Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)

123 mins | Comedy, Musical | 24 June 1964

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Producer:

Frank Sinatra

Cinematographer:

William H. Daniels

Editor:

Sam O'Steen

Production Designer:

LeRoy Deane

Production Companies:

P-C Productions, Sinatra Enterprises
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HISTORY

Contemporary sources alternately referred to the title as Robin and the 7 Hoods and Robin and the Seven Hoods.
       According to an 18 Mar 1964 Var article, Gene Kelly and longtime collaborator Frank Sinatra developed Robin and the 7 Hoods as a response to the waning popularity of original screen musicals, which subsequently limited the number of good film roles available for Hollywood’s musical stars. A 15 Jan 1963 DV news item confirmed the change from its original working title, Robbo, and announced that Sinatra would be joined onscreen by many of his fellow “Rat Pack” members, including Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., as well as Joey Bishop, who does not appear in the final film. Although not corroborated by contemporary documents, modern resources, including a 7 Jan 1996 NYT article and Michael Sheridan and David Harvey’s 2016 book, Sinatra and the Jack Pack: The Extraordinary Friendship between Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy—Why They Bonded and What Went Wrong, the role of “Allen A. Dale” had been intended for Rat Pack member Peter Lawford early in the development process. Bing Crosby stepped in as his replacement after Lawford and Sinatra’s relationship dissolved in Mar 1962 when their mutual friend (and Lawford’s brother-in-law), U.S. President John F. Kennedy, canceled plans to stay with Sinatra during a West Coast visit due to the actor’s known ties to organized criminals.
       While John Fenton Murray signed on to write the screenplay from a story treatment by Evelyn and Richard Condon, reviews at the time of the film’s release credited both script and story to David ... More Less

Contemporary sources alternately referred to the title as Robin and the 7 Hoods and Robin and the Seven Hoods.
       According to an 18 Mar 1964 Var article, Gene Kelly and longtime collaborator Frank Sinatra developed Robin and the 7 Hoods as a response to the waning popularity of original screen musicals, which subsequently limited the number of good film roles available for Hollywood’s musical stars. A 15 Jan 1963 DV news item confirmed the change from its original working title, Robbo, and announced that Sinatra would be joined onscreen by many of his fellow “Rat Pack” members, including Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., as well as Joey Bishop, who does not appear in the final film. Although not corroborated by contemporary documents, modern resources, including a 7 Jan 1996 NYT article and Michael Sheridan and David Harvey’s 2016 book, Sinatra and the Jack Pack: The Extraordinary Friendship between Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy—Why They Bonded and What Went Wrong, the role of “Allen A. Dale” had been intended for Rat Pack member Peter Lawford early in the development process. Bing Crosby stepped in as his replacement after Lawford and Sinatra’s relationship dissolved in Mar 1962 when their mutual friend (and Lawford’s brother-in-law), U.S. President John F. Kennedy, canceled plans to stay with Sinatra during a West Coast visit due to the actor’s known ties to organized criminals.
       While John Fenton Murray signed on to write the screenplay from a story treatment by Evelyn and Richard Condon, reviews at the time of the film’s release credited both script and story to David R. Schwartz. In a 2 Jun 1963 interview with the NYT, Kelly revealed he planned to produce through Sinatra’s Essex Productions, with a similar joint project, The New Yorkers, also on their schedule. Although production was initially scheduled to begin in late spring 1963, the 7 Mar 1963 DV reported that the start date had been pushed back several months to allow for additional pre-production time.
       During this period, Sinatra and Martin opted to continue their deal with Warner Bros. Pictures after collaborating with the studio on 4 for Texas (1963, see entry). The 14 May 1963 DV noted that like 4 for Texas, Robin and the 7 Hoods would be a “joint venture” between Warner Bros., Martin’s Claude Productions, and Sinatra Enterprises. Gordon Douglas enlisted as director shortly thereafter, and on 13 Sep 1963, DV reported that Kelly had hired Jack Baker to begin choreography rehearsals as the film’s dance director. The 6 Jul 1963 LAT claimed that Sinatra was interested in casting Vince Edwards, while another LAT item published ten days later referred to the alleged attachment of Karl Malden. Neither appears in the final film. Film assignments in the 26 Sep 1963 DV named Saul Chaplin as an assistant producer.
       As the start of filming approached, a 10 Oct 1963 DV news story revealed that Kelly had decided to leave the project over artistic differences between himself and Sinatra’s production team over casting, songs, and story treatment. The split was reportedly “amicable,” and Sinatra Enterprises continued with the schedule as planned.
       Principal photography began 31 Oct 1963, as indicated in the next day’s DV production charts. Filming took place on the Warner Bros. studio backlot in Burbank, CA. Partway through shooting, Sinatra left for Reno, NV, when his son, Frank Sinatra, Jr., was kidnapped and held for ransom in Lake Tahoe, CA. Articles in the 11 Dec 1963 DV and 22 Dec 1963 NYT indicated that production continued in his absence until he returned on 12 Dec 1963. Photography was expected to conclude in late Dec 1963.
       According to a 5 Nov 1963 DV item, the following former fighters, fight managers, and physical trainers were selected to portray gangsters: Mushy Callahan, Joe Glick, Sammy Shack, Jimmy Casino, Al Silvani, and Ralph Gambini. Casting announcements in the 18 Nov 1963 DV also noted the involvement of actors Myrna Ross and Mickey Finn, whose participation could not be confirmed. The DV production chart included Herman Blumenthal as one of the crew’s art directors, and according to his obituary in the 12 Mar 1964 DV, Harry Slott served as an assistant director on both 4 for Texas and Robin and the 7 Hoods just before his death.
       On 4 Mar 1964, Var reported that Warner Bros. planned to hold test screenings in thirty-two key markets six days later. The picture first opened 24 Jun 1964 at the State-Lake Theatre in Chicago, IL, while a 20 May 1964 Var news item listed a wide national release date of 27 Jun 1964 at 1,361 first-run theaters. The Los Angeles, CA, engagement began 29 Jul 1964, followed by New York City screenings at the RKO Palace Theatre, RKO 58th St. Theatre, and multiple other venues on 5 Aug 1964.
       Robin and the 7 Hoods was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Music (Scoring of Music—adaptation or treatment) and Music (Song) for “My Kind Of Town.”
       A 6 Jan 1965 Var list of “Big Rental Pictures of 1964” reported domestic rentals of approximately $1 million to date. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
21 Jun 1964
p. 133.
Daily Variety
15 Jan 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
7 Mar 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 May 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1963
p. 10.
Daily Variety
13 Sep 1963
p. 8.
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1963
p. 11.
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1963
p. 12.
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1964
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jun 1963
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
6 Jul 1963
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jul 1963
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jul 1964
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
1 Aug 1964
Section C, p. 5.
New York Times
2 Jun 1963
p. 115.
New York Times
22 Dec 1963
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
6 Aug 1964
p. 20.
New York Times
7 Jan 1996
Section H, p. 34.
Variety
4 Mar 1964
p. 20.
Variety
18 Mar 1964
p. 1, 70.
Variety
20 May 1964
p. 13.
Variety
24 Jun 1964
p. 7.
Variety
22 Jul 1964
p. 93.
Variety
6 Jan 1965
p. 39.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
Story-scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score & cond
Orch
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"All for One and One for All," "Any Man Who Loves His Mother," "Bang! Bang!," "Charlotte Couldn't Charleston," "Don't Be a Do-Badder," "Give Praise! Give Praise! Give Praise!," "I Like to Lead When I Dance," "Mister Booze," "My Kind of Town" and "Style," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Robbo
Release Date:
24 June 1964
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 24 June 1964
National opening: 27 June 1964
Los Angeles opening: 29 July 1964
New York opening: 5 August 1964
Production Date:
31 October--late December 1963
Copyright Claimant:
P-C Productions
Copyright Date:
27 June 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29469
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
123
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

During the Depression-era Chicago, gangster chieftain Big Jim is assassinated by Guy Gisborne and his cronies while celebrating his birthday. A war of attrition between rival gangsters Robbo and Gisborne is interrupted when Big Jim's daughter, Marian, posts a reward of $50,000 to avenge her father's death. Believing Glick, a crooked sheriff whom Gisborne has killed, to be her father's murderer and Robbo to be her avenger, Marian gives Robbo the reward. Aware that he is undeserving, Robbo donates the money to an orphanage administered by Allen A. Dale. When Robbo consequently acquires a reputation as a philanthropist, he hires Dale as his minister of finance. Marian, however, charms the rivals, instigating a gang war during which Robbo is imprisoned for the sheriff's murder and Gisborne is slain. Although the freed Robbo vows vengeance, Marian persuades the women of Chicago to rid the city of racketeers. Under reformist guise, she attains gangland supremacy. She then installs herself in the offices of the Women's League for Better Government, from which, aided by Allen A. Dale, she conducts her illegal operations. Songs : "My Kind of Town" (Robbo); "Don't Be a Do-Badder" (Allen & kids); "Mr. Booze" (Robbo, John, Will, Allen); "Any Man Who Loves His Mother" (John); "Bang Bang" (Will); "Style" (Robbo, John, Allen); "All for One and One for All" (Guy); "Charlotte Couldn't Charleston" ... +


During the Depression-era Chicago, gangster chieftain Big Jim is assassinated by Guy Gisborne and his cronies while celebrating his birthday. A war of attrition between rival gangsters Robbo and Gisborne is interrupted when Big Jim's daughter, Marian, posts a reward of $50,000 to avenge her father's death. Believing Glick, a crooked sheriff whom Gisborne has killed, to be her father's murderer and Robbo to be her avenger, Marian gives Robbo the reward. Aware that he is undeserving, Robbo donates the money to an orphanage administered by Allen A. Dale. When Robbo consequently acquires a reputation as a philanthropist, he hires Dale as his minister of finance. Marian, however, charms the rivals, instigating a gang war during which Robbo is imprisoned for the sheriff's murder and Gisborne is slain. Although the freed Robbo vows vengeance, Marian persuades the women of Chicago to rid the city of racketeers. Under reformist guise, she attains gangland supremacy. She then installs herself in the offices of the Women's League for Better Government, from which, aided by Allen A. Dale, she conducts her illegal operations. Songs : "My Kind of Town" (Robbo); "Don't Be a Do-Badder" (Allen & kids); "Mr. Booze" (Robbo, John, Will, Allen); "Any Man Who Loves His Mother" (John); "Bang Bang" (Will); "Style" (Robbo, John, Allen); "All for One and One for All" (Guy); "Charlotte Couldn't Charleston" (chorus). +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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