Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Robin Hood (1922)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Robin Hood (1922) (aka Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood)

In director Allan Dwan's silent era, historical adventure swashbuckler - the first feature-length Hollywood version of the much-filmed classic about the legendary figure of Robin Hood - it featured large-scale sets and many amazing action sequences and acrobatic stunts (such as leaping on and off horses, climbing up or down steep walls, diving or jumping, etc.) - and was the most expensive film ever made at the time (budgeted at $1.5 million):

  • the film's opening - views of the crumbling ruins of a late 12th century castle, and its renovation, with the following prologue: "Mediaeval England - England in the Age of Faith. Her chronicles tell of warriors and statesmen, of royal Crusaders, of jousting knights. Her ballads sing of jolly friars, of troubadours, of gallant outlaws who roamed her mighty forests. History - in its ideal state - is a compound of legend and chronicle and from out both we offer you an impression of the Middle Ages"
  • the final event in a jousting tournament competition pitted dashing Robert, the Earl of Huntingdon (Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.) (the 'favorite' of England's King Richard I, the Lion-Hearted (Wallace Beery) who was "impulsive, generous and brave"), and his long-time bitter rival and cheat Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Paul Dickey) (favored by Prince John (Sam de Grasse), the King's evil, cruel, and tyrannical younger brother - described as "sinister, dour, his heart inflamed with an unholy desire to succeed to Richard's throne" and "drunk with power")
King Richard I, the Lion-Hearted (Wallace Beery)
Prince John (Sam de Grasse) - the King's Brother
Sir Guy Gisbourne (Paul Dickey) with Prince John
The High Sheriff of Nottingham (William Lovery)
  • the contest ended with knight Earl's victory (even though Sir Guy dishonestly strapped himself to his saddle before facing Robin); the very shy Earl ("afeared of women") received praise from the King (and was appointed second-in-command), and was also presented with the victor's crown from fairest maiden Lady Marian Fitzwalter (Enid Bennett) - she had been appointed for the day as a "Queen of Love and Beauty"; afterwards, Earl was swarmed by a mob of young adoring females - he fled and dived into the moat - to the King's amusement
  • during a feast that evening in the castle's great hall, the drunken and vile Sir Guy and Prince John ("drunk with power") openly plotted to take over the kingdom during the Holy Crusades; the Earl was encouraged to find a maiden by the King who promised all of the ladies: "A castle and lands to the maid who wins him"; however, when Sir Guy and the Prince began to harrass Lady Marian and chase after her, the Earl came to her rescue to gallantly defend her, and she was very impressed and thankful for his gesture; they tentatively viewed each other, and he confessed: "I-I never knew - a maid - could be - like you '"; he appeared amazed and heart-struck (with his hand on his heart), retreated, sat down and kissed her garment - obviously in love with her
Earl of Huntingdon (Douglas Fairbanks) with Lady Marian After Her Rescue
  • in the following sequence, the Earl's "hour of parting," he joined other Knights in the Third Crusade to ride with England's King Richard I, who was also accompanied by Sir Guy; the parting between the Earl and Lady Marian was emotional; the Earl told the King: "I go to the Holy Land with half a heart. The other half I leave in the keeping of a maid"; the Earl left his Squire (Alan Hale) to protect Lady Marian during his absence; the march of the Crusaders from Nottingham was an impressive spectacle
  • during his absence, the King appointed Prince John as regent, who engaged in "dire mischief"; opponents were hanged, and the "good officials" in the town of Nottingham were "ousted" (imprisoned) after the Prince sided with the High Sheriff of Nottingham (William Lovery) to ruthlessly usurp King Richard's throne; the poor were oppressed with taxes, and a woman who rejected the Prince's advances was whipped on her bare back; Huntingdon's castle was "razed and burnt"; Lady Marian bravely beseeched the oppressive Prince John: "Have mercy on the people of England"
  • during the King's Crusades in the Holy Land, Lady Marian sent an in-person written message via the Squire (who carried a white carrier pigeon for the return reply); she notified the King and Earl about Prince John's despotic treachery, and then turned and longingly admired a silhouette she had drawn on the wall of the Earl's profile
  • the Earl received the alarming written message: "The people suffer and perish. The women of the castle hang their heads in shame. Intrigue and death lurk in every corner. Desperately my heart cries out to you. England is doomed"; he wrote a reply message: "My Beloved - by some pretext, I shall persuade the King to allow me to return. On the heels of this missive, I shall be in England"
  • the Earl requested the King's permission to return (without supplying a specific reason), but was denied (the King thought he was cowardly and only returning to be with Lady Marian: "'Tis not the maid? You! Turned chicken-hearted for a wench!"); meanwhile, the Earl's return reply to Lady Marian was intercepted (her white carrier pigeon was attacked mid-air by Sir Guy's falcon); after learning the Earl's motives, Sir Guy ambushed Earl; he was shot in the mid-section with a cross-bow, knocked out and dragged to the King where he was accused of desertion; unable to defend himself, the Earl (and his Squire) were detained and imprisoned in a tower dungeon for disobedience, although the scheming Sir Guy had argued for a harsher penalty - death
  • meanwhile in Nottingham, Prince John learned of Lady Marian's "meddling" through her serving woman (Billie Bennett) who was tortured to confess to the Squire's mission; after being warned ("Fly for your life, he means to kill") and fearing Prince John's punishment, Lady Marian fled on horseback with her handmaiden; they were pursued by Prince John's soldiers but cleverly averted being captured (by falsely reporting the Lady's suicide - that she was thrown from her horse off a cliff), and then she hid in a convent (the Priory of St. Catherine's)
  • the Earl and his Squire escaped (the Squire bent prison bars with his bare hands) and returned to England to oppose and confront the treacherous Prince John; once there, the Earl was mis-informed that Lady Marian had died while fleeing from Prince John; he mourned her loss and sought bitter revenge
  • at the same time, a disparate group of rebels and outlaws were already assembling in Sherwood Forest ("destined to live immortal in legend and story"), needing only a leader to band together and oppose the evil Prince; and back in Palestine, King Richard was victorious and the war was concluded by a "truce with the infidel"
  • a year later came the rise of a "robber chief/knight" with a bow and arrow, who was rumored to be in the mysterious depths of Sherwood Forest; at about the 75 minute mark, the Earl had now adopted a new guise, mission and name - Robin Hood - "the gallant outlaw" was destined to lead the rebels, oppose the enemies of King Richard, thwart the Prince, help right wrongs, battle for the oppressed, and "steal from the rich to give to the poor"; the symbol of the secret movement was the "three lions of Richard"; Prince John sent out a decree - a reward of a bag of gold for the capture of Robin Hood
Robin Hood's First Entrance at the Castle
  • in his first appearance in the Prince's castle, Robin Hood stole the bag of gold from one of the Prince's assistants, and to escape in a famous and remarkable sequence, Robin Hood rode (actually, he was on a slide) down a 40 foot, two-story tall curtain or tapestry drape from the balcony to the main floor to elude the pursuit of guards when cornered; he proceeded to climb down the castle's steep rock walls (with his back pressed against it) with the bag of gold in his teeth
  • the 'Merry Men' were introduced as they tossed around one of the Prince's guards, and then cavorted with the bag of gold: Will Scarlett (Maine Geary), Friar Tuck (Willard Louis), Little John / formerly the Squire, and Allan-a-Dale (Lloyd Talman); in the forest lair, Robin assembled his band: "We rob the rich, relieve distressed On damned John to score. We'll take a life if sorely pressed Till Richard reign once more"
Will Scarlett
Friar Tuck
Little John
(formerly the Squire)
Robin Hood's Exuberant 'Merry Men'
  • meanwhile in Palestine, Sir Guy attempted to assassinate King Richard by stabbing him while he was sleeping, but accidentally killed the King's Jester (Roy Coulson) instead; knowing of Sir Guy's and the Prince's treachery (and vowing: "Let John get his bellyful!"), the King made plans to return to England to aid Robin and his outlaw-men
  • after returning Prince John's stolen tribute from the Priory convent, Robin Hood was shocked to discover that Lady Marian was one of the nuns; they joyfully embraced in the wooded garden of the Priory; while walking in the garden, Robin Hood asserted to her: "Each day do loyal men rally to our cause. 'Twill not be long ere we storm the very castle itself"
  • soon after, Prince John learned that Robin Hood was actually the Earl of Huntingdon, and that Lady Marian was alive and hiding at the Priory; he issued two orders: "Surround this band of outlaws with all you men. Take Huntingdon alive" - and "Seize that wench. Drag her here. She shall die the death I promised"; Prince John's men brutally abducted Lady Marian, and she was imprisoned in the Nottingham castle
  • during a playful interlude sequence of arrow-markmanship, Robin Hood bested his own men by shooting two arrows into a projected block of wood before it hit the ground
  • the Prince's soldiers surrounded the band of Merry Men in the forest; Robin Hood responded by alerting his band to entrap his enemy: "To the trees with all our men. Entrap these troops"; he also planned to take the town of Nottingham with Scarlett and Allan-a-Dale; however, they found themselves pursued on horseback as they rode toward town; behind the enclosed gates of Nottingham Town, Robin roused the townsfolk to defend themselves - and they were able to subdue all of the entering troopers through a back entrance by bopping them on the head and stuffing them head-first into a well (with their legs sticking up); afterwards, as Robin celebrated with the townspeople, Prince John was hanged in effigy
  • Sir Guy Gisbourne returned from the Crusades and reported his 'killing' of the King: "Richard is dead! Long live King John!"; John was pleased and wanted to herald his ascendancy: "England is mine!", simultaneously, a "mysterious stranger" entered the Forest - wearing a full set of armor and face mask - to seek Robin Hood; he was allowed to remain after proving his "mettle" against Friar Tuck in a competition
  • after being told by Little John that Lady Marian had been taken to the castle, an exciting rescue sequence commenced; Robin frantically rode to Prince John's castle prison on his own, while Little John summoned the band from the forest to join him; as Sir Guy advanced on Lady Marian to assault her - Robin rode up to the castle's closing 40-foot drawbridge and jumped on; in one of the film's most memorable stunts, he ascended the chain of the mechanism, climbed to the top of the Nottingham castle wall, and lept into an opening
Robin's Castle Drawbridge Stunt
  • as Lady Marian backed away from Sir Guy and fell backwards through a window, Robin (who was climbing up the vines) grabbed her in mid-air and saved her; a rousing and vicious fight with Sir Guy commenced and Robin choked him to death; he offered a dagger to Lady Marian to use if he was unable to save them - and then gave her a farewell kiss; Robin valiantly defended himself with a sword, but was soon overpowered; when he heard three horn blasts from his Merry Men outside (signaling the three lions of King Richard), he voluntarily threw down his sword and surrendered; he was taken prisoner, brought to Prince John, and condemned to death ("Forty archers make ready!"); defiant, Robin opposed the Prince with his hands on his hips before being tied to a post
  • pretending that they were captured by the Prince's soldiers, the Merry Men made their way into the castle gates; the execution was interrupted by the band of outlaws who infiltrated into the throne room; the 'mysterious stranger' held a 3-lion shield in front of Robin to protect him from archers' 40 arrows in flight - and then revealed his identity as the returned King Richard; Prince John was dethroned by the King and banished from the castle forever (the drawbridge was raised behind him and he was left to his own fate); his henchman the Sheriff of Nottingham was also seized, and after the Prince's soldiers were defeated, the Merry band sang: "And Richard reigns once more"
A Last Farewell Kiss
Robin: "I surrender!"
Tied to a Post
Shielded by the King's Shield From Arrows
The King's Identity Revealed
Prince John Dethroned by the King
  • in the conclusion, the King called out three times: "HUNTINGDON" - Robin was located kissing Lady Marian behind a pillar; the King decreed: "Until now, Richard has never bowed his head to man. But I did mistrust my friend and with all humility do ask forgiveness" - he then gave Robin permission to marry Lady Marian ("Tonight!"); in the film's final scene set that evening, Robin and Marian were married
  • after the off-screen ceremony, they escaped "the wedding revels" in the courtyard and snuck away for privacy to a royal bedroom - to kiss and embrace in the moonlight; Robin neglected to dutifully answer the King's loud calls and poundings at their bedroom's locked door during his honeymoon night

The King's Nottingham Castle

Lady Marian Fitzwalter (Enid Bennett)

Lady Marian Crowning the Joust Contest Victor

Departing From Maid Marian for the Crusades

Maid Marian Admiring the Earl's Profile on Wall

The Earl Requesting The King's Permission to Return to England

The Earl Injured, Knocked Out - and then Imprisoned

The Earl's Escape with His Squire

Robin's Memorable Tapestry Slide

Climbing Down a Steep Rock Wall

Reunion of Lady Marian and Robin Hood at Convent

Robin - Helping to Defend the Town of Nottingham

Sir Guy Gisbourne Reporting on the King's Death to Prince John

Celebrating with the Townsfolk of Nottingham

Lady Marian Imprisoned in the Castle

A 'Mysterious Stranger' Appeared Seeking Robin

Lady Marian Threatened by Sir Guy

Marian Grabbed and Saved Mid-Air by Robin

Robin's Vicious Fight to the Death Against Sir Guy

The King's Concluding Decree: Forgiveness and Permission to Marry

The Bride and Groom Seeking Privacy


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