was also made in the Soviet Union. Alternatively known as Robin Good’s Arrows, I suppose stealing from the rich and giving to the poor made Robin of Locksley and early practitioner of communism.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – While James Cagney was originally cast in the film, he walked out and paved the way for Errol Flynn to star in what many consider to be the definitive tale of Robin Hood. Claude Rains portrays Prince John, Basil Rathbone is Guy of Gisbourne, and Olivia de Havilland is Maid Marian. Stuntmen were padded and actually shot with arrows, and this dangerous attention to detail–along with plenty of swashbuckling action–allowed the film to make over $4 million at a time where tickets cost 25 cents apiece. Younger viewers might wish it was in 3-D, but it’s still plenty damned entertaining.

Robin Hood (1922) – Douglas Fairbanks stars as Robin Hood, and this film has the distinction of being the first to ever get a Hollywood premiere (at Grauman’s Egyptian). While Richard the Lion-Hearted is away on the Crusades, the Earl of Huntingdon (Fairbanks) learns that English regent Prince John has usurped the throne. Returning home, Huntingdon changes his name to Robin Hood, gathers together a merry band of warriors, and proceeds to stick it to all those who would defy his king. Fairbanks also served as producer and writer of the project.

Princess of Thieves (2001) – With her father imprisoned and the villainous Prince John (Jonathan Hyde) about to take the throne of England, the daughter of Robin Hood, Gwyn (Keira Knightley), must protect the rightful ruler and put together a rescue attempt. This TV movie also stars Malcolm McDowell as the Sheriff of Nottingham, giving him about 800 villainous roles to his credit.

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10 Responses to “10 Good Robin Hood Movies”

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May 13, 2010

Love Made Easy

Walt Disney’s version was the only one with an actor that wasn’t gay, fat or over acting

May 22, 2010


what happened to Robin Hood men in tights

May 23, 2010


I couldn’t live with myself if I included that one. Just awful, in my opinion.

June 16, 2010


I would like to have seen Robin Hood: Men in Tights on the list. I know that it is a dumb movie without much of a plot, but it is an entertaining film. 🙂

August 5, 2010


The BBC Robin Hood series with the actor Jonas Armstrong as Robin should really be on this list too. Not that many people seem to know about it though, but I think if they did they would be amazed. The actors are incredible, and every part of it is very well done. I thought it was a very classy Robin Hood. And, yes, in my opinion the BEST one so far.


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