The opening has the dashing Earl of Huntingdon besting his bitter enemy, Sir Guy of Gisbourne in a joust. Huntingdon then joins King Richard the Lion-Hearted who is going off to fight in the Crusades and has left his brother, Prince John, as regent. The prince soon emerges as a cruel, treacherous tyrant. Goaded on by Sir Guy, he usurps Richard's throne. When Huntingdon receives a message from his paramour, Lady Marian Fitzwalter telling him of all that has transpired, he requests permission to return to England. King Richard assumes that the Earl has turned coward and denies him permission. The Earl seeks to leave in spite of this, but is ambushed by Sir Guy and imprisoned as a deserter. Upon escaping from his confines, he returns to England, endangering his life and honor, to oppose Prince John and restore King Richard's throne. He finds himself, and his friends, outlawed, and Marian apparently dead.
Huntingdon returns to Nottingham and adopts the name of Robin Hood, acrobatic champion of the oppressed. Leading a band that steals from the rich to give to the poor, including Friar Tuck Little John, Will Scarlett and Allan-a-Dale he labors to set things right through swashbuckling feats and makes life miserable for Prince John and his cohort, the High Sheriff of Nottingham. After rescuing Marian from Prince John's prison and defeating Sir Guy in a final conflict, Robin is captured. The timely reappearance of King Richard returns him to Marian and foils the efforts of Prince John.