Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Outlaws Have Their Uses...", 13 Dec 2010
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
9.99 4.95
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Holywell, N.Wales, UK.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 33,915