Shooting Robin Hood in Chico, California

13 Jan
Robin confronts Little John

                                       Robin confronts Little John

— David DeWitt


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  1. Inga

    January 14, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Great photo, David! Isn’t it odd to think how many people stood near them, watching them?

    • David DeWitt

      January 14, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Yes, and to ignore the crew entirely, too! Imagine how quiet the crew had to be in close shots like this!

  2. timerider

    January 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Will ya look at that cannon! LOL! Biggest Kodak in the world almost! When I study these black n white photos I get that weird time travel feeling and the period comes crashing in on me!

    • David DeWitt

      January 15, 2013 at 3:18 am

      I wonder if some day technology will do the holograph thing and we can walk around inside these images!

  3. Robzak

    January 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    This scene was filmed on September 28th and 29th, and October 3rd and 5th, 1937. Speaking of silence, the crew had to find a way to muffle the sounds of the babbling water and eventually used sandbags holding down sheets of burlap spread over the rocks in the river to accomplish the necessary silence.

    At various times there were anywhere from hundreds of spectators on weekdays to thousands on weekends, and autos were to be parked as far from the filming location as possible. When a whistle was blown by a production assistant, perfect silence was required.

    The water was extremely cold, so the crew that needed to be in the creek wore rubber wading boots. Flynn, filming his dunking in the creek, at one point actually requested the water be heated!

    (from the book, “Errol Flynn-An Illustrated Life Chronology”)

    I stood in the river at the very spot this photo was taken. It holds a certain magic for those who love this film – R

    • David DeWitt

      January 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      This is fascinating, Robert! I drove past Chico on the way to LA and had to fight with myself not to go over there – I would have been hopelessly lost trying to find this spot, and I knew it!

    • Inga

      January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Thank you for the input, Robert! Two questions:

      WAS the water eventually heated?
      And why were there these pauses between filming? It must be hard for the actors to go back after filming another scene in between?

  4. Robzak

    January 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Good questions, Inga. The water was, of course, never heated, for how can that be accomplished with a running river! It’s not stated as such in the source material, but one wonders if Flynn was requesting it tongue firmly in cheek. He couldn’t have been serious–or could he?!

    As for the staggered filming dates, Alan Hale was ill on September 30th, and it rained on the 1st and 2nd of October, preventing any shooting. On the fourth, Patric Knowles and Herbert Mundin being chased on horseback by mounted Norman knights was filmed. I suspect this scene had already been scheduled for that day. I hope this clarifies.

    • Inga

      January 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      It does very much! Thank you, Robert!

      As for the water, a giant immersion heater would have done, don’t you think?

  5. twinarchers

    February 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Nice photo. As a side note I found a site that has some pretty decent photos with good quality.
    This site has many sters but this link is on Flynn.…

  6. David DeWitt

    February 4, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Thanks for the link!

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