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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Outlaws Have Their Uses..."
As a child, I had a beautiful book of Robin Hood stories which I used to read by torchlight under my bedclothes when my parents thought I was asleep. It was a big, hardbacked book; filled with brightly colourful pictures and printed in fine romantic Gothic. As a result - as well as shocking eyesight - the wronged Sir Robin of Loxley, defiant elf, became an early hero of...
Published on 13 Dec 2010 by Paul Ess.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Sherwood Forest
Cheap and cheerful Hammer production filmed at Ardmore Studios in the Republic of Ireland and on location in some strikingly beautiful Irish locations (which explains why some of the extras speak with Oirish accents). Hammer's first stab at the Robin Hood (they would later make A Challenge For Robin Hood in 1967 with Barrie Ingham), it dispenses with the traditional tale...
Published 15 months ago by P.D.Nash


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Outlaws Have Their Uses...", 13 Dec 2010
By 
This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
As a child, I had a beautiful book of Robin Hood stories which I used to read by torchlight under my bedclothes when my parents thought I was asleep. It was a big, hardbacked book; filled with brightly colourful pictures and printed in fine romantic Gothic. As a result - as well as shocking eyesight - the wronged Sir Robin of Loxley, defiant elf, became an early hero of mine.
That won't mean anything to you, bargain hunter, but believe me when I tell you that 'Sword of Sherwood Forest,' of all the Robin Hood movies I've seen, is the one that comes closest to capturing the spirit and stylised sumptuousness of my glorious book.

Hammer movies always look good, like they were following an imaginary brief to make up for low budgets with Constable-worthy scenery - but this one is truly exceptional.

Richard Greene plays Hood as a stereotypical, square-jawed hero, and Sarah Branch is delicious as a (VERY) reluctant Marian - but it's the villains on this vivid stage that make the work interesting. Peter Cushing is superb as the conniving Sheriff of Nottingham; a role pre-empting one of his best performances as the similarly shady and conspiritorial Dr. Namaroff in 'the Gorgon'. Richard Pasco (CBE, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and, fascinatingly, husband to Barbara Leigh-Hunt of Hitchcock's 'Frenzy') as his accomplice, the shifty-faced Earl of Newark; and a young, squeaky-voiced Oliver Reed as the nasty back-stabber Lord Melton. And this is probably why 'Sword of Sherwood Forest' was filmed on location in Ireland rather then Bray Studios: the amount of scene-chewing these three get through would've endangered the next batch of production.
Cushing in particular, is a riot. No act is too despicable: he awards Martin of Eastwood a free pardon AFTER he's shot him dead; plots a similar fate for Robin after lying through his teeth to a spiky-but-dense Marian; before finally orchestrating a 'Soldier Blue' style attack on some thatch-roofed cottages - hiding well back in the bushes himself, of course.
Pasco is determination personified as "a ruthless man of intrigue !" and Ollie squints dirtily, hisses like Peter Lorre, and only bellows once - when Robin nonchalantly shoots down his soaring peregrine.

Any road, the plot is uncomplicated to say the least - various nobles plot to assassinate a Lord Chancellor - but it doesn't matter a great deal. Simply a foil for the visuals.
Directed by Terence Fisher, 'Sword of Sherwood Forest,' unsurprisingly, never resorts to back-slapping singalongs around the fire after jolly venison hunts (there is one atrocious ballad sung by jazz great Dennis Lotis), but instead concentrates on unpleasant images of floggings, dry-gulching and village burnings, instead. Even Friar Tuck (Niall MacGuinness) is a less frivolous figure than usual; solemnly wandering the countryside with nary a rosy cheek nor raucous guffaw.

Effortlessly, Cushing and co and the main reasons for the 'Sword of Sherwood Forest' dvd. The beautiful transfer helps; lit magnificently by the interesting Ken Hodges in intriguing 'MegaScope'(!), rural Eire never looked so sharp - even when it's posing slightly unconvincingly as the East Midlands !
Look out for Sarah Branch's repulsed look when she's called upon to kiss Richard Greene. He'd either halitosis...or was as sexist and condescending in real life as he was in character.
Either way, it's fun.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Classic, 9 Oct 2003
By 
D. E Rivers (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This film is one of only 3 robinhood films that Hammer studios have produced,and at there famous Hammer studios. You can't go past Peter Cushing as the sheriff of nottingham, he plays the part excellently, and of course Richard Greene as Robin Hood,the most famous Robin of all, this movie is a must for Hammer fans and serves as a change from the Hammer horror films, like Night Creatures 1961, Devil ship pirates 1964, pirates of blood river 1962, Hammer again have shown there the best for these sort of films, the movie is in classic Eastman colour, a Hammer Favourite, and has all the classic Hammer stars such as Oliver Reed,[ Curse of the werewolf}Richard pasco from {The Gorgon}stars as Evil prince John, this film has many familiar faces from other Hammer films. Nigel Greene also stars as Little John who was hercules in {Jason and the argonauts} 1963, the story is faithful to the original adaption, but with the touch of Hammer Directer Terence Fisher it makes this film a one of a kind, Not to be missed, my only regret is this film is presently not on dvd, however keep checking because it may appear on dvd at any time, in the meantime enjoy the vhs version, as i said this is a must for Hammer Fans, regards Deke.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A much under rated and over critised film well worth watching, 19 May 2013
By 
This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST 1960 DVD 2011

This was the second Robin Hood film that Hammer Studios released onto the cinema circuit, the first being `The Men of Sherwood Forest' 1954; the last being `A Challenge for Robin Hood' 1967. Although Hammer is best remembered for the horror movies which dominated the genre from 1958 to 1980 the studio also produced a large number of period dramas and even a couple of westerns, filmed in Italy.

SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST was made as a direct result of Richard Greene being released from his contract with the BBC for the `Adventures of Robin Hood' series which came to an end after a six year run, longer than any other British television series at that time. The film is often considered to be the first `film of the TV series' and although Greene was the only member of the original TV cast to transfer with his original role several of the actors in the movie had previous appeared in the television series as guest stars.

I remember seeing this film when it was first released on the cinema and later when I started to collect Robin Hood books and films was disappointed that I was unable to ever locate an 8mm copy but added it to my collection as soon as the VHS version was released and have now replaced that with this DVD.

This rather unassuming little movie has attracted quite a large amount of negative reviews over the years, far more than it deserves. By today's standards, yes it is probably rather tame, there is no really gratuitous violence, and no bad language or nudity, it is the film of the TV series and an icon of the costume dramas of the era. The cast are excellent, Richard Greene is one of the best three traditional Robin Hoods ever, (Errol Flynn and Richard Todd being the other two); Peter Cushing is an admirable Sheriff of Nottingham and the supporting cast of Hammer stable stalwarts including Oliver Reed, Richard Pasco and Niall MacGinnis all help to prop up what is probably a less than first class script. The film was shot at Bray and on location in Ireland and some of the scenery is superb. There is plenty of action, swords, bows and galloping horses, and the plot is probably no more than an extended episode of the TV series, but it WAS the most popular series on British television.

I have just watched all three Hammer films again and enjoyed it again; it is a movie that needs to be viewed as a piece of cinema from the 1950's and not compared to big budget Hollywood films before or after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marian. Catch!, 4 May 2014
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Sword of Sherwood Forest is directed by Terence Fisher and written by Alan Hackney. It stars Richard Greene, Sarah Branch, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Nigel Green, Oliver Reed and Niall MacGinnis. Music is by Alun Hoddinott and cinematography by Ken Hodges.

One of Hammer Films’ Robin Hood movies that reinvents the legend with some lively swashbuckling glee. Plot is kind of incidental, this really is about some good honest family entertainment involving sword fights, bow and arrow skills, political machinations and some costume malarkey. There’s a good story here, based around a dastardly assassination plot that Robin and his merry men get dragged into, this part of the pic is well written and directed with assuredness by Fisher, one of Hammer’s greatest directors.

Richard Greene reprises the role of Robin that he played in the popular TV show The Adventures of Robin Hood, and whilst he is unlikely to be at the top of anyone’s favourite Robin Hood portrayal lists, he’s comfortable in the tights and engages heroically enough in all the right places. Cushing is the class act on show as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, and Branch is fetching as Marian, though the sparks never fly between herself and Greene.

Sadly there’s irritants that stop the film pushing through the forest to breathe fresh air with the best of the other Hood outings. So much focus is spent on Robin the man, his merry men barely get a look in to impact on proceedings. Which when you have Nigel Green as Little John amounts to a crime of a wasted opportunity. The choreography for all the fight scenes is adequate enough, but it lacks dynamism, while Oliver Reed may be enjoying himself greatly, but he adopts an accent that I don’t think has been invented yet!

Still, lots of fun here regardless. 7/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Sherwood Forest, 28 May 2013
By 
This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Cheap and cheerful Hammer production filmed at Ardmore Studios in the Republic of Ireland and on location in some strikingly beautiful Irish locations (which explains why some of the extras speak with Oirish accents). Hammer's first stab at the Robin Hood (they would later make A Challenge For Robin Hood in 1967 with Barrie Ingham), it dispenses with the traditional tale of Robin Hood for a entirely new story written by satirist Alan Hackney and directed by Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher. Featuring Richard Greene (who also produced) as Robin, he was the only member of the cast of The Adventures of Robin Hood ITV series to feature in the film - Alan Wheatley's Sheriff of Nottingham was replaced with Hammer regular Peter Cushing while Maid Marion is played by starlet Sarah Branch. The plot, such that it is, begins with an attack on a mysterious rider (an early appearance by Desmond 'Q' Llewelyn) by the Sheriff of Nottingham's men. This eventually leads to a plot by the Earl of Newark (Richard Pasco) to assassinate the Archbishop of Canterbury/Lord Chancellor (Jack Gwillim) because he opposes a aristocratic land-grab. Featuring an early hammy performance by Oliver Reed, it also has good but brief support from Nigel Green as Little John and Niall MacGinnis as Friar Tuck. Although a bit lacklustre with some poorly choreographed fight scenes, it is nevertheless entertaining enough to warrant three stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love it, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
good film enjoyed it watched quit a few times partner loves it as well would reccommend to any one of any age
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hercules, 26 May 2013
By 
Jostein Næsheim (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
I admit it: I just love to see Nigel Green. First in Jason & the golden fleece , with the most unique haircut. And not to forget his goodlooking hairy body.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Sherwood Forest (DVD) (1960), 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
We bought this film because we already had it on video but after going digital decided to buy it on DVD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Second "Robin Hood" from Hammer, 15 April 2012
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Autonome (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Even if much less remembered now than the "Draculas" or "Frankensteins" that made them famous, the House of Hammer built a very satisfactory "Robin Hood" franchise that started with "The Men from Sherwood Forest" in 1954. This very enjoyable romp, that I reviewed here The Men of Sherwood Forest was the first Hammer picture to be produced in color and was helmed by legendary director Val Guest. Hammer came back to Robin Hood six years later with this "Sword from Sherwood Forest", this time directed by the other star director of the company, Terence Fisher. The "battle of directors" ends up, I am pleased to say, with a very satisfactory draw. Guest has to be credited with a better pacing, more successful side characters and, more critically, a better Robin Hood (sorry British friends I thought Don Taylor brought more characterisation to the part than Richard Greene - Hazel Court agrees with me, she actually married the guy!).
Conversely, Fisher brought his own qualities to the franchise: superb class, magnificent lights, gorgeous sets and this slightly menacing gothic atmosphere in the priory scenes - particularly the encounter between Robin Hood and the Prioress (played by the great Vanda Godsell).
And for the French amateur of Brit actors that I am, I could only relish the all-star cast in this "Robin Hood": Peter Cushing as the Sheriff of Nottingham of course, but also Oliver Reed and Desmond Llewelyn in bit parts, the absolutely marvelous Sarah Branch (who stole the show in Val Guest's "Hell is a City" earlier that year) and and and...Derren Nesbitt, one of my favorite Number 2s in Patrick McGoohan's the prisoner. As usual, Fisher can direct a bit leisurely and his film lacks pace at times (despite lasting only 76 minutes) but "Sword" is a welcome draw with "Men": the quality of both star directors of Hammer are well expressed in each film and they put a different take on a familiar franchise. Hammer would come back to Robin Hood in 1967 in "A Challenge for Robin Hood". With similar success?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A flat night out in Sherwood, 20 Dec 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Hammer Films pretty much began and ended their glory days with quickie movie adaptations of TV and radio series, so it wasn't that surprising that Richard Greene's Robin Hood should make the leap to the big screen in 1960's Sword of Sherwood Forest, but despite some capable talent in front of and behind the camera and adding colour and CinemaScope to the mix the low budget and drawn out script render it a flat night out in Sherwood. Greene, who co-produced, is the only member of the TV show's cast to make the leap to the big screen (the famous theme song is gone too), with Little John played by Nigel Green, Friar Tuck by Niall MacGinnis, Marian by an underwhelming Sarah Branch and Peter Cushing giving the film's best turn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, while Richard Pasco and the unbilled Oliver Reed (quite badly dubbed), Desmond Llewellyn and Derren Nesbitt lend support. Sadly there's little color or personality to the story - with Robin trying to stop the assassination of the Archbishop of Canterbury - for any of them to work with. Under Terence Fisher's competent but rather unenthusiastic direction it just ambles along, feeling much longer than it actually is without ever hitting any highs. There are certainly plenty of worse Robin Hood films out there, but that's not much of a recommendation for watching this run of the mill effort.

Sony's DVD offers an acceptable but unexceptional 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with the original trailer as the only extra.
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Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960]
Sword of Sherwood Forest [DVD] [1960] by Terence Fisher (DVD - 2011)
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