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A Beginner's Guide

ROBIN HOOD
RECOMMENDED READING AND VIEWING

Want to learn about Robin Hood offline? Here's a list of some of the best Robin Hood books, movies, television shows and music albums.  It is not meant to be a complete list, and by visiting other parts of my site, you'll learn about other Robin Hood books and movies.

I have also included links to in-depth articles or interviews I've done on the various books and videos.

Many of the books and films listed here are available on Amazon.com (and for UK and Canadian visitors -- Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca). I've offered links to those sites where you can order the products.

When ordering DVDs and BluRays, please make sure that they will play on your machine. European videos generally do not play in North American machines, and North American videos usually don't work in European machines.

Do you have any suggestions for this list? Please e-mail me at puck@boldoutlaw.com. Or post about your favourite Robin Hood books and movies on The Blue Boar Inn, my Robin Hood message board.

Check out Robin Hood Tales - my online collection of ballads and other tales

Visit Robin Hood Spotlight for detailed reviews

Scholarly Books and Ballad Collections

Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw by Stephen Knight. Blackwell: Oxford UK and Cambridge, USA, 1994. This is the definitive book on the legend. It provides the most comprehensive look at changes to the Robin Hood legend. Knight doesn't believe in a real Robin Hood and he provides valuable criticism about such a quest. An interview with Professor Knight is available on my website. The book is out of print, but he has a new book.

ROBIN HOOD: A MYTHIC BIOGRAPHY by Stephen Knight. No, this still isn't a look at possible real life Robins.  Instead, it's the biography of a mythic character or rather four characters. It divides Robin's legendary persona into four archetypes. This is largely enjoyable, although given to a few overstatements -- particularly on the subject of Robin's sexuality.
Buy Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD , revised edition by J. C. Holt. Thames and Hudson: London, 1989. In the 1980s and early 1990s, this was considered the definitive work on Robin Hood. Although it focuses mainly on the medieval side of the legend, it's still worth a look. Update: A newly-revised "Third Edition" wias released in 2011.
Buy the 2011 Third Edition on Amazon.com
Buy the 1989 Revised Edition on Amazon.com

Buy the 2011 Third Edition on Amazon.co.uk
Buy the 1989 Revised Edition on Amazon.co.uk

Buy the 2011 Third Edition on Amazon.ca
Buy the 1989 Revised Edition on Amazon.ca

RYMES OF ROBYN HOOD; AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ENGLISH OUTLAW by R.B. Dobson and J. Taylor. Alan Sutton: Gloucester, UK, 1989. Originally published by Heinemann in 1976, this is a classic collection of ballads and poems with a wonderful historical introduction. A new edition was released in 1997 with an updated foreword.
Buy the 1997 edition on Amazon.com
Buy the 1997 edition on Amazon.co.uk
Buy the 1997 edition on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD : THE FORRESTERS MANUSCRIPT : BRITISH LIBRARY ADDITIONAL MS 71158, edited by Stephen Knight. The manuscript of this previously unpublished 17th century ballad collection was discovered in a 1993 booksale -- a major find for Robin Hood scholarship. Stephen Knight adds notes to all the ballads.
Buy Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD AND OTHER OUTLAW TALES edited by Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren. It's a whopping 700 pages filled with ballads, plays, and historical background. Much of this book is online at  The Robin Hood Project at the University of Rochester.
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

cover MEDIEVAL OUTLAWS: TWELVE TALES IN MODERN ENGLISH edited by Thomas H. Ohlgren. Robin wasn't the only medieval outlaw. This book includes translations of the outlaw adventures of Fulk Fitz Warin, William (Braveheart) Wallace, Adam Bell and others, including A Gest of Robyn Hode. (Updated from the earlier edition which only featured ten tales. The new cover, not pictured here, features a photo I took - the same one that forms the graphic in the top left corner of this page.)
Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation edited by Thomas Ohlgren on Amazon.com
Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation edited by Thomas Ohlgren on Amazon.co.uk
Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation by Thomas H. Ohlgren on Amazon.ca

IMAGINING ROBIN HOOD: THE LATE MEDIEVAL STORIES IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT by A.J. Pollard. The book provides an extremely lucid look at the earliest ballads in the light of the time they were likely composed. His suggestion that as a "yeoman of the forest" Robin Hood was meant to be a forester is interesting.
Buy Imagining Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy Imagining Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy Imagining Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

BANDIT TERRITORIES: BRITISH OUTLAWS AND THEIR TRADITIONS, edited by Helen Phillips. This book collects a variety of scholarly articles on Robin and other outlaws. Topics include Robin Hood in film and television, gay themes in the Robin Hood legend, 1950s Robin Hood comic books, other outlaws such as Fouke fitz Waryn and Owain Glyndwr, 19th century literature and the Scottish Robin Hood. Contributors include Helen Phillips, Stephen Knight, Thomas Hahn, Jeffrey Richards, Laura Blunk, Marcus Smith and the late Julian Wasserman .. ohhh and me, Allen W. Wright (although they did manage to misspell my name).
Buy Bandit Territories edited by Helen Phillips on Amazon.com
Buy Bandit Territories on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Bandit Territories on Amazon.ca

THE OUTLAWS OF MEDIEVAL LEGEND by Maurice Keen. London: Routledge, 2000. First published in 1961, this is a classic study of Robin Hood and other medieval outlaws. Originally, Keen supported the idea that Robin Hood legend was inspired by the political sentiment behind the Peasants' Revolt. He has since changed his mind and the updated introduction features Keen's thoughts on more recent Robin Hood scholarship.
Buy The Outlaws of Medieval Legend on Amazon.com
Buy The Outlaws of Medieval Legend on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Outlaws of Medieval Legend on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD IN POPULAR CULTURE; VIOLENCE, TRANSGRESSION, AND CULTURE, edited by Thomas Hahn. This book collects the papers from the first International Conference for Robin Hood Studies, held in 1997. I attended this conference, and can assure you the volume will contain several excellent papers -- including plenary addresses by Stephen Knight and Barrie Dobson, as well as a very important paper by Thomas Ohlgren. The book covers Robin Hood ballads, poems, novels, theatre, television, film and more.
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SCHOLARSHIP AND CRITICISM edited by Stephen Knight. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1999. This large tome collects and reprints several useful and important articles. Including Joseph Hunter's 1852 article which explores the Robin Hood of the 1320s, J.C. Holt's early article, excerpts on the early Robin Hood plays, "Ballads and Bandits: Fourteenth Century Outlaws and the Robin Hood Poems" by Barbara A. Hanawalt.
Buy Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD: THE EARLY POEMS, 1465 - 1560 by Thomas H. Ohlgren. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007. For more advanced studies, Thomas Ohlgren offers insightful articles on Robin Hood and the Monk, Robin Hood and the Potter and A Lyttel Geste of Robyn Hode. It also includes a linguistic analysis of the texts by Lister M. Matheson.
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

THE EARLY RYMES OF ROBYN HOOD: An Edition of the Texts, ca. 1425 - 1560 edited by Thomas H. Ohlgren and Lister M. Matheson. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013. In most volumes, the Robin Hood texts are edited - variant versions are combined to "produce the best text", typos are "fixed" and spelling and punctuation is adjusted for a modern audience. All very helpful for the general reader, but those editions don't give a true picture of the original sources. This includes reproductions of the texts of Robin Hood and the Monk (including a previously unpublished fragment), Robin Hood and the Potter, seven different editions of A Gest of Robyn Hode and the three early plays. It is a very useful volume for advanced studies.
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

READING ROBIN HOOD by Stephen Knight. The latest book covers much of the same ground as Mythic Biography but includes more recent scholarship. For the slightly more advanced reader.
Buy Reading Robin Hood: Content, form and reception in the outlaw myth on Amazon.com
Buy Reading Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Reading Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads, Now Extant, Relative to that Celebrated English Outlaw by Joseph Ritson. Cambridge University Press reprinted Joseph Ritson's extremely influential 1795 collection in two paperback volumes. Ritson's introduction in the first volume shapes our modern conception of the characters.
Buy Volume 1 on Amazon.com
Buy Volume 2 on Amazon.com

Buy Volume 1 on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Volume 2 on Amazon.co.uk

Buy Volume 1 on Amazon.ca
Buy Volume 2 on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD IN OUTLAW/ED SPACES: Media, Performance, and Other New Directions edited by Lesley Coote and Valerie B. Johnson. This 2017 collection gathers many wide-ranging scholarly articles on the Robin Hood legend.
Buy Robin Hood in Outlaw/ed Spaces on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood in Outlaw/ed Spaces on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood in Outlaw/ed Spaces on Amazon.ca

Classic Books for Children

THE MERRY ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD OF GREAT RENOWN, IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE by Howard Pyle. Perhaps the best known Robin Hood's children book. It was first published in 1883 and has never been out of print. The writing is wordy and in a pseudo-medieval style, but Pyle's illustrations (and do find an edition illustrated by Pyle) are superb. Some books claim to be written by Pyle but use neither his text, nor his classic illustrations. The Dover Classics version is a faithful reproduction of the 1883 original.
Buy Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD by Roger Lancelyn Green. This classic children's book from the 1950s incorporates Robin Hood stories from ballads, plays and novels into series of rollicking tales. Also, Maid Marian plays a much bigger part in this book than she does in Pyle's book. (In Pyle, there are only two references to Marian.)
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

FRANK BELLAMY'S ROBIN HOOD: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES by Frank Bellamy and Clifford Makins (edited by Steve Holland). Book Palace's 2008 compilation of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and Robin Hood and Maid Marian which originally appeared in two-page weekly installments in the Swift comic (a junior companion to the Eagle) in 1956 and 1957. Bellamy is considered one of the greatest British comic book artists, read more about the series here.
Buy Frank Bellamy's Robin Hood: The Complete Adventures on Amazon.com
Buy Frank Bellamy's Robin Hood: The Complete Adventures on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Frank Bellamy's Robin Hood: The Complete Adventures on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD AND THE MEN OF THE GREENWOOD by Henry Gilbert. Known by various titles, this 1912 children's novel is a much-loved and influential version of the legend. Different editions have different artists, but the first and best was Walter Crane. Like Pyle, Gilbert used pseudo-medieval language but it is still quite readable. It is a bit darker in tone than some other children's books. Some editions are just published as Robin Hood without the full title.
Buy it on Amazon.com
Buy it on Amazon.co.uk
Buy it on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD: A CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED EDITION by Evelyn Charles Vivian, compiled by Cooper Edens. Vivian's book was once much reprinted, but has now been largely forgotten.  Those who do read it will be amazed at how much was recycled in the Robin of Sherwood TV series (including the names Robert and Hugo de Rainault, a villainous "Belame" (borrowed from the Gilbert novel above), attacks made with beehives and swords on a string, and much more).  This gorgeous edition from Chronicle Books is illustrated with art from woodcuts, centuries' worth of Robin Hood book illustrations, comic book art (the cover art is from the 1950s Classics Illustrated comic book), shoe advertisements and more. It's worth it for the art alone.
Buy Robin Hood: A Classic Illustrated Edition on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood (A Classic Illustrated Edition) on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: A Classic Illustrated Edition on Amazon.ca


Modern Novels

THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD by Robin McKinley. A retelling of the Robin Hood stories for both young adults and grown ups. It has some nice twists on the classic legend. For example Robin Hood is the worst archer of the Merry Men.  It also features strongly devolped female characters. You can read my article on the novel here, and also check out my interview with Robin McKinley.
Buy The Outlaws of Sherwood on Amazon.com
Buy The Outlaws of Sherwood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Outlaws of Sherwood on Amazon.ca

OUTLAW: THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD (Originally published as Robin of Sherwood) by Michael Morpurgo. From the author of War Horse, this is a dark take on the Robin Hood legend for older children. One of the very best modern retellings. It was originally published in 1996 with illustrations by Michael Foreman, and re-issued in 2012 with a new title. Click here to read my interview with Michael Morpurgo.
Buy Outlaw: The Story of Robin Hood (2012 Edition) by Michael Morpurgo on Amazon.com
Buy Robin of Sherwood (1996 edition), illustrated by Michael Foreman on Amazon.com
Buy Outlaw: The story of Robin Hood (2012 edition) by Michael Morpurgo on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin of Sherwood (original version) by Michael Morpurgo with illustrations by Michael Foreman on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Outlaw: The Story of Robin Hood (2012 version) on Amazon.ca
Buy Robin of Sherwood by Michael Morpurgo with illustrations by Michael Foreman on Amazon.ca

THE FORESTWIFE by Theresa Tomlinson. A young adult book that has a feminist take on the Robin Hood legend, focusing on a young Maid Marian who learns magical healing powers. (See below for the sequels and trilogy omnibus edition.) You can read my review here, and I also interviewed the author.
Buy The Forestwife (book 1) on Amazon.com
Buy The Forestwife (book 1) on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Forestwife on Amazon.com

CHILD OF THE MAY  by Theresa Tomlinson. The first sequel to The Forestwife takes place many years later and features Little John's daughter Magda in the central role.
Buy Child of the May (book 2) on Amazon.com
Buy Child of the May on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Child of the May on Amazon.ca

THE PATH OF THE SHE-WOLF by Theresa Tomlinson. This is the final book in the Forestwife triology -- with the final fate of Marian and the Hooded Man.
Buy Path of the She Wolf (book 3) on Amazon.com
Buy The Path of the She Wolf on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Path of the She Wolf on Amazon.ca

THE FORESTWIFE TRILOGY by Theresa Tomlinson. This collects all three Forestwife books (slightly revised) into one big edition. And hey, my website is mentioned in the afterword. Thanks, Theresa.
Buy The Forestwife Trilogy: on Amazon.com
Buy The Forestwife Trilogy: Vol 1-3 on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Forestwife Trilogy on Amazon.ca

OUTLAW - THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD by Tony Lee, Sam Hart and Artur Fujita (with an afterword by Allen W. Wright, this site's webmaster). A graphic novel (ie: comic book that's thicker and on better paper) that retells the classic Robin Hood story with a few new twists. It got a good review from the School Library Journal. For older children to adults. Click on the names to read my interview with writer Tony Lee and artist Sam Hart.
Buy Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD: OUTLAW OF SHERWOOD FOREST, An English Legend by Paul D. Storrie and Thomas Yeates. It's another "Classics Illustrated" style graphic novel version of the Robin Hood legend featuring some of Robin's most famous adventures. Good for younger readers. Click here for an interview with Paul Storrie.
Buy Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest on Amazon.ca

IN A DARK WOOD by Michael Cadnum. This novel is from the point of view of the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff, Geoffrey, is a more positive figure than most versions of the legend would suggest. A solidly written tale that takes its inspiration in part from the ballad Robin Hood and the Potter. (A similar concept was once considered for what became the 2010 Robin Hood film.) You can read my interview with Michael Cadnum here.
Buy In A Dark Wood on Amazon.com
Buy In a Dark Wood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy In a Dark Wood on Amazon.ca

FORBIDDEN FOREST: The Story of Little John and Robin Hood by Michael Cadnum. This follow-up novel focuses on Robin's chief lieutenant.
Buy Forbidden Forest on Amazon.com
Buy Forbidden Forest on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Forbidden Forest on Amazon.ca

HODD by Adam Thorpe. No, that's not a typo. Thorpe's book is a fictional translation of a fictional medieval manuscript of a dying monk who confesses his role in the creation of the Robin Hood legend. Thorpe takes his inspiration from the early ballad Robin Hood and the Monk but his "Hodd" is even stranger than his ballad counterpart. This novel presents Hodd as a member of the Brethren of the Free Spirit, who believed there was no such thing as sin. Not a novel for children and not always successful, but it's a good attempt to do something different with the legend.
Buy Hodd on Amazon.com
Buy Hodd on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Hodd on Amazon.ca

SHERWOOD and ROBIN AND THE KING by Parke Godwin. Two adult novels that radically rework the Robin Hood legend by setting it over a century earlier than usual. These books chronicle a fight for freedom in William the Conqueror's England. They also feature a very complex, interesting and sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham.
Buy Sherwood on Amazon.com
Buy Robin and the King on Amazon.com
Buy Sherwood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin and the King on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Sherwood by Parke Godwin on Amazon.ca
Buy Robin and the King on Amazon.ca

THE SHERWOOD GAME by Esther Friesner. A science fiction novel where Robin Hood and his Merry Men are smart, self-aware computer programs that are given artificial bodies and set loose in the future. A fun and interesting twist on the legend.
Buy The Sherwood Game on Amazon.com
Buy The Sherwood Game on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Sherwood Game on Amazon.ca

ROBIN HOOD AND THE BEASTS OF SHERWOOD by Clayton Emery (formerly published as The Tales of Robin Hood). New adventures of Robin Hood, with much use of magic and English folklore. You can read my interview with Clayton Emery here.
Buy Robin Hood and the Beasts of Sherwood on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood and the Beasts of Sherwood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood and the Beasts of Sherwood on Amazon.ca

OUTLAW by Angus Donald. The first book in Donald's Outlaw Chronicles series (eight books and three novellas) introduces to a Robin Hood billed as "the Godfather of Sherwood Forest". Later books take Robin Hood and narrator Sir Alan Dale through the important historical events of the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Warning: strong language and adult content.
Buy Outlaw on Amazon.com
Buy Outlaw on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Outlaw on Amazon.ca

WOLF'S HEAD by Steven A. McKay. The first in the Forest Lord series avoids the King Richard time period of many novels and returns the action to 14th century Yorkshire. Warning: strong language and adult content.
Buy Wolf's Head on Amazon.com
Buy Wolf's Head on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Wolf's Head on Amazon.ca

GUY OF GISBURNE : THE OMNIBUS: HUNTER OF SHERWOOD by Toby Venables. This collection features Knight of Shadows and The Red Hand, the first two novels in a series that turns its spotlight on Robin Hood's classic foe.
Buy Guy of Gisburne: The Omnibus (Hunter of Sherwood) on Amazon.com
Buy Guy of Gisburne: The Omnibus on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Guy of Gisburne: The Omnibus on Amazon.ca

ROMANCING ROBIN HOOD by Jenny Kane. At last a story about a Robin Hood scholar. In the present, Dr. Grace Harper is obsessed with Robin Hood (aren't we all?). The tale alternates between Grace's present-day life, and the historical romance she is writing concerning her fictional protoganist Mathilda's adventures with the Folvilles, a real-life 14th century criminal gang with similarities to Robin Hood's band.
Buy Romancing Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy Romancing Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Romancing Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

HEIR OF LOCKSLEY by N.B. Dixon. Book One of the Outlaw's Legacy series. This novel focuses on Robin Hood's younger days -- before he became an outlaw. LGBT themes are explored as Will Scathelock is gay, and Robin is also attracted to him.
Buy Heir of Locksley on Amazon.com
Buy Heir of Locksley on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Heir of Locksley on Amazon.ca

Films and Television

Please make sure that if you order videos or DVDs that they will play in the machines of your country.  I have links to both North American and European formats. North American DVDs and videos do not generally play in European machines. And vice-versa. Please be careful when ordering.

The links to the US and British Amazon sites generally take you to a default page, and then you can select the media format -- digit, DVD or Blu-Ray.

The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. For over 70 years this superb technicolor movie has been considered the definitive Robin Hood film. It's exciting and witty with a wonderful group of actors. The legend brought to life. At long last, this classic has been released on DVD in a special two-disc set with a tonne of features, including footage of the filming, a commentary track by film historian Rudy Behlmer and the cartoons "Rabbit Hood" with Bugs Bunny and "Robin Hood Daffy" with Daffy Duck. And the film itself has been digitally restored to its technicolor glory. (The Blu-Ray edition offers the same features in a single disc.) You can read my article about the film here.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) on Amazon.com (United States)
The Adventures Of Robin Hood [1938] on Amazon.co.uk (UK/Europe)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (Bilingual) on Amazon.ca (Canada)

Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood starring ... well .. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Before Errol Flynn, Fairbanks donned the tights and played the outlaw hero in the most expensive movie made at the time. It's not quite up there with either Flynn's Robin or the best of silent cinema, but this 1922 silent film is still worth a look. Fairbanks was the first big Hollywood superstar actor and he was at the height of his famous when it was released. Warning: Fairbanks's Earl of Huntingdon doesn't become an outlaw until about halfway through the film.
Buy Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men starring Richard Todd and Joan Rice. This 1952 live-action Disney movie might not be on par with the 1938 Errol Flynn classic, but it is a very solid and respectable version of the legend. Among its charms are Joan Rice's Marian who has a wonderful pixy charm and Peter Finch as the Sheriff. And Archie Duncan, the Little John of 1950s television, plays a bad guy in the film. It's a good version for children, although not the very young as it's not as tame as the cartoon version. Unfortunately, it looks like the DVDs are not available in European Region 2 format yet.
Buy the Region 1 (North America) DVD on Amazon.com
Buy the Region 1 (North America) DVD on Amazon.ca

Robin Hood (1973 Disney Cartoon) featuring the voice of Brian Bedford as the cartoon fox. "Robin Hood and Little John walking through the forest ..." This Disney cartoon comes from the studio's mid-1970s nadir and isn't on par with their earlier classics such as Snow White. (It even recycles movements from earlier cartoons such as The Jungle Book.) Still it does charmingly recreate many of the classic Robin Hood moments and is one of the versions best known by the general public. Peter Ustinov as PJ - Prince John - is a lot of fun.
Buy Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition on Amazon.com
Buy Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition on Amazon.ca

Robin and Marian starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. A dark contrast to the Flynn film. Connery plays an older Robin Hood back from the Crusades, in many ways a Vietnam metaphor. Smart and sad, but with a fair bit of wit too.
Buy Robin and Marian on Amazon.com
Buy Robin and Marian on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Robin and Marian on Amazon.ca

Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman. This was made at the same time as the Kevin Costner film, but was released on television in North America with little fanfare. It's the better Robin Hood movie of 1991, and has the look and feel of early ballads. J.C. Holt served as a historical advisor on the film. (Regrettably, the video release is shorter than the version that played on TV.) A special Blu-Ray was released in Denmark but there is not one suitable for most North American players.
Buy Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin on Amazon.com (DVD in North American format)
Buy Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin on Amazon.co.uk (UK/Europe format)
Buy Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin on European Blu-Ray on Amazon.co.uk (European / UK Format)

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner. This isn't on this list because I recommend it for its quality. I find the writing weaker than many of the items on this page. But this 1991 film did define Robin Hood for a generation. Howver, Alan Rickman, Morgan Freeman and some of the supporting actors give very entertaining performances. Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves on DVD and Blu-Ray
Buy Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves (Extended Cut) on Amazon.com

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - Extended Version on Amazon.co.uk (for British/European audiences)

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves / Robin des Bois : Prince des voleurs (Bilingual) on Amazon.ca (Canada)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights starring Cary Elwes. It's the second, and better-known, attempt at a Robin Hood parody from Mel Brooks. It's supposed to be a parody of Prince of Thieves, but it also parodies the 1938 Errol Flynn film as well. It tickles some people's funny bones, and Richard Lewis makes a fun Prince John. Cary Elwes has more roguish charm than some other Robin Hoods, and not just because he speaks with an English accent.
Buy Robin Hood - Men in Tights on Amazon.com (North American formats)
Buy Robin Hood - Men In Tights on Amazon.co.uk (UK/European format)
Buy Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Bilingual) on Amazon.ca (North American format)


The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. This classic 1950s black-and-white television series is available in various video editions, including a recently released boxed set. Clever plots (often based on real medieval laws) and charm make this show rise about the time and budget constraints of old-time television. The entire series is available by season in DVD boxed sets. Many low budget labels have released smaller collections of episodes in North America. Click here to read my multi-part article on this TV series.
The Complete Series (all four seasons)
Buy The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series on Amazon.com (US DVD)
The Adventures of Robin Hood - The Complete Series [UK/European DVD]
The Complete First Season (Series)
Buy the Region 1, NTSC for North America DVD set on Amazon.com
Buy the Region 0 PAL, only for European players -- not for North America) on Amazon.co.uk The Complete Second Season (Series)
Buy the Region 1, NTSC for North America DVD set on Amazon.com
Buy the Region 2 PAL, only for European players -- not for North America DVD set on Amazon.co.uk
The Complete Third Season (Series)
Buy the Region 1, NTSC for North America DVD set on Amazon.com
Buy the Region 2 PAL, only for European players -- not for North America DVD set on Amazon.co.uk
The Complete Fourth Season (Series)
Buy the Region 1, NTSC for North America DVD set on Amazon.com
Buy the Region 0 PAL, only for European players -- not for North America DVD set on Amazon.co.uk

The Legend of Robin Hood starring Martin Potter and Diane Keen. An online petition helped get this 1975 BBC television mini-series onto DVD. Unfortunately, it's only available on the British Region 2 format.
Buy the Region 2 [Europe, not for North American players] DVD on Amazon.co.uk

Robin of Sherwood starring Michael Praed and Jason Connery (known as Robin Hood in North America). This 1980s British series is one of the most innovative filmed versions of Robin Hood ever. Robin of Loxley serves Herne the Hunter, a forest god, until he is killed in battle and replaced by Robert of Huntingdon. Great cast, wonderful writing, and a haunting Celtic soundtrack by Clannad. This series influenced many later versions of the Robin Hood legend. It also introduced the concept of an Arab Merry Man. Highly recommended. Click here to read my interview with series creator and lead writer Richard Carpenter, and here for an interview with Mark Ryan, the actor who played Nasir, the first of the various Muslim Merry Men.

In the Europe, Network Video has released the series on DVD in the UK. In 2007, Acorn Media released the series for Region 1, North America with nearly all the same special features as the UK versions. In 2011 and 2012, Network and Acorn released the series on Blu-Ray.

Robin of Sherwood: Set One. This North American release contains all the Michael Praed episodes and most of the special features found on the European releases.
Buy Robin of Sherwood: Set One on Amazon.com (region 1, NTSC)

Robin of Sherwood: Set Two. This North American release contains all the Jason Connery episodes and most of the special features found on the European releases.
Robin of Sherwood: Set Two on Amazon.com (Region 1, NTSC)

Robin of Sherwood: The Complete Collection. This North American release contains all the Michael Praed and Jason Connery episodes and most of the special features found on the European releases.
Buy Robin of Sherwood: The Complete Collection DVD on Amazon.com (Region 1, NTSC)

Robin of Sherwood Blu-Ray: Set 1. In 2011, Acorn released the Michael Praed episodes on North American Blu-Ray. Although the picture is intentionally grainy at times, the quality is superior to the DVD. It shares the same special features of the earlier release and also includes new featurettes with Philip (Abbot Hugo) Jackson, George (Richard of Leaford) Baker and director Robert Young, and also PDF files such as Carpenter's early outline for the series.
Buy Robin of Sherwood Set One, Blu-Ray on Amazon.com (Region A, NTSC)

Robin of Sherwood Blu-Ray: Set 2. In Feb. 2012, Acorn released the third season (the Jason Connery episodes) on Blu-Ray.
Buy Robin of Sherwood, Set 2 Blu-ray on Amaon.com (Region 1, NTSC)

Buy Robin of Sherwood on PAL-format DVD or Blu-Ray (Not Playable on most North American players) on Amazon.co.uk. The DVDs include special features like documentaries, blooper reels and commentary tracks with the writers, directors and (on episodes from the 3rd series) cast.
Robin of Sherwood - The Complete Series DVD (All episodes, PAL) on Amazon.co.uk
Robin of Sherwood: Complete Series 1 DVD (PAL) on Amazon.co.uk
Robin Of Sherwood - The Complete Series 2 PAL DVD on Amazon.co.uk
Robin Of Sherwood - Series 3 - Part 1 - Episodes 1 To 6 DVD (PAL) on Amazon.co.uk
Robin Of Sherwood - Series 3 - Part 2 - Episodes 7 To 13 DVD (PAL) on Amazon.co.uk
Robin of Sherwood - Michael Praed [Blu-ray] [PAL] on Amazon.co.uk
Robin of Sherwood: Jason Connery - [Network] - [ITV] - [Blu-ray] [UK, PAL, Region Free] on Amazon.co.uk

Maid Marian and Her Merry Men starring Kate Lonergan as a smart, feminist Maid Marian and Wayne Morris as the hapless Robin. This BBC comedy series was written by Tony Robinson (from Blackadder and Time Team), who also played the Sheriff of Nottingham. It is not yet available on North American DVD. I interviewed Tony Robinson about this series here.
Buy Maid Marian And Her Merry Men: The Complete Series 1 DVD on Amazon.co.uk (for UK/European players)
Buy Maid Marian And Her Merry Men: The Complete Series 2 DVD on Amazon.co.uk (for UK/European players)
Buy Maid Marian And Her Merry Men: The Complete Series 3 DVD on Amazon.co.uk (for UK/European players)
Buy Maid Marian And Her Merry Men: The Complete Series 4 DVD on Amazon.co.uk (for UK/European players)
Buy Maid Marian and her Merry Men - The Complete BBC TV Series 1-4 Limited Edition (DVD) on Amazon.co.uk (for UK/European players)

Rocket Robin Hood. Animated in Canada, this 1960s cartoon features the outer-space adventures of Robin's 30th century descendant who fights the wicked Sheriff of NOTT (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories). In the US and UK, the cartoon quickly vanished after its initial run only to resurface as the winner of various "Worst Cartoon Ever" panels. But in Canada, regulations requiring broadcasters to show a certain percentage of Canadian programming kept this cartoon on the air for decades. The early episodes are sci-fi updates of classic Robin Hood tropes. The later episodes are far more bizarre.
Buy Rocket Robin Hood Vol. 1 on Amazon.ca
Buy Rocket Robin Hood V2 (English version) on Amazon.ca


 

Music

Legend by Clannad. The soundtrack from the Robin of Sherwood TV series. This music by one of Ireland's finest bands won a BAFTA award. It's mystical Celtic music with a touch of rock.
Buy Legend by Clannad on Amazon.com
Buy Legend on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Legend on Amazon.ca

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. This is the Oscar-winning music from the 1938 movie starring Errol Flynn. A classic Hollywood score.
The Adventures of Robin Hood Score on Amazon.com
The Adventures Of Robin Hood score on Amazon.co.uk
The Adventures of Robin Hood score on Amazon.ca

THE LEGACY COLLECTION: ROBIN HOOD. A stellar two-CD collection of the music from the 1973 Disney cartoon, with music from Roger Miller, Louis Prima and more. It also includes versions not used in the film.
Buy The Legacy Collection: Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy The Legacy Collection: Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy The Legacy Collection: Robin Hood on Amazon.ca

De Kevon's Robin Hood: A Comic Opera, performed the Ohio Light Opera Company. A good 21st century production of the great 19th century comic opera by Reginald de Koven and Harry B. Smith. Somewhat dated today, De Koven and Smith's Robin Hood was an important work in the development of the American musical and also influenced the structure of Robin Hood films. This two-disc full-length recording allows you to hear a piece of the legend's history recreated for today. The song "O Promise Me" remains a standard at weddings.
Buy De Koven's Robin Hood on Amazon.com
Buy De Koven's Robin Hood on Amazon.co.uk
Buy De Koven's Robin Hoodon Amazon.ca

Under the Greenwood Tree. Part of the Early Music collection by Naxos. This budget label offers a collection of greenwood music from centuries past, including several Robin Hood ballads.
Buy Early Music: Under the Greenwood Tree on Amazon.com
Buy Under the Greenwood Tree on Amazon.co.uk
Buy Under the Greenwood Tree on Amazon.ca

A Little Gest of Robin Hood by Bob Frank.  Bob's lively translation of one of the earliest Robin Hood ballads. Although it's recorded in a thoroughly American "talking blues" style, Bob has captured the humour and spirit of the original ballad. The Robin Hood ballads were meant to entertain people -- here's someone who gets that. It's available on his website www.bobfranksongs.com



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Text copyright, © Allen W. Wright, 1997 - 2017.