Today we’re taking a look at some of the best in Robin Hood films… our Robin Hood Round Robin if you will! Rather than try to compare so many films and TV series we decided to go with five of the best-known films and TV shows for our little tournament. We’ve selected 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 1958 Merrie Melodies animated short Robin Hood Daffy, Disney’s 1973 Robin Hood” 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the BBCs 2006 series Robin Hood.
6. Bad Ass Little John
Known almost as well as Robin Hood is his band of Merry Men…Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, and of course, Little John. Little John is always portrayed as a stout and tough woodsman who bests Robin Hood with a quaterstaff. In the Disney version Little John is a bear voiced by Phil Harris who also provided the voice of Baloo in the Jungle Book; Nick Brimble played one of the biggest and most imposing Little John’s in Prince of Thieves; and Gordon Kennedy also cuts an intimidating Little John in the Robin Hood TV series. But…only one man played Little John three times. Alan Hale (father of Alan Hale, Jr., the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island) played Little John in the 1922 silent version, and in the quintessential 1938 version and again in Rogues of Sherwood Forest from 1950. Any guy that can play the role three times 28 years apart gets the nod.
Winner: Alan Hale in The Adventures of Robin Hood
5. Most Jolly Friar Tuck
No matter what version of Robin Hood you watch, Friar Tuck is always portrayed as a plump, cheerful man of God. In The Adventures of Robin Hood” Tuck is not only jovial, but said to be one of the deadliest swordsman in England; in the Disney version, Friar Tuck is a badger voiced by the distinctive voice of Andy Devine; Prince of Thieves Tuck is played more for comedy as this Friar loves his beer; and in the BBC TV series, Tuck for the first time is played by a black man. He’s not exactly merry, but as a warrior monk he is tough as nails. That leaves us with the inimitable Porky Pig. Porky is the definition of jolly, usually at the expense of Daffy as evidenced in this scene with his infectious laugh. “Yoiks and away!”
Winner: Porky Pig in Robin Hood Daffy
4. Most Convincing Sheriff of Nottingham
Over the years and many films, Robin Hood’s main nemesis has changed often…It’s been the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy of Gisbourne, Prince John…But who was the very best Sheriff? Well the Sheriff in Adventures of Robin Hood was a minor character and rather timid; In the BBC series, the Sheriff (played by Keith Allen) is a scream as the sarcastic and evil Sheriff but he still takes a back seat to Sir Guy as primary villain; in the Disney version, The Sheriff is a wolf voiced by Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney of Green Acres fame). But none of these portrayals can hold a candle to Alan Rickman’s deliciously wicked performance in Prince of Thieves where he threatens to cut out Robin Hood’s heart with a spoon “because its dull and will hurt more!”
Winner: Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
3. Greatest Feat of Archery
We all know that Robin is the greatest archer in England but who is the best in our Robin Hood Round Robin? Robin splits the arrow of his competitor to win the tournament in Adventures of Robin Hood; his arrow cuts the rope that is hanging Little John’s son, saving his life in Prince of Thieves…but our winner goes to the Disney version. Shown in this scene, Robin, disguised as a crow, is in the final round of the archery tournament. When his opponent distracts him, causing him to misfire, Robins quickly loads another arrow and lets fly…ricocheting it off his first arrow and splitting his opponent’s arrow to win the tournament. Let’s see Errol Flynn do that!
Winner: Disney’s Robin Hood
2. Best Accent
One of the biggest complaints about Prince of Thieves was Kevin Costner’s inability to feign even a semblance of an English accent. He alternated between a bad accent and none at all. Daffy Duck? Well…he’s a duck with a lisp. Jonas Armstrong is great in the BBC’s Robin Hood” but ultimately we have to go with Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Yes, we know Flynn was Australian and not English but his accent is perfect and you can’t match him for rousing the people to his cause as you can see from the included trailer.
Winner: Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood.
1. Hottest Lady Marian
What would Robin be without having a damsel in distress to rescue and there have been some beautiful women to play Lady Marian over the years. But who is the hottest? Disney’s version featured a total fox (literally the character was a fox) in the role; the graceful Olivia de Haviland radiated classic beauty in Adventures of Robin Hood and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio played Marian as tough but gorgeous in Prince of Thieves. However our pick for hottest Lady Marian goes to Lucy Griffiths in the BBC TV series Robin Hood. Smart, sexy, and smoking hot, she is Marian for the 21st century.
Winner: Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood” the TV series.
The ultimate winner of the Robin Hood Round Robin?
All enjoyable films and TV series’ but on the strength of its outstanding cast, inspiring musical score, and dazzling Technicolor, our choice for greatest Robin Hood film is
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