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The Riddle of Robin Hood

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Riddle of Robin Hood Stills 14-1-08 009 edited

The Riddle of Robin Hood is a 1952 promotional featurette on the making of the Disney live-action film, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men. It includes location footage and production material, including: Walt Disney, Perce Pearce, Lawrence Watkin; Carmen Dillon, Ken Annakin, Guy Green and Dr. Charles Beard (historical consultant). The promotional featurette was directed by David Curnick.

Synopsis

The footage firstly shows Walt Disney in his studio office at Denham, talking to Perce Pearce the producer of the film and Lawrence Edward Watkin the writer of the screenplay. It also shows some "still shots" of their "fact finding" visit to Nottingham with Richard Todd (described on this web site under "Film Production") in 1951. There are clips of Richard Todd (Robin Hood) and one of the ‘merrie men,' being driven, by open car to the set. Later two more of the "outlaws" arrive on bikes and possibly Martitia Hunt (Queen Eleanor) on a motorbike! They all make their way over a bridge, close to where Friar Tuck's dog is later filmed attacking the Sheriff.

Friar Tuck’s dog is also shown with its trainer, while the camera crew film Peter Finch, as the Sheriff of Nottingham, running through the river. Richard Todd in his full costume, can be seen practising the quarter staff fight with former Champion at Arms, Rupert Evans and their is even a clip of the lovely Joan Rice (Maid Marian) leaving her house in Denham and cycling to the studios. Carmen Dillon, the set designer, is also shown at Denham Studios, with models of the castle and drawbridge explaining to Walt Disney how those particular scenes would later be filmed.

In one clip, Ken Annakin, the director of the movie, is arranging the dramatic shot of King Richard’s departure for the Crusades, also Guy Green is shown being pushed along on one of the massive Technicolor cameras, filming the climatic scene in which Robin Hood (Richard Todd) leads the Sheriff (Peter Finch) at knife point towards the castle’s drawbridge.


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