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Robin Hood On Screen: The Best Robin Hood Films and Television Shows

Updated on September 29, 2014

My guide to the best films and television shows about Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest

Are you a Robin Hood fan? Looking to jump into the confusing myriad of awesome, old or just weird Robin Hood films? Kids shows, comedy, action, fantasy, historical, romance, old classics and recent hits, featuring old men, young men, and even a couple of female leads, early insurgence and the end of his life. They're all here.

I love Robin Hood. I grew up on the Disney and Errol Flynn films, reading the book by Antonia Fraser and playing Robin Hood with my siblings for years (I was usually Robin Hood. My brother and sister got to swap around in a complicated arrangement of characters). I even have a letter from Antonia Fraser, after writing to her in primary school as my favourite author, simply because she'd written a book about Robin Hood that I read 1700 times before I was 10. I devoured every single Robin Hood book out there, including a lot that would just republications of Howard Pyle's stories.

That VHS of Errol Flynn as Robin Hood was practically worn out. It's one of my favourite pieces of nostalgia, from my childhood. And then I discovered that there were other Robin Hood movies. I have since been on a mission to watch all of them. And to make everybody else watched them as well. But I'm nice,so I'll only try make you watch the good ones.

I've picked out my top recommendations for Robin Hood films and television series. Come join me in Sherwood Forest with our favourite outlaw, his story steeped in folklore, history, pranks, cartoons, romance and adventure! Whichever flavour you like, there's a Robin Hood for you. So come find him.

Some of my Robin Hood DVDs
Some of my Robin Hood DVDs

My Top Ten Robin Hood Picks - (I didn't intend it to be ten. It just worked out that way!)

These are my top Robin Hood films and television shows that will give you a great introduction to the Robin Hood genre. They are all are pretty darn good titles, and covered a decent range of moods and genres, and whichever audience you're picking for, you'll find something suitable below.

Or just keep reading for the reviews of each show and film. I've only reviewed things I've actually seen, but I've seen a lot of Robin Hood stuff.

How much of the Robin Hood fan are you?

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Reviews: Top Robin Hood Films

Robin Hood (1938) with Errol Flynn

Robin Hood (2010) with Russell Crowe

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1997) with Kevin Costner

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993) with Cary Elwes

Which is your favourite Robin Hood film?

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Reviews: Top Robin Hood TV Shows

Robin of Sherwood (1984-1986) with Michael Praed

An enduring and magical classic, this series features the haunting Celtic-inspired music of Clannad, and the ethereally lovely Michael Praed. A solid mix of pranks, paganism and desperate poverty.

With a very local focus, it follows young Robin as he flees his father's murder and is chosen by Herne the Hunter. He gathers around him a small group of followers and becomes entangled with magic and the usual fight to defend people (and himself) against the local overlords.

He eventually is replaced by Jason Connery in the third season (which is twice as long as the first two seasons), who places the somewhat confused yet noble Earl's son, doing his best to fill the spot of his better loved predecessor (both in the show, and in the fandom!). The final season is actually a lot better than most reviews would have you believe, they're just different, because the lead is so different from the original.


Robin Hood (2006-2009)

The BBC One television series starring Jonas Armstrong

The more recent BBC show, which went on for three seasons. It follows the original series format quite closely, but with less angst and magic, and a higher degree of historical accuracy.

Our Robin (Jonas Armstrong) returns from the Holy lands, to find that things are very much not right in his home village, and his childhood sweetheart Marian is still annoyed with him for running off and leaving her. He makes himself serious enemies of the local Sheriff, a psychopathic and dangerously smart opponent, and his right hand thug, Guy of Gisbourne.

Entertaining, adventurous, and goes on for five whole seasons, this is definitely a good series to check out Robin Hood fans. The series features lots of good characters, ranges from comedy to drama to tragedy and back to action, and while it ranges pretty far from the original Robin Hood stories, it comes up with new adventures that fit in with the spirit very well.

Fans of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will recognise Richard Armitage (Thorin), in his broody, bad guy role as Guy of Gisbourne, a recurring antagonist throughout the series.

Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989-1994)

A British children's TV show featuring Maid Marian as the hero

A funny kids show in which the capable and smart Marian basically ran everything, but the foolish Robin and his men tended to get the credit. A bit young for adults, but one of my favourite shows as a kid.

Further Viewing Suggestions for the Robin Hood Fan - Looking for something else to watch? Check out these titles!

If you have run out of decent Robin Hood films, then you might be interested in some of these titles.

Xena: Warrior Princess The Complete Series (Seasons 1-6 Bundle)
Xena: Warrior Princess The Complete Series (Seasons 1-6 Bundle)

Sword fighting, adventure, dashing heroism, a bunch of fantasy, and a fair bit of comedy.

 
The Princess Bride (Special Edition)
The Princess Bride (Special Edition)

Not only does it feature the same actor from Men In Tights, but this fantastically funny classic film is full of adventure, swordfights, romance and a villainous prince.

 
Zorro:complt Series Dvd Set
Zorro:complt Series Dvd Set

Classic swashbuckling adventure, with the mysterious hero steps in to save the locals from oppression. This set collects both the classic films and the original TV series.

 
Arrow: Season 1
Arrow: Season 1

Arrow is a recent series based on the superhero Green Arrow, whose basically is a modern day Robin Hood-meets-Batman character from Marvel. He runs around the city dispensing justice with archery and trick arrows and stuff. It takes itself very seriously and it has a very Robin Hood vibe.

 

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    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 2 years ago from London England

      Robin and Marian (1976) made a rather rivetting premise with two seasoned class actors. Tis a pity though Connery couldn't dispense with his Scottish accent, even those Hollywood actors portraying Robin Hood could do better.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 3 years ago

      Richard Greene is my favourite and the theme tune of the series is still used by soccer team Nottingham Forest to run out to at the start of matches

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      My brothers enjoyed Robin Hood, I watched it with them.

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image
      Author

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @RowanChisholm: Oh, I'm planning to do the books, too. But that's far too big a topic to do justice on one page!

    • RowanChisholm profile image

      Rowan Chisholm 4 years ago from Washington state

      You missed listing the several dozen books on Robin Hood. Those were actually where I learned about him long before we had a TV.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 4 years ago

      My favorite Robin Hood is with Errol Flynn. Second favorite is with Kevin Costner. Loved your lens.

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image
      Author

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @WhiteIsland: What? not five? No! My brain has lied to me! Wishful thinking, I guess :D

      (thank you! I'll fix that).

    • WhiteIsland profile image

      WhiteIsland 4 years ago

      Great collection and reviews -- quite thorough! My favorites are BBC Robin Hood with Jonas Armstrong (which we just discovered last summer on Netflix) and Disney's The Story of Robin Hood with Richard Todd (which has been a family favorite since childhood). Of course, I also like Errol Flynn's.

      I believe the BBC show was only around for three seasons (you said five, and I would have loved for that to be true, but they wrapped it up pretty neatly after three).

    • Fiorenza profile image

      Fiorenza 4 years ago from UK

      Have to keep loyal to the original BBC Richard Greene series with its iconic theme tune: "Robin Hood, Robin Hood Riding Through the Glen..." It was so popular it was repeated in the UK for many years, so I must have seen it on one of the repeats. Like the Michael Praed incarnation too. Complete contrast and I love the music. Wasn't keen on Jason Connery sadly.

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image
      Author

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @Stuwaha: It does look interesting. I've found the one I was thinking of, it's 'Arrow', not 'Archer'!

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image
      Author

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @Stuwaha: Oh wow, I'm an idiot. I was very tired when I picked that item. It's DEFINITELY not the series I was thinking of! (looks like that one isn't actually out yet!). Thank you!

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image
      Author

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @Stuwaha: Ah, maybe. I'll go do more research. I know what it was based on, and what it's supposed to be like, but not what it actually IS.

    • stylishimo1 profile image

      stylishimo1 4 years ago

      Funny, so Robin was hot in the Clannad one (I suspected so :) Glad to see that you have Maid Marrion and Her Merry Men, one of my fave kids shows and one I watched even as an adult. I also liked the Disney one but could never remember if it was an actual film or who made it. My mum is anti Disney so I never got to see that one in full, just clips here and there, the fox robin hood seemed very dashing in it.

    • Stuwaha profile image

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens :) I think you may be slightly misinformed about Archer though... at least the product you have featured :/

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      I like Robin Hood but don't even know exactly which movies or series I've seen... At least now I know where to go for advice!

      Oh, I agree with your view on Kevin as Robin; didn't work for me either..