The Adventures of Robin Hood (film)

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Olivia de Havilland as Lady Marian and Errol Flynn as Robin Hood.

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a 1938 film about Prince John and the Norman Lords who begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, and a Saxon lord who fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley. Written by Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller.
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In the year of Our Lord 1191, when Richard the Lion-Heart set forth to drive the infidels from the Holy Land, he left the regency of his kingdom to his trusted friend Longchamps, instead of to his treacherous brother, Prince John.
Bitterly resentful, John hoped for some disaster to befall Richard, so that he, with the help of his Norman barons, might seize the kingdom for himself. And then, on a luckless day for the Saxons...


Sir Guy: What's your name, you Saxon dog?
Much: A better one than yours!
Dickon Malbête [shaking Much]: Look to your manners! This is Sir Guy of Gisbourne.
Much: Sir Guy or the Devil! There's little to choose between them.
Sir Guy: What's your name?
Much: Much the Miller's Son.
Sir Guy: Don't you know it's death to kill the King's deer?
Much: Yes, and death from hunger if I don't, thanks to you and the rest of you Norman cutthroats at Nottingham Castle.
Dickon Malbête [striking him]: Be quiet, you!
Much: I won't be quiet! You can kill me if you like, but not till I've had my say. You can beat and starve us poor Saxons now, but when King Richard escapes, he'll take you by the scruff of the neck and fling you into the sea!
[Guy raises his mace to kill Much, but an arrow dashes his weapon aside]
Sir Guy: What the devil?
Robin Hood: Come now, Sir Guy. You'd not kill a man for telling the truth, would you?
Sir Guy: If it amused me, yes!

Prince John: Well, this is what we Normans like - good food, good company, and a beautiful woman to flatter me. Eh, Lady Marian? Was it worth while, coming up from London with me to see what stout fellows our Nottingham friends are? Take Sir Guy of Gisbourne now, one of our most renowned defenders of the realm.
Lady Marian: Must I take him, Your Highness?
Prince John: Why, you like him, don't you?
Lady Marian: Well, he's a Norman, of course.
Prince John: Is that the only reason for liking him?
Lady Marian: Isn't that reason enough for a royal ward, who must obey her guardian?
Prince John: Nay, I'd not force you, my lady. But he's our most powerful friend in these shires...and he's already in love with you. If I could promise him marriage to a royal ward, it might help my plans.
Lady Marian: Perhaps when I know him better.
Prince John: Of course. You're a very wise young woman.

Prince John: Any more objections to the new tax from our Saxon friends?
Noble: Objections, Your Highness? With a Saxon dangling from every gallows tree between here and Charnwood?
Prince John: Well said, Sir Knight - but not too many, mind, else we'll have nobody left to till our land or pay the tax.

Robin Hood [to Prince John, carrying a deer over his shoulders]: Greetings, Your Highness! You know, you really should teach Gisbourne hospitality. No sooner do I enter his castle doors with a bit of of meat than his starving servants try to snatch it from me! You should feed them, Gisbourne; they'll work better. [flinging the deer down onto the table in front of Prince John] With the royal compliments of your brother King Richard, God bless him!
Prince John: By my faith, but you're a bold rascal. Robin... I like you.

Robin Hood: I hope my lady had a pleasant journey from London?
Lady Marian: What you hope can hardly be important.
Robin Hood: Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. What a pity her manners don't match her looks, Your Highness!
Prince John: [laughing] Do you hear that, gentlemen? Here's poor Gisbourne so in love with Marian that he daren't say "Boo!" to her, and this saucy fellow gives her better than she sends!

Prince John: Bring Sir Robin food! At once, do you hear? Such impudence must support a mighty appetite.
Robin Hood: True enough, your Highness. We Saxons have little to fatten on by the time your tax gatherers are through.
Sheriff of Nottingham: So, you think you're overtaxed, do you?
Robin Hood: Overtaxed, overworked, and paid off with a knife, a club, or a rope.
Lady Marian: Why, you speak treason!
Robin Hood: Fluently.

Robin Hood: What else do you call a man who takes advantage of the King's misfortune to seize his power? Now, with the help of this sweet band of cutthroats, you'll try to grind a ransom for him out of every helpless Saxon, a ransom that will be used, not to release Richard, but to buy your way to the throne.
Sir Guy: Let me ram those words down his throat, Your Highness!
Prince John: Oh, no. Later. Let him spout for the moment. [To Robin] And what do you propose to do?
Robin Hood: I'll organize a revolt, exact a death for a death, and I'll never rest until every Saxon in this shire can stand up free men, and strike a blow for Richard and England.
Prince John: Have you finished?
Robin Hood: I'm only just beginning! From this night on, I'll use every means in my power to fight you!

Robin Hood: I've called you here as freeborn Englishmen, loyal to our king. While he reigned over us, we lived in peace. But since Prince John has seized the regency, Guy of Gisbourne and the rest of his traitors have murdered and pillaged. You've all suffered from their cruelty - the ear-loppings, the beatings, the blindings with hot irons, the burning of our farms and homes, the mistreatment of our women. It's time to put an end to this! Now, this forest is wide. It can shelter and clothe and feed a band of good, determined men - good swordsmen, good archers, good fighters. Men, if you're willing to fight for our people, I want you! Are you with me?
Merry Men: Aye!
Robin Hood: Then kneel, and swear this oath: that you, the free men of this forest, swear to despoil the rich only to give to the poor; to shelter the old and the helpless; to protect all women, rich or poor, Norman or Saxon; and swear to fight for a free England; to protect her loyally until the return of our king and sovereign, Richard the Lion-Heart; and swear to fight to the death against our oppressors!
Merry Men: We do! We solemnly swear!

Little John: He's well named "Friar Tuck". It would take half the deer in Sherwood Forest to fill that cavern.
Friar Tuck: And twice that to fill your empty head!

Robin Hood: [to Will Scarlet, referring to Friar Tuck] It's all right; he's one of us.
Will Scarlet: [about Friar Tuck] One of us? He looks like three of us!
Friar Tuck: [Drawing his sword truculently] Ay - and equal to a full dozen!

Robin Hood: Are you really interested in learning why I turned outlaw? Or are you afraid of the truth, or of me perhaps?
Lady Marian: I am afraid of nothing, least of all you.

Lady Marian: But you've taken Norman lives.
Robin Hood: Yes, those that deserved it, cruel and unjust.
Lady Marian: You're a strange man.
Robin Hood: Strange? Because I can feel for beaten, helpless people?
Lady Marian: No. You're strange because you want to do something about it. You're willing to defy Sir Guy, even Prince John himself, to risk your own life. And one of those men was a Norman!
Robin Hood: Norman or Saxon, what's that matter? It's injustice I hate, not the Normans.
Lady Marian: But it's lost you your rank, your lands. It's made you a hunted outlaw when you might have lived in comfort and security. What's your reward for all this?
Robin Hood: Reward? You just don't understand, do you?
Lady Marian: I'm sorry. I do begin to see... a little... now.
Robin Hood: You do? Then that's reward enough. [he kisses her hand]

Sir Guy: Now that you've robbed us and had your fill of insulting us, we wish to leave. Come, Lady Marian.
Robin Hood: My own men will escort my Lady. But before you take leave of her, it might be as well if you thanked her for saving your life.
Sir Guy: My life?
Robin Hood: Do you think you would've left this forest alive if it hadn't been for her presence here? Peter! Errol! Take six men guide our loyal host and his nervous friend to the Nottingham road.
Sheriff of Nottingham: But our... our horses? Our... our clothes?
Robin Hood: You'll return to Nottingham as you are, on foot. This, Sir Guy, will at least be a lesson to you in humility if not in mercy. The rest of your people will be returned tomorrow.
Sir Guy: But the Lady Marian?
Robin Hood: You'd best be started, before I've a change of mind.
[Robin's men draw their swords]
Sheriff of Nottingham: [to Sir Guy] I think we'd better go!

Lady Marian: He is different from anyone I've ever known. He's, well he's brave and he's reckless, and yet he's...gentle and kind. He's not brutal like...tell me, when you are in love, is it, well, is it hard to think of anybody but, but one person?
Bess: Yes, indeed my lady, and sometimes it's a bit of trouble sleeping.
Lady Marian: I know, but it's a nice kind of not sleeping.
Bess: And it affects your appetite too. Not that I've noticed it's done that to you, except when he was in the dungeon waiting to be hanged.
Lady Marian: And does it make you want to be with him all the time?
Bess: Yes, and when he's with you, your legs are as weak as water. Tell me, my lady. When he looks at you, do you feel a kind of prickly feeling like goosey pimples running all up and down your spine?...Then there's not a doubt of it.
Lady Marian: Doubt of what?
Robin Hood: [entering] That you're in love. I couldn't help overhearing about that 'prickly feeling.' I'm very glad I did come.
Lady Marian: That, that was a game. Now you've got to go at once.
Robin Hood: Game, eh? Well, couldn't I join in? Of course, I probably wouldn't be as good at it as, uh, [he playfully pinches Bess' chin] this pretty young girl, but I could do my best.
Lady Marian: Bess, will you leave us? Please.
Robin Hood: Now let's see, where does this game begin? Oh, I know. It's simple. We'll start where you are in love with me. You are, aren't you? Because I am with you. Terribly. That's why I came. I had to see you.
Lady Marian: You must go at once and I don't love you.
Robin Hood: Oh! You sure?
Lady Marian: Yes.
Robin Hood: Very well then, I'll go. [Robin retreats to the window to descend the ivy.] This is rather unfriendly of you, exposing me to my enemies like this....Goodbye, my lady.
Lady Marian: Robin!
Robin Hood: Yes?
Lady Marian: Please.
Robin Hood: Then you do love me, don't you? Don't you?
Lady Marian: You know I do.
Robin Hood: Well, that's different. [Robin re-enters the window and they share an embrace and kiss.]
Lady Marian: You know you're very impudent.
Robin Hood: Me?
Lady Marian: You are. And when my real guardian King Richard finds out about your being in love with me...
Robin Hood: I know, he'll make me court jester.
Lady Marian: He won't. He'll stick your funny head on London Gate.
Robin Hood: And a very fine decoration it will be, my bold Norman beauty.
Lady Marian: I'm not bold.
Robin Hood: But you're a Norman...And you are a beauty. You are the most beautiful...
Lady Marian: And you're leaving here at once. Please darling! Every minute you're here, you're in danger.
Robin Hood: I'll go...

Robin Hood: ...Marian, will you come with me?
Lady Marian: To Sherwood?
[He nods]
Robin Hood: I've nothing to offer you but a life of hardship and danger. But we'd be together.
Lady Marian: But, Robin, dear.
Robin Hood: I know. It's asking a lot. But who knows how long it will be before Richard returns. Friar Tuck could marry us. Will you?
Lady Marian: Because I love you Robin, I'd come. Even the danger would mean nothing if you were with me.
Robin Hood: Then you will.
Lady Marian: No...I could help much more by watching for treachery here and leaving you free to protect Richard's people until he returns. Now do you see why you have to go back to your men alone?

Sir Guy: You're a very charming woman, Marian, but not exactly clever.

Sir Guy: Not only has she consorted with this Saxon rebel, found guilty of outlawry, theft, murder, abduction, and high treason, but she has betrayed her own Norman people. Are you not ashamed, my Lady Marian?
Lady Marian: Yes, I am, bitterly, but it's the shame that I'm a Norman, after seeing the things my fellow countrymen have done to England. At first, I wouldn't believe. Because I was a Norman, I wouldn't let myself believe that the horrors you inflicted on the Saxons were just and right. I know now why you tried so hard to kill this outlaw whom you despise. It's because he was the one man in England who protected the helpless against a lot of beasts who were drunk on human blood. And now you intend to murder your own brother.
Prince John: You'll be sorry you interfered.
Lady Marian: Sorry? I'd do it again if you killed me for it.
Prince John: A prophetic speech, my lady, for that is exactly what is going to happen to you.
Lady Marian: You wouldn't dare. I am a royal ward of King Richard, and no one but the King himself has the right to condemn me to death.
Prince John: You are quite right, my dear... and it shall be a king, who will order your execution for high treason, exactly forty-eight hours from now. Take her away.

Little John: [to the King, who is disguised as an abbot] What? Are you friendly to our good King Richard?
King Richard: I love no man better.

Robin Hood: Did I upset your plans?
Sir Guy: You've come to Nottingham once too often.
Robin Hood: When this is over, my friend, there'll be no need for me to come again.

King Richard: And I further banish from my realm all injustices and oppressions which have burdened my people. And I pray that under my rule, Normans and Saxons alike will share the rights of Englishmen. What about you Robin?
Robin Hood: My sword is yours, sire, now and always.
King Richard: Is there nothing England's king can grant the outlaw who showed him his duty to his country?
Robin Hood: Yes, your majesty: a pardon for the men of Sherwood.
King Richard: Granted with all my heart!
[the men cheer]
King Richard: But, uh, is there nothing for yourself?
Robin Hood: [looking at Marian] There's but one thing else, sire.
King Richard: [to Marian] And, uh, do you too wish...?
Lady Marian: More than anything in the world, sire.
King Richard: Kneel, Robin Hood. Arise, Baron of Locksley, Earl of Sherwood and Nottingham, and lord of all the lands and manors appertaining thereto. My first command to you, my Lord Earl, is to take in marriage the hand of the Lady Marian. What say you to that, Baron of Locksley?
Robin Hood: May I obey all your commands with equal pleasure, Sire!


  • Only the rainbow can duplicate its brilliance!
  • this classic adventure story sweeps across the screen!