Cast & Crew
At Locksley Castle in 12th century England, Sir Alan, the aide to Norman conqueror Sir Guy de Clermont, orders the Earl of Chester to pay the newly imposed Norman taxes or be routed from his land. The earl, a proud Saxon, expresses his displeasure with the Norman conqueror and, after Sir Alan departs, tells his young son, Robin, and his aide, Will Stutely, that he will fight Norman rule. Moments later, the earl is struck and mortally wounded by an arrow shot through an open window by Sir Alan's archer. Before he dies, the earl instructs Will to escape with Robin to Sherwood Forest for safety. Before leaving, Will bestows on Robin the earl's crested bow. After the earl's death, Sir Guy claims Locksley as his own and rules the locals harshly. When he later seizes the estate of Sir Hugh Fitzwalter because Fitzwalter has expressed his protest by refusing to pay taxes, Sir Guy executes Fitzwalter and claims his daughter, Maid Marian, as his ward. In Sherwood, meanwhile, Robin has grown to manhood and, using the name of Robin Hood, leads a band of outlaws known as the Merry Men. Robin and his men fight Sir Guy's inhumane governance by stealing from the wealthy and giving the proceeds to the peasants to help relieve their poverty. One evening, the Blue Boar innkeeper is accosted by Sir Guy's captain of the guards because he asks the guards to pay for their food. Robin, a renowned archer, overhears the altercation and comes to the innkeeper's aid by aiming an arrow near the captain, and demanding that he relinquish his pouch of recently collected taxes. After routing the guards from the tavern, Robin pays the innkeeper and leaves to return the money to its rightful owners. Sir Guy is dismayed by Robin's efforts to thwart him and calls Sir Alan back from his post in France to help defeat the outlaw. Sir Alan then explains his plan to host an archery competition in order to identify and entrap the mysterious Robin Hood. As thanks, Sir Guy gives Locksley Castle to Sir Alan, and arranges for him to marry Marian. In Sherwood, meanwhile, Robin gains a new friend in John Little, who challenged and beat Robin in a match over a right of way. John is dubbed "Little John" and welcomed as the latest member of the Merry Men. Shortly afterward, Robin and John rescue Friar Tuck and Marian from bandits who have stolen their horse and donkey while they were traveling to Nottingham. After the bandits flee, Robin observes that the good-natured friar is an excellent fighter. Marian treats the outlaw with disdain, although Robin is smitten with her, and she tearfully admits her unfortunate engagement to Sir Alan. However, Friar Tuck trusts Robin, who has learned about the upcoming archery contest, unaware that it is a trap. Robin confides his true identity to Friar Tuck, but withholds the information from Marian hoping that her opinion of him will improve on its own. Robin is determined to find his father's killer, so Friar Tuck offers to help Robin gain entry to the heavily guarded castle for the contest. Robin and most of the Merry Men leave Marian in the care of Alan A. Dale while they go to Locksley, where Robin is disguised as a soldier of the Crusades, and the Merry Men pose as kitchen staff. When Alan A. Dale reveals to Marian that Robin loves her, she tells him that she overheard that the archery contest is a ruse to capture Robin. Marian returns to the castle in time to warn Friar Tuck that the contest is a trap, but it is too late to warn Robin. Sir Alan calls for Robin's arrest when he wins the competition, but the outlaw and his men fight off the guards. Robin then confronts Sir Alan, who confesses to killing the earl. Robin draws his knife to kill Sir Alan, but instead Sir Alan is accidentally felled by a guard's spear. After Robin and his men escape, a traitorous peasant offers to take Sir Guy to their hideaway in the forest. Marian, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Robin. Sir Guy's men destroy the camp and take three men hostage before Robin returns. After learning from his friend Much, who had been hiding nearby, that the guards are headed for the inn, Robin asks Much and Alan A. Dale to take Marian to a cave for safety. Donning disguises, Robin and the others go to the inn planning to get the guards drunk so they will be unable to prevent their prisoners from escaping. The traitorous peasant, who had been knocked unconscious by one of the brutal guards, awakens and cries an alarm when he recognizes Robin. Robin and his men are the victors in the ensuing brawl and they rescue their friends. Meanwhile, Sir Guy captures Marian and Much and imprisons them at the castle, then posts a notice to explain that he is holding them prisoner and that he plans to capture and execute Robin. Will finds Dale tied to a tree in the forest and rescues him. Will then surmises that Dale was left behind to lure Robin into a trap at Locksley. In order to outwit Sir Guy, Robin asks his men to go into Nottingham and get themselves arrested. The next day, all the prisoners are brought before Sir Guy for sentencing. Robin, who has slipped into the castle grounds dressed as a friar, declares his presence after Sir Guy sentences John to hanging for purportedly stealing a donkey carrying Marian's clothes. When Robin brandishes his sword, the rest of his men grab swords that Friar Tuck smuggled in on his donkey. Robin holds Sir Guy at swordpoint following a fierce battle, and declares his heritage as Earl of Chester. The Sheriff of Nottingham, who, until this time, has been doing Sir Guy's bidding, recognizes Robin's claim and reveals that he previously refused to arrest Robin because the outlaw is beloved by the people. The sheriff proposes that Robin be reinstated as earl under Sir Guy's governance. After Sir Guy and Robin agree to the plan, Friar Tuck confirms the arrangement, then announces Robin and Marian's engagement.
Jack R. Glass
Hal Roach Jr.
Garland X. Ware
Le Roy H. Zehren
Originally an unsold TV pilot that was released to theaters.
The working title of this film was Adventures of Robin Hood. An August 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Glenn Langan was cast in the production, but he was not in the released film. Although some modern sources indicate that the film originally May have been shot for a television series, in his autobiography, actor Robert Clarke commented that it was initially intended to serve as a pilot for a television series, but that the series never materialized.
Clarke added the following production information about Tales of Robin Hood: Harvey Parry was the stunt coordinator and Herbert Greene was the 2d asst dir. Some scenes were shot on the set that had been created for the 1950 Sierra Pictures film Joan of Arc, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Ingrid Bergman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). For information on other films featuring the characters of Robin Hood and his men, see the entry for the 1938 Warner Bros. film Adventures of Robin Hood in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40.