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6 Greatest Robin Hoods on Film and TV

3 January 17 words: Gav Squires and Ant Simmonds

Despite what people in Yorkshire might claim, Robin Hood is a Nottingham icon – he even has his own tram. Here, Ant and Gav, who don’t half love a list, take a look at the six best Robin Hoods in film and TV…

Errol Flynn - The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The finest ever Robin Hood, Errol Flynn was a man who knew how to buckle a swash. No one has matched him in nearly eighty years of trying, and no one has even come close to filling a pair of tights as well as our Errol.

Brian Bedford - Robin Hood (1973)

The foxiest of all of the Hoods. The Disney animation envisaged our hero as an anthropomorphic fox, Little John as a bear – voiced by a typecast Phil Harris who played Baloo in The Jungle Book six years earlier – and Friar Tuck as a badger. If you’re into sing-a-long films and fancy watching a fox dress up as a stork, look no further.

Kate Lonergan - Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989 - 1994)

Yep, one of the best Robin Hoods isn't even Robin Hood. Tony Robinson's children's TV show had foppish, useless Robin Hood take all the praise for the actions of a band of outlaws that were actually led by Maid Marian herself. If it came out today, white men would be complaining on the bottom half of the internet that having a female lead character was ruining their childhood. As it was, Maid Marian and Her Merry Men was a highlight of many a childhood, both funny and progressive, and portrayed a far more realistic Nottingham and Sherwood Forest than a lot of things on this list.

Cary Elwes - Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Not one of Mel Brooks' funniest films, but there are a few giggles, and Cary Elwes gets bonus points because “unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent". Just like Errol Flynn, he had experience of playing a pirate prior to becoming the ringleader of the merry men when he starred in The Princess Bride.

Jason Connery/Michael Praed - Robin of Sherwood (1984 - 1986)

The slightly odd, mid-eighties TV show managed the impressive feat of reconciling both parts of the Robin Hood legend – that of him being both a lowborn woodsman when he was played by Michael Praed in the first twelve episodes, and that of him being the outlawed nobleman when he was replaced by Jason ‘son-of-Sean’ Connery in the final thirteen episodes.

Russell Crowe - Robin Hood (2010)/Kevin Costner - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

This one’s included purely for the laughs. Russell Crowe takes us on a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland through the medium of his accent. Meanwhile, Kevin Costner takes us on a literal tour of the UK by going from Dover to Hadrian's Wall to Nottingham – around 400 miles – in a single day.

You can listen to Ant and Gav's Joy of  Six radio show on the last Wednesday of every month on NG Digital.

NG Digital website

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