Feared by the Bad, Loved by the Good

Friday, July 23, 2010

Transcript

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" was the first British-produced television series that became successful in the U.S. No coincidence, then, that many of its writers were blacklisted Americans, forced to find work abroad. WNYC's Sara Fishko looks at this merry band of writers and producers.

Comments [13]

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As far as the theme song goes, it may have been a hit record but the tune that's been rattling around in my brain since I heard this one is the theme song to "William Tell", another television story about an insurgent. Of course, the William Tell Overture was already taken by a decidedly anti-insurgent character's show and which, while a catchy tune, didn't lend itself to lyrics.

Jul. 29 2010 11:36 PM
Mary M. Goedde from St. Louis, Mo.

I too watched the"Robin Hood" series as a child, I loved Richard Greene's dimples! [He died recently} My husband loved Maid Marian, I don't even remember her. But in some way I understood the moral and political implications of that program. My father was an ultra conservative, his basic tenet was that if you were not smart enough to be born Republican you deserved what you got. Needless to say and maybe because of our beloved "Robin Hood" all six of us have progessive attitudes. I've called friends and family and we all sang the theme together. Thank you

Jul. 29 2010 04:55 PM
Joan B. from Vancouver, Wa.

I was born in 1955. I remember days when someone inside would yell out to the yard that Robin Hood was on, and my sister and friends and I would RUN in to watch Robin Hood! Those days were before I started kindergarten, but Robin Hood remains a fond memory. Mind you, in those days, we were kids who lived with very few television options in rural Northern California (Humboldt County), but the stories of the hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor was as real to us as sunshine and fresh grass. I had no idea I was being "indoctrinated", but I was way too young to understand most of the plots back then. I don't mind. I'm glad the black listed writers were working then. Since I'm considered a "liberal" these days, perhaps the messages took hold as they were intended.

Jul. 28 2010 03:24 AM
Steve Powell from Madison WI

Loved your Robin Hood segment. Growing up in the the 50's, "Robin Hood" was one of my favorite shows. My ultra-politically-conservative Dad liked it, too. I'm glad he never knew the background story of the show's creation, because we never would have been allowed to watch it then. Which would have been really too bad for both him and me.

Jul. 27 2010 10:31 PM
LMNM from West Allis, WI

Living in Wisconsin in the 1950's (McCarthy's home state) was precarious if one didn't display the proper anti-communist sentiment. I was only a child then (born 1945), but I loved Robin Hood, not only for the romance of Robin and Maid Marion that appealed to a preteen girl, but also for the complexity of stories and altruistic morality of the outcasts. I am so pleased to have learned today that it was written by such talented people who had been badly mistreated by a country that only purported to practice the Constitutional principle of freedom of speech. If it is true that the liberal or the conservative mind is an inherited condition (a recent study shows this), then I can attest that even at a young age I identified with championing the underdog and fighting for individual liberties. Thank you for this great story.

Jul. 27 2010 04:12 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I grew up in the '50s, watched and loved the show and was never mystified by the politics of it. Internalizing the lessons it taught, I was always seeking to round up a community committed to the ideals expressed there and, naturally, I wanted to be Robin as played by Richard Greene. Of course, at ten years old I could already confront a houseful of angry adults yelling at my parents with, "You woke me up! You frightened me! What is wrong with a black family moving next door?" alone.

As far as the theme song goes, it may have been a hit record but the tune that's been rattling around in my brain since I heard this one is the theme song to "William Tell", another television story about an insurgent. Of course, the William Tell Overture was already taken by a decidedly anti-insurgent character's show and which, while a catchy tune, didn't lend itself to lyrics.

Jul. 27 2010 02:39 AM
Stacy Harris from Nashville, TN

It's Monday afternoon. Where's the transcript?

Jul. 26 2010 04:22 PM
Chris S. from MN

I picked up "The Adventures of Robin Hood" on DVD last year. Being born in the sixties, I had never seen it before. I was surprised at how interesting the stories were and how well it was done. My thirteen year old loves it too. Now I know the story behind the stories.
Thank you.

Jul. 26 2010 08:45 AM
Shatterface

The series is available on DVD from Network in the UK. It's a little creeky but good natured and fun.

Jul. 26 2010 08:35 AM
blackbelt_jones

I grew up in the seventies, with the Monty Pyuthon version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLkhx0eqK5w

Jul. 25 2010 02:46 PM
Konstantine Simakis from Cleveland, OH

Amazing story. Thanks.

Jul. 25 2010 12:17 PM
Robert from NYC

I remember this series as a boy growing up in the Bronx. I was never a cowboy and indian fan but loved knights and the middle ages and this show was my favorite, I never missed it. I can still sing the theme song today. I would love to see it brought back and rerun. Might not be the same experience but I'm sure I would at least enjoy it from a nostalgia point of view.

Jul. 25 2010 10:22 AM
G Chick from Montgomery Co Ohio

Having grown up in the 50's & 60's, I remember well this program, a favorite of mine as a child. We enjoyed it for the adventures, not understanding anything about the background politics.
What a great movie this would be! Aging baby boomers could use enlightenment re the politics behind a childhood favorite.
Parallels to today's political correctness and instant witch hunts abound!
Thanks for this story!

Jul. 24 2010 08:07 AM

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