directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley
USA 1938

"Mostly the picture is full of movement, some of it dashing in fine romantic costume style, some of it just sprightly. The excitement comes from fast action - galloping steeds, men swinging Tarzan-like from the trees, hurling tables and chairs, rapid running swordplay, the sudden whiz of Robin's arrows coming from nowhere to startle his enemies - more than from any fear that Robin might be worsted. Somehow the whole thing has the air of being a costume party, a jolly and rather athletic one, with a lot of well-bred Englishmen. (James Shelley Hamilton - National Board of Review 1939)"

That is one way to put it.

Another would be, that "The Adventures of Robin Hood" is the definitive Errol Flynn film, the definitive Robin Hood film, one of the best swashbuckler films and one of the most beautiful three stripe Technicolor films ever to leave Warner Bros. This was the film out parents and grandparents would save up their allowance for to watch in the Sunday matinees, and then spend the rest of the week pretending to be Robin Hood. Thanks to Warner's Ultra Resolution restoration, "The Adventures of Robin Hood" now is looking better than ever. I wonder if the films the kids of today will get the same treatment and be loved the same way in 70 years.
out of

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: 14 May 1938

Reviews      More Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:49 1:41:49
Video

4:3 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.28 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Video codec: VC-1, dual-layered

Feature: 16.2 Gig
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), music only (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

music only (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English SDH, Spanish, French, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 4:3

Edition Details:

  • Commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer

  • All-new 65th anniversary transfer from restored picture and audio elements

  • Warner Night at the Movies, 1938 introduced by Leonard Maltin including trailers, newsreel, musical short subject and cartoon "Katnip Kollege"

  • Errol Flynn trailer gallery

  • New documentary, Welcome to Sherwood (2003)

  • Outtakes and the studio's annual year-end blooper reel

  • "Robin Hood Through the Ages" featurette

  • "A Journey to Sherwood Forest" travelog

  • Documentary Glorious Technicolor (1998)

  • Shorts: "Cavalcade of Archery" (1946) and "The Cruise of the Zaca" (1952)

  • Galleries: Historical art, costume design, concept drawings, cast/crew photos, & publicity

  • Audio only: "The Robin Hood Radio Show" and Korngold piano session

  • Cartoons: "Rabbit Hood" and "Robin Hood Daffy"

DVD Release Date: 30 September 2003

Digipak case
Chapters 29

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 4:3

1080P Dual-layered, VC-1 encode

Edition Details:

  • Commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer

  • Warner Night at the Movies, 1938 introduced by Leonard Maltin including trailers, newsreel, musical short subject and cartoon "Katnip Kollege" (in HD!)

  • Errol Flynn trailer gallery

  • New documentary, Welcome to Sherwood (2003)

  • Outtakes and the studio's annual year-end blooper reel

  • "Robin Hood Through the Ages" featurette

  • "A Journey to Sherwood Forest" travelog - 13:16

  • Documentary Glorious Technicolor (1998) - 1:00:05

  • Shorts: "Cavalcade of Archery" (1946) and "The Cruise of the Zaca" (1952)

  • Galleries: Historical art, costume design, concept drawings, cast/crew photos, & publicity

  • Audio only: "The Robin Hood Radio Show" (29:08) and Korngold piano session

  • Cartoons: "Rabbit Hood" and "Robin Hood Daffy"  in HD!

DVD Release Date: August 26th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

On the thrilling announcement of Casablanca finally coming to Blu-ray in December - I am always extremely excited when another old classic comes to 1080P - just as as we stated with our reviews of The Seventh Seal, Black Narcissus, Great Expectations, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Searchers (to name a few) - The Adventures of Robin Hood easily exceeds its older SD-DVD counterpart. Kudos to the Warner and their past 480 transfer - a quite remarkable appearance for a film, now, 70 years old. But weakness existed with some flickering and occasional softness. The flickering is still moderately present in the beginning but detail is, expectantly, raised up at least a full a notch. Noise is still present on the new Blu-ray although less prominent.

This new Blu-ray is quite magnificent with the original Technicolor brilliance being more visible. Skin tones seem a bit red at times but better than the yellow/magenta look of the order SD. The Blu-ray image is also brighter. Technically the disc is dual-layered taking up about 35.1 Gig of the 50 Gig space but the feature itself covers only 16.2 Gig. So, it is possible that the feature is the same VC-1 transfer as the previous HD-DVD - I'm not totally sure.

NOTE: Notice that more information on the side edges is available on the Blu-ray. It's in the order of about 6% in total cropped from the SD-DVD.

Despite our efforts the static images do not tell the whole story. I toggled back and forth between two machines on my system - one playing the Blu-ray and one the, simultaneously started, Special Edition SD-DVD - and there was a dramatic improvement in the newer high-resolution transfer. More so than the captures can indicate. Hopefully clicking to see the full-res images will give you the best idea of how the Blu-ray should look on your system. I found it quite impressive.

There are no artificial audio bumps on the new Warner Blu-ray as they decided to stick with the original mono track again. I think it's an appropriate decision and it sounds just fine to me... and, obviously, accurate to the original theatrical presentation. Like the SD-DVD there are optional English SDH, Spanish, or French, subtitles available.

In terms of supplements - I'm still wading through them, but they all look familiar and I don't know that anything extra was added (see Henrik's comments below) or omitted. The Blu-ray has the excellent Rudy Behlmer commentary and the wonderful documentaries on the advent Technicolor etc. BUT the cartoons are in HD! and look just wonderful. I believe this is the first time I have seen vintage cartoons in 1080 resolution. Wow. Of course ,the Blu-ray has all of the extras available on the one disc - which could be considered somewhat of a plus. If I find some new material on the Blu-ray, I'll post it here immediately.

Some may be disappointed that the audio and extras are not new - and perhaps the transfer is the same as the previously released HD. So be it. This doesn't detract from my pure enjoyment of the film and seeing, and owning, it in such a stellar package. 

I have spoken in the past that I feel it's DVDBeaver duty to encourage and support classic films looking the best they can for home theatre usage. Well, this is it. The Adventures of Robin Hood can look ridiculously strong even discounting its age. It's so beautiful to watch and this Blu-ray is the definitive way to view it in your home. Absolutely recommended.

 -Gary Tooze

ON THE TWO-DISC SD: Once again WB does it. Just as with "Singin' in the Rain", "The Adventures of Robin Hood" is a marvel to behold. Thanks to the miracles of Ultra Resolution Restoration, the colors are so rich and saturated. The sound has been remastered and the mono is basically completely free of any noise. Accompanying the film is an audio commentary by Rudy Behlmer, who as always is a delight to listen to. He is, in my opinion, the best and most informative audio commentaries around.

Disc 1 has the film and music track only. As a really nice feature, you are able to experience watching the film, as they did back in 1938. Introduced by Leonard Maltin, you first get a trailer, then a newsreel, then some music and finally the feature.

Disc 2 begins with an hour long documentary about the development of color film and the invention of Technicolor, followed by an hour long documentary about Warner Bros and Robin Hood, a 6 minute Robin thru the ages and finishing off with 2 Looney Tunes involving Robin Hood.

 - Henrik Sylow

 



DVD Menus / Extras
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Screen Captures

(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

-

Extras: tie - but cartoons are in HD on the Blu-ray
Menu: Blu-ray

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray


 





 

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