The Adventure of Robin Hood – TV series with Richard Greene, Patricia Driscoll and Archie Duncan

 

This Television Series of the mid 50s was extremely popular both her and in the USA.

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ichard Greene played Robin Hood and Patricia Driscoll was Maid Marion. ABOVE   Archie Duncan made a very good Little John and this role was a big break for him as an actor.

 

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Above: Richard Greene with Alexander Gauge who made an excellent Friar Tuck.

 

Adventures of Robin Hood

 
Little John fires an arrow – fairly unusual to see Little John do that – he was more of a quarter staff  man normally.
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Speaking of Quarter  Staff – here he is in the famous fight with Robin Hood on the Bridge. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS PICTURE BEFORE nor do I remember seeing the episode that it cam from – but it must have been one of the early ones – if not the first.
SEE ABOVE
Archie Duncan has the unique distinction in the world of Robin Hood, of playing a villain and a hero. He played Red Gill, the murderer of Robin’s father, in The Story ofRobin Hood, and Little John in 105 episodes of TV’s The Adventures of Robin Hood between 1955-1960.Archibald Duncan was born in Glasgow on 26th May 1914 and was educated at Govern High School.
Archie Duncan was then working as a welder at John Brown’s Shipyard.“I was looking for acting work,” Hunter said. “Duncan came up to me and asked if I he had a big voice? I replied yes! So he invited me through to a back room, where I was asked to read the part of the fascist in the Saturday night production at the Partick Borough Halls. As the original actor had been called up.”Archie Duncan later introduced Russell Hunter to the Glasgow Unity.It was at the Citizens Theatre Company that Duncan joined the training ground of many Scottish actors including, Molly Urquart, Duncan Macrae, Gordon Jackson and Eileen Herlie.
He then made his Scottish acting debut in Juno and the Paycock, playing all three gunmen, at Glasgow’s Alhambra in May 1944.His London debut came at the Phoenix Theatre in 1947 when he appeared with Alistair Sim and George Cole as Inspector Mc Iver in Dr Angelus.
Film roles started to follow with: Operation Diamond (1948) Counter Blast (1948), The Bad Lord Byron (1949), Floodtide (1949), The Gorballs Story (1950), The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), Green Grow the Rushes (1951), Flesh and Flood (1951), Circle of Danger (1951) Henry V (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) You’re Only Young Twice (1952), Hot Ice (1952), Home At Seven (1952) and The Story Of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men(1952). Two years later Duncan teamed up again with Richard Todd and James Robertson Justice, in Disney’s Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue as Dugal Mac Gregor. In-between these various film roles, came the first of his long running TV appearances in the early U.S. series Sherlock Holmes as Inspector Lestrade.
But just as he was finishing the final recording of Sherlock Holmes in 1955, he was preparing for a role that he will always be fondly remembered. 6ft. 2inch Archie was to play the part of Little John for Sapphire Films in The Adventures ofRobin Hood, at Nettlefold Studios, the first production of the newly formed ITP company (later ITC). It was commissioned by Lew Grade and was shown in the first weekend of Independent television in 1955 and became a massive success, running to 143 episodes.
It was during the filming this unforgettable series that Duncan proved to be a true hero and managed to prevent a runaway horse from hurtling towards a group of spectators, consisting of mainly children, watching close by. For this brave feat, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery and £1,360 in damages. However it also resulted in him missing the recording of eleven episodes of Robin Hood.
S
o between times, a replacement was found in fellow Scotsman, Rufus Cruickshank.
Archie Duncan’s portrayal of Little John would be fondly remembered decades later for his combination of strength, skill and  humour.  It was during the filming this unforgettable series that this Scottish gentle giant proved to be a true hero and managed to prevent a runaway horse from hurtling towards a group of spectators, consisting of mainly children, watching close by. For this brave feat, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery
However it did result in him missing the recording of eleven episodes of Robin Hood. For these episodes he was replaced by fellow Scotsman, Rufus Cruickshank.
After TV’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, Archie Duncan’s most notable film roles were in Saint Joan (1957) and Ring of Bright Water (1969). 
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Archie Duncan
A Mr Matt Robertson posted this message:

“I think I remember “meeting” Archie Duncan when I was a child visiting grandparents at Linthouse, Govan. As I recall, Archie Duncan was occasionally in the small Post Office at Linthouse, his mother or sister was the postmistress there. I would have gone into the Post Office, along with other kids at the time, to shout out, “Who killed the otter?” He had been our hero as Little John on TV but whacked Mij in Ring of Bright Water.”

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (4)

4 Responses to “The Adventure of Robin Hood – TV series with Richard Greene, Patricia Driscoll and Archie Duncan”

  1. David Rayner says:

    You must mean Operation Diamond, Neil. Operation Bullshine was made eleven years later in 1959 and Archie Duncan wasn’t in that. The episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood that introduced Archie as Little John was the third episode in the series and was entitled ‘Dead or Alive’. I have the whole series on a number of DVD volumes and that episode is among them.

    • Movieman says:

      David, Thanks You are correct of course and I have changed that now to Operation Diamond – which is a film I do not know at all and even when looking into it I can’t see any well known actors and it looks like the Director was also the Cameraman so maybe it was quite low key. Mind you that means nothing – it may well have been very good for all I know. Thanks for the information about Robin’s meeting with Little John – it is quite a good picture of them on the bridge I think at their meeting. That encounter in The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men 1952 was filmed perfectly I thought in Technicolor at its very best. Neil

  2. David Rayner says:

    I played the Dead or Alive episode last night and it isn’t a bridge as such that they fight on, but a large log across the stream. It’s okay, but the Walt Disney version of 68 years ago was far better filmed (on a bridge) and far better edited than its television film equivalent and so more exciting to watch on screen. David.

    • Movieman says:

      David, It also had stunning Technicolor and a studio set to die for designed by Carmen Dillon who was at her very best on this film. The TV one I have just posted on – and you have kindly commented on – was well done and in many ways similar. As I stated the fact it was not done in summertime spoiled it a bit for me. Such legends have to live in the sunshine – I don’t go much on realism I’m afraid. Thanks again for your comment. Neil

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