Enter THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD (1952)! I recorded this film out of general curiosity a few months ago when Turner Classic Movies was screening a night of Disney features and I finally watched it last week. Wow! Where has this film been all my life?
In a lot of ways this is a typical Disney feature of the period in that plenty of money was lavished upon it giving it high production values and the look of a lush, well made film. Everything about it looks textured and detailed, colorful and alive. The film has real energy and in the high-def print used by TCM it popped off the screen for the entire running time. This isn't a half-assed attempt to do a new telling of the legend. This is a full-blooded Robin Hood adventure story with its own particular take on the events we all know from previous films. The script is tightly constructed and juggles around some of the relationships and backgrounds of characters in a way that I found absolutely fascinating. It switches the noble birth from Robin Hood to Maid Marian positioning Robin as an upstart commoner who was the subject of
noble father. This puts a great spin on their relationship as younger people
and their continuing and growing affection for each other as adults. It gives
the relationship real depth without having to go into on-screen detail about
what draws them to each other. Marion