The Bandit, the Rogues, the Men, and the Sword of Sherwood Forest

January 6, 2019 | By

Sony’s decision to license rather than release on disc the ever-growing bulk of its back catalogue has been a boon to indie labels, enabling single titles, themed sets & prior OOP collections to premiere or re-emerge in new HD transfers via labels such as Britain’s Indicator (note their recent Hammer, William Castle, Ray Harryhausen, and Icons of Suspense sets) and Twilight Time, whose latest Blu-ray is one of three titles previously issued on DVD as part of Columbia’s Sherwood Forest series.

The three films – The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946), Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950), and Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) – should’ve debuted in a boxed set, but in 2010 Sony felt standalone bare bones editions were enough.

 

 

The first film starred Cornel Wilde as Robin Hood’s son Robert; the second featured John Derek as the late outlaw’s rebranded son; and the third had Richard Greene transferring his older Robin from the hit ITV series The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960) to a widescreen colour production by Hammer Films.

 

 

Lesser-known and nestled between Rogues and Sword is Men of Sherwood Forest (1954), with future genre director Don Taylor playing an older Robin in Hammer’s first RH production, under their Exclusive Films shingle.

Perhaps Men was an attempt to bring a more mature Robin to the big screen before ITV reworked the concept for TV in 1955; regardless, Hammer’s first poke at Robin Hood remains a bit of an orphan film, originally released theatrically by defunct Astor Pictures in the U.S., and unavailable on DVD except (where else?) in Spain, as a dual English-Spanish language edition. I’ve tracked down the three titles and use them to support Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray of Sword.

Coming next: reviews of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018), and Bruce Beresford’s Flint (2017), both chronicling the Flint Water Crisis in Michigan using very different approaches.

Cheers,

 

 

Mark R. Hasan, Editor
KQEK.com

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Category: EDITOR'S BLOG

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