Greene in Lincoln Green
Sitting here contemplating what to write about "Sword of Sherwood Forest" I find myself struggling for words, not because it is a terrible movie just a very ordinary one devoid of anything to make it stand out. I suppose I could say that if you were a fan of the 1950s TV series "The Adventures of Robin Hood" starring Richard Greene it may hold some charm because with Greene reprising the role of Robin it is similar in style. But beyond that, well it is just an ordinary take on the legend of Robin Hood which ends up more memorable because Oliver Reed whilst dubbed camped it up in a small supporting part.
Following the death of the Lord of Bortrey whilst fighting in the Crusade, the sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Cushing - The Black Knight) plans to take his estate for his own. Realising what danger this would cause the Archbishop of Canterbury (Jack Gwillim) blocks the Sheriff's plans which leads to him being a marked man with a group wanting his assassination before he manages to return to London. Robin (Richard Greene - Yellow Canary) finds himself drawn into this not only by a chance meeting with the pretty Marian Fitzwalter (Sarah Branch) but also when he comes to the attention of the Earl of Newark (Richard Pasco) who unaware who he is tries to hire him to assassinate the Archbishop.
"Sword of Sherwood Forest" is not a long movie at just 80 minutes but if you were to strip it back to just the main story I doubt there is enough to make up a quarter of the running time. As such whilst we do have the skulduggery of those trying to kill the Archbishop cropping up every now and then for the most this is a movie which plays on the legend by giving us a lot of set pieces. From one of the Merry men singing a little ditty to Robin showing his prowess with a bow and arrow as he shoots through spinning wheels, hits swinging bells as well as firing through distant narrow windows. It makes "Sword of Sherwood Forest" feel weak and staged as it rehashes various elements that most people know about Robin and his band of merry men.
As such it is hard to get enthusiastic about the movie because it offers up so little which stands out. I suppose if I had been an 8 year old in 1960 those staged moments where Robin showed what a good shot he was would have impressed and of course the customary big finale sword fight would have entertained as well. But beyond that there is nothing other than the incidental as in that Sarah Branch is pretty as a blonde haired Marian whilst Oliver Reed is amusing in his camped up supporting role which is even camper because he is dubbed. Aside from that the rest is ordinary with Richard Greene being a little too old to carry of the legendary action hero especially with the age difference between him and Branch making it feel a bit wrong when it comes to Robin and Marian.
What this all boils down to is that "Sword of Sherwood Forest" is a very ordinary Robin Hood movie which offers no real reason to watch except for those who enjoyed in Richard Greene in the 1950s TV series.
Tags: Robin Hood Movies