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on 18 January 2011
This 3 DVD set gives us a trilogy of tales inspired by the legend of Robin Hood....

The Bandit Of Sherwood Forest (1946) is the oldest film in this collection and stars Cornel Wilde as Robert of Nottingham, the son of Robin Hood, who teams up with his dad (played by Russell Hicks) and the Merry Men in order to prevent the evil William of Pembroke (Henry Daniell) from killing the young king, abolishing the Magna Carta and inflicting his own tyrannical rule on England's green and pleasant land. This is a lively action-adventure movie featuring the usual brave heroes, dastardly villains and beautiful damsels in distress.

Rogues Of Sherwood Forest (1950), although made four years after Bandit, actually serves as a sort of prequel to the 1946 film and stars John Derek (Bo's beau with a bow!!!) as Robin, Earl of Huntington, the son of Robin Hood, who reforms his father's band of Merry Men when the greedy King John imposes heavy taxes on the people of England. It is also worth noting that this film also features Alan Hale as Little John (in sadly his last film role) and Alan had previously played this character in the films Robin Hood (1922) and The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938).

Sword Of Sherwood Forest (1960) stars Richard Greene, who played Robin Hood for many years on television, reprising his most famous role on the big screen in this entertaining Hammer film directed by the great Terence Fisher and also featuring Hammer movie regulars Peter Cushing (as The Sheriff of Nottingham), Richard Pasco and Oliver Reed. Hammer actually made three Robin Hood films in total, the other two being Men Of Sherwood Forest and A Challenge For Robin Hood, but I would say that Sword is my favourite Hammer Robin Hood film and one of my all-time favourite Robin Hood movies. The plot of this film involves Robin and his men trying to thwart a plot to assassinate The Archbishop Of Canterbury, Hubert Walter (played by Jack Gwillim). Peter Cushing steals the show (as usual) and oozes wickedness as The Sheriff and there is some comic relief provided by Niall MacGinnis as Friar Tuck. It is also worth mentioning that Sarah Branch is one of the most beautiful Maid Marians ever.

This is a great little DVD package and each film contains plenty of the type of bowmanship and swordplay that you would normally associate with these sort of films. It was pacticularly good to see Sword Of Sherwood Forest presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. If you are interested in Robin Hood or you are a fan of good old fashioned action-adventure films then I would recommend buying this DVD set.
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on 20 May 2010
Those three old films featuring robin hood or someone very related to him are very entertaining. Good casts (excellent John Derek, Cornel Wilde or Richard Greene), excellent directors who kew how to really make a film without special effects nor big budgets and interesting and varied scripts. Of course it's a little bit old fashioned but much more entertaining than the Ridley Scott's pachydermic vision of Robin. Good transfers and english subtitles which is very useful.
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Columbia's three disc set brings three of their very sub-Errol Flynn outing's to Sherwood together (though a fourth, Prince of Thieves, was only released Stateside) in a boxed set where quantity outweighs quality.

"What's a pretty girl like you doing all alone in Sherwood Forest?"

Although 1950's lacklustre Rogues of Sherwood Forest saw John Derek take on his fictional father's mantle to dispiritingly little effect, Columbia had done the whole son of Robin Hood thing four years earlier and much better in 1946's The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, with a slightly sleazy and wildly over-confident Cornel Wilde as Robert Hood (well, Robert of Huntingdon). He's called into the fray when his father (Russell Hicks) and the Merry Men, who are beginning to feel their age, renew the fight against tyranny after King John's death when Henry Daniell's evil Regent overthrows the Magna Carta and plans to kill the child king and steal his throne.

There's not much that's unexpected and despite the truly glorious Technicolor (courtesy of Tony Gaudio, who shot Errol Flynn's Adventures of Robin Hood with Sol Polito a decade earlier) and two directors (Henry Levin and George Sherman) it's hardly an A-list production, but it does it enjoyably enough en route to its final duel between Wilde and Daniell, who, caddish to the last, tries to starve the outlaw for three days before their Trial by Combat to give himself an edge. Neither Wilde nor his very 40s leading lady Anita Louise exactly dominate the screen (dialogue like "What's a pretty girl like you doing all alone in Sherwood Forest?" "I'm the scullery maid" doesn't help) while George Macready is wasted in a bit part as Daniell's sidekick, but it's good looking undemanding Saturday matinee stuff that's rather better produced than the material probably deserves.

"Everything has been said, everything has been done."

1950's Rogues of Sherwood Forest sees John Derek stepping into Errol Flynn's costume but never managing to fill it: a dull and wooden presence, he sets the tone for a lacklustre and perfunctorily executed hour-and-a-third that only has Alan Hale in his final film playing the role of Little John for the third time going for it. Unfortunately it only reminds you how much better Errol Flynn and even Douglas Fairbanks, for all his prancing and over-emoting, were in Lincoln Green. Not that Derek is actually playing Robin but his son, who finds himself up against King John, who's overtaxing the people once again to pay for an army of Flemish mercenaries to crush them even further before the barons can force him to sign the Magna Carta ("I'll build a gallows. It will be high and it will be strong," spits George Macready's treacherous monarch). While Diane Lynne's bland Maid Marianne sends him information from the castle via carrier pigeon, the newly outlawed Robin of Huntingdon and Little John decide to bring all the original Merry Men back together, which is an idea that has promise that the film never does anything with at all. With the exception of the final swordfight (initially on horseback), the action scenes are especially lazily thrown together with actors and stuntmen just going unenthusiastically through the motions because they know this is the kind of programmer it's not worth getting any bruises over. Even the Technicolor isn't anything to get excited about in a film that has contractual obligation written all over it and which even recycles some footage from the earlier and much more enjoyable The Bandit of Sherwood Forest. As Alan Hale says at the end, "Everything has been said, everything has been done."

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.

The DVD offers an acceptable but unexceptional 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with the original trailer as the only extra (the same trailer is the only extra on the other two films as well).
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on 14 June 2010
GREAT OLD MIXTURE,OF ROBIN HOOD SERIALS,IF YOU BUY THIS ,GET HOLD OF THE FULL SET OF ROBIN HOOD, RICHARD GREEN ORIGINALS. THEY ARE QUITE REASONABLE IN PRICE FOR WHAT YOU GET,ARRVED QUICKLY,AND GOOD PRICE
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on 18 March 2015
Anything Robin Hood has always peeked my interest, as a youngster a Bow & Arrow was something myself and friends made for ourselves, if you like all things about this outlaw then buy this dvd set, and enjoy a romp through Sherwood forest.
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This box set represents a good bargain. Separately cased, with good blurbs, the films are all very good quality (colour and sound), and don't appear on Tv much if at all. I saw all 3 in the cinema (tho the U.S. films were re-releases (remember them, usually Sunday afternoons at the local Kingston Granada?), and I come to my point about thinking first before buying (even at this ridiculous low price). Will you really enjoy these very old fashioned juvenile films now? I sort of did, and certainly prefer them to The Costner and the "other" one, title of which I cannot call to mind. I can't quite give 5 stars, but an unqualified 4, just be prepared to be a tiny tiny bit disapointed (maybe). Long live Flynn!
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on 9 June 2011
A return to the Sherwood Forest of Hollywood, with men in tights and Lincoln Green, and the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. Lots of action, but you can't take the films too seriously, or you will be disappointed. Seem very dated, but now more film curiousities.
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on 2 September 2012
With this triple you get exactly what you expect, they are all great fun to watch. So just sit back and enjoy a bit of nostalgia like I did.
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on 4 June 2013
all three films are very very very very good loved them all as i love the tales and legend of R H
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on 9 June 2014
Arrived promptly. Retro fun from back in the days when scripts were terrible, acting was OTT and men wore hose not tights. A wonderful way of spending a wet weekend :-)
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