Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Cagney was to be Robin Hood


crazyblonde7
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

James Cagney was suppose to play Robin Hood before Errol Flynn was picked for the part. Cagney had walked out on Warners at the time over his contract. Even though Errol was Great in the part I would have loved to see Cagney's version of Robin Hood. Before you laugh. If you know anything about young Cagney you won't laugh. He was handsome, he had magnetism and he was a Great actor! If you see a photo of him in Midsummer Night's Dream, he sort of looks like Robin Hood. Take that Robert Osborne!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Cagney; I already expressed that in you previous topic in Your Favorites. But Cagney would have been ridiculous in that part and I think he knew that. That's why he sabotaged his own performance.

 

Let's not get carried away here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's one that, wow, I can't even come up with proper words. I'll just say I like the casting as it turned out with Flynn :^0 . As talented as Cagney was from The Roaring Twenties to White Heat to One, Two, Three and everything else the thought of him as Robin Hood is just..No... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This subject brings to mind something I've noticed a lot of recently...ESPECIALLY. And that is that it seems there are a lot more British actors who can perfect a fairly decent American accent than the reverse of this. I'm talking more of the standard and classic and fairly nondescript "Midwestern" accent, NOT the stereotypical "Southern" accent...that one is fairly easy to pull off.

 

I can't recall any Yank actor really pulling off the Brit accent very successfully. I know on the other side of the Pond, Dick Van Dyke's accent in "Mary Poppins" is still to this day pretty much laughed at. And speaking of "Robin Hood", Kevin Costner's attempt at it when he played the part is pretty much held in the same low esteem.

 

And yet conversely, presently we have a number of actors on American television, such as Hugh Laurie("House")and Damian Lewis("Homeland"), and a number of others who if you didn't know they were British, you'd swear they were from Omaha Nebraska.

 

(...bottom line...as great an actor as Cagney was, I don't think he would have pulled off the accent, and thus praise be to providence that the Tasmanian-born Flynn would eventually be chosen....."you dirty rat!"!) ;)

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Jun 23, 2013 4:59 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> An extremely rare, undated picture of the Hollywood movie star James Cagney taken at an Archery Competition, staged to promote what would later become the movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood, released in1938.

 

Not sure if it's just me but that description, from the blog you posted the link to, makes it sound like production has already begun (perhaps with a working title and not the definitive title we all know and love) on *The Adventures of Robin Hood*. If that's the case, the film was already cast and Cagney wouldn't have been a contender for casting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you may have noticed, I am a big Cagney fan, but I am glad the Robin Hood film came out the way it did. Errol Flynn was perfect for the role (if the movie had been made a little later Burt Lancaster would have been even more perfect). James Cagney was an actor with considerable range but his short stature would have hurt here. And Cagney wasn't "matinee idol" handsome either. Please don't misunderstand, Cagney would have been an interesting Robin, but the whole tone of the movie would have been different for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the 30's Cagney was very handsome and he wasn't that short, he was 5'8". How tall was Flynn 5' 9" or 5'11"? Not much of a difference. Many women swooned over Cagney even some of his leading ladies/actresses like- Joan Blondell, June Travis, Merle Oberon all wrote about how they fell in love with him and thought he was very handsome and had beautiful red wavey hair and blue eyes. He was a matinee idol and that's why he was picked for the role. Although Flynn too was very handsome he didn't have Cagney's nice hair and blue eyes! And Cagney at the time had a nice physique and so did Flynn. Allan Ladd was only 5'5 and many others were shorter than Cagney. Cagney was average height.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>If I knew how to post the image here I would show you the difference.

 

Here ya go, crazyblonde. This is what you're probably talkin' about here.

 

MidsummerNightsDreamAJamesCagneyJC2.jpg

 

And while maybe his lady costars might've fallin' for the guy (I'm thinkin' more because word was Cagney was a very likable and ingratiating fellow) sorry, I never thought of the little fellow as the "dashing"sort. Nope, a GREAT little fast talkin' wise guy type, but DEFINITELY not "dashing", and THAT'S what a lead in a Swashbuckler calls for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

crazy(forCagney)blonde, I gather that if you selected a shot of Cagney from A Midsummer Night's Dream then, for your Robin Hood illustration, it would NOT be when he had on an ***'s head. ;)

 

Cagney might have made a punchy (literally) Robin Hood and he clearly would have tried to have fun with unorthodox costume casting for him. However, it would have been a risk for Warners to cast him, unlike a natural for the role, such as Flynn.

 

Remember, Cagney was usually cast, aside from the tough guy stuff, as a 20th Century guy. He was very much at the time of the making of Robin Hood playing roles in which a depression weary America identified with him in depression era roles (if not a gangster then a con man or an aviator or even a Hollywood star who had been a bellhop). But he was NOT cast in costume films during the '30s. (With the exceptions of The Frisco Kid or The Oklahoma Kid in which he was not taken seriously).

 

Cagney and Flynn were both terrific personality stars. Cagney was also, in my opinion, a great actor while Flynn was a good actor who was always underappreciated. And when either actor was cast in a role that was right for them, then they were PERFECT.

 

Robin Hood was a perfect fit for handsome, athletic Flynn who knew how to deliver deliver sometimes florid dialogue (particularly some of the dialogue they handed him in Captain Blood).

 

You may regard James Cagney as a handsome man (it's apparent you're a real fan) but the appeal that Cagney had to his fan base never had anything to do with great looks. He was a pleasant looking man but always had the common man mug with which so many of his admirers identified. That is NOT the kind of persona that goes with a larger-than-life fantasy figure like Robin Hood. (At least the way that he would be presented by Warners with Flynn).

 

Also, Flynn knew how to look convincing with a sword on screen. There's no evidence that Cagney knew anything about swordplay. (and what a mismatch that would have been, pitting him against Basil Rathbone!) Perhaps they would have even jettisoned swordplay in the film because of that limitation on Jimmy's part. (Another reason I'm glad they cast Flynn).

 

In any event, Cagney, as I said earlier, may have been a fun, bouncey Robin Hood on screen. I'm so glad, however, that Errol Flynn was around at that time to play the role with a panache that no one else at that time could have matched.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't only that he was a nice guy-Cagney was considered good-looking and sexy by many females. He was a great romantic lead.It's a known fact! Look at movies like Hard To Handle/Mayor of Hell/Ceiling Zero/Taxi. If you never saw these movies that may explain your opinions here. Maybe he was too manly to play Robin Hood!. Errol had a feminine side so it worked. And maybe Cagney was too New York but that's why we love him here in NYC! This one's for you Jim- A Great actor,artist,boxer and msot important a Great human being! And Great New Yorker!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

crazyblonde, I have seen all those Cagney films that you named and, with the possible exception of Mayor of Hell (more the fault of the material than the actor), thought that he was terrific in them. But I really don't think that those kind of parts prove that he was Robin Hood material. And sure as heck being a Great New Yorker is NOT a priority for playing the rogue of Sherwood Forest.

 

The Warner Brothers Robin Hood was not just a figure of dashing athleticism but also romance. In that regard, Flynn, in his prime years, while convincing as a man of action also possessed a physical elegance in his bearing that made him ideal for the role of romantic costume hero. There were only a handful of other actors that had that same quality, though it could be argued none more so than Flynn. And fast talking, fast punching wise guy Cagney simply wasn't one of them.

 

But there's no shame in that. After all, Cagney still remains, no matter what his height, one of the giants of that era of filmmaking. But he's a giant because of his brilliance in roles that have nothing in common with the kind of parts played by Flynn.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could this be a 1936 or 1937 photo, taken before the script was finalized, before filming began, and before the final cast was chosen?

 

IMDB:

Originally planned with James Cagney playing the title role, but he quit Warner Brothers and production was postponed for three years.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029843/trivia

 

cagney[ias[/i]robin+ss.bmp]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

{font:Times New Roman}Oh, wow! I click to see Cagney and get Richard Todd who was the first actor I saw play Robin Hood and my favorite of the British/Irish actors of that time. He really gives Errol Flynn competition in that poster. Thanks a bunch. {font}

 

 

{font:Times New Roman}It’s too bad that Cagney didn’t test or film any scenes from Robin Hood so we can compare performances. I can’t see him in the role any better than as *The Oklahoma Kid* but you never know and neither will we. {font}

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cagney was 40 years old when he did Oklahoma Kid and that was a different role than Robin Hood. You can't even picture Errol Flynn at 40 playing Robin Hood, he was in bad shape. Flynn was in his 20's when he played the role and Cagney in his 20's and 30's would have done a Great job!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw crazyblonde, in MY opinion, the ONLY guy other than Flynn who might've fit the role of Robin Hood in 1938 would have been Doug Jr.

 

(...as in Douglas Fairbanks Jr., that is... unless you might think HE was just "too feminine" TOO, of course...though I suppose he COULD have always affected some kinda NYC accent to make him seem a little more "masculine", huh?!)

 

LOL

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist that one...though MAYBE I shouldn't have apologized here, 'cause ya know what another "highly masculine" dude once said in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" don't ya?!...uh huh, "Never apologize! It's a sign of weakness!")

 

...and now I'm **** here.

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Jun 25, 2013 7:09 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...