Sam Jaffe: In the montage scene in which Robin's men spread word of the meeting at the Gallows Oak, the first serf who passes the message through the market place (wearing a hat and gray beard) appears to be the noted character actor in an uncredited cameo.
Michael Curtiz took over from director William Keighley when the producers felt that the action scenes lacked impact.
William Keighley had directed Errol Flynn the year before in The Prince and the Pauper, which had turned out well for Warner Brothers. The studio had high hopes for this second teaming, but upon viewing the dailies coming in from the location shoot in Chico, California, they found the action scenes to be lacking in vigor and excitement. Michael Curtiz, who had effectively made Flynn a star with his agile handling of the actor in Captain Blood and cemented his reputation as a swashbuckling hero in The Charge of the Light Brigade, was brought in to complete the picture. Consequently when Keighley returned to Hollywood from Chico, he found himself out of a job. Ironically, Keighley and Flynn got along quite well, but Curtiz and Flynn despised each other.
William Keighley was initially assigned to the project because he had made Warners' first excursion into three-strip Technicolor, when he directed God's Country and the Woman.
Olivia de Havilland has only one scene in which she is not wearing a headpiece.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold used much of a classical piece he'd written in 1919 for his score.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was invited by Warner Brothers to come from his native Austria to Hollywood to see the film with a view to scoring it. He initially turned down the chance as he felt that his musical style was ill-suited for adventure spectaculars. However, while in Hollywood, he learned that the Nazis were about to invade Austria and, feeling he had to secure a source of revenue in the United States, he accepted the assignment. He would go on to win the Oscar.
Wilfred Lucas as "Archery Official" and Halliwell Hobbes are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie.
Eugene Pallette was not the first choice for the role of Friar Tuck. Guy Kibbee was originally slated for the part.
Errol Flynn was not happy when Michael Curtiz was assigned to the film, as he didn't care for Curtiz's dictatorial methods and the two clashed often while filming The Charge of the Light Brigade.
James Cagney was the studio's original choice for Robin Hood. But when Cagney walked off set, the film's producer Hal B. Wallis made the decision to cast Errol Flynn, against Warner Bros' wishes. It was also Wallis' decision to keep Maid Marian, when the original scriptwriter wanted to dump her character. Wallis felt Marian was an indispensable fixture of a Robin Hood adventure.
Howard Hill, who is listed in the credits as "Captain of Archers", also played "Elwyn the Welshman" in the archery contest. Hill actually made the shot where we see one arrow split another and he did all the shots which required hitting human targets. He also worked closely with the sound department to produce the distinctive arrow sounds by using specially made arrows.
A scene was filmed that was to have taken place before the scene where Will Scarlet comes riding into the forest clearing with Much the Miller's Son on his saddle. This was the scene where King Richard challenges Friar Tuck to a fistfight and wins, after which Robin himself agrees to fight King Richard. The scene was deleted from the final version of the film, making it appear that King Richard and Robin are about to fight for no reason.
Although it is said that the tournament winning arrow shoots the other arrow in two, in fact when the arrow shot by Howard Hill strikes the arrow embedded in the target, it splits the arrow into three pieces. It sounds better to split something in half or in two, but the details in the movie are real and not just a saying.
Although shot on location in California, indigenous English plants were added and the grass was painted to give a greener, more English look.
Although this movie carries the VITAPHONE trademark, in fact, the sound was looped onto the film by a sound-on-film process. This was the result of Warner Brothers having to carry the trademark of the obsolete process until it expired.
At 28, Errol Flynn was the youngest actor to play Robin Hood.
At the time Olivia de Havilland rode the palomino, its registered name was "Golden Cloud" and was owned by Hudkins Stables, an outfit that leased horses and Western equipment for films. Roy Rogers bought "Golden Cloud" for $2,500. Character actor Smiley Burnette, who was Rogers' sidekick in his early movies, suggested the name of Trigger, as the horse was "quick-on-the-trigger". Rogers rode Trigger in his first starring Western, Under Western Stars.
At the time of its release, this was Warners' most expensive film, costing over $2 million.
At the time this film held the distinction of employing the largest number of stuntmen on any one production.