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James Cagney As Robin Hood?


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I've always found this idea intriguing. Cagney would have played a different Robin. More boisterous Irish than dashing Englishman. It would have required a broader acceptance from the audience. But I think it would have worked. It would have been, "OK. It's not believable. But it's fun." In the long run, Flynn was the right choice. Cagney was a better actor. Flynn a better fit.

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+I dont think hed use a bow and arrow, hed hold up the rich & gun point and say

"Gimme all yer stinkin' money, ya creep"+

 

And in the scene in which Robin heaves the dead deer on the table in front of Prince John, sir guy, Marian and the other nobles, Cagney could've substituted a bagful of grapefruits.

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Why we gotta put Cagney in Sherwood Forest when he belongs on 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue jauntily strolling down the street, dodging traffic, tipping his straw hat to the ladies and buying drinks for the boys?

 

Or is that tipping his hat to the boys and buying drinks for the ladies? (And if it's THAT you can't do that in Sherwood Forest).

 

He'd scare the animals.

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I think they considered him because he had been in Midsummer Night's Dream a couple of years before. Olivia was in that movie too. Cagney played the actor that turned into a donkey. Mickey Rooney played Puck at the ripe old age of 15. He was amazing. And yes I believe he was in tights.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Definitely, the casting dept. got it right in this one. Would have liked to have had the proposed sequel made, Sir Robin of Lockley, especially if it was the equal to the original.

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In answer to the original question, yes. Warner Bros. got the script, costumes, sets, and all that jazz going, operating under the assumption that Cagney would do it. "Robin Hood" wound up being filmed while Cagney was warring with Warners, and doing a few films at another studio(I forget which one, but imdb oughta show it for some Cagney films 1935-8?). The real humdinger of a question would be; What would have happened if "Captain Blood" hadn't been the big hit it was?

THEN WHO? Because Flynns big success made him almost a "no-brainer" for the role of Robin.

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