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Sword of Sherwood Forest (1961)

Richard Greene , Sarah Branch  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Sword of Sherwood Forest + The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series + The Story of Robin Hood
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Greene, Sarah Branch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038N9X2W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,319 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sword of Sherwood Forest" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Naturally you’d expect Hammer Films to make a Robin Hood movie, and of course it would star Richard Greene, who played him so memorably on TV for five years. But, add none other than Peter Cushing as the Sheriff of Nottingham and then have it directed by Hammer ace Terence Fisher (Horror of Dracula), and you’ve got much more than just another swashbuckler. Robin and his Merry Men must go undercover when they learn of a plot to assassinate the Archbishop of Canterbury, and plenty of action and intrigue ensue. Beautifully shot in color and MegaScope, and featuring such reliable British actors as Nigel Green, Niall MacGinnis (Curse of the Demon), a young Oliver Reed and James Bond’s Q himself, Desmond Llewelyn, this is a rare and delightful chance for young and old alike to see a home-grown adaptation of England’s best-loved populist hero.

Richard Greene, who stole from the rich to give to the poor every week on US and UK televisions in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1959), reprises his most famous role in this swashbuckling adventure from England's Hammer Films. Greene is the only actor to cross over from the small screen to this theatrical release (Hammer's second Robin Hood film after The Men of Sherwood Forest, 1954), but his Merry Men are an impressive Who's Who of British supporting talent, including Niall MacGinnis (Curse of the Demon) as Friar Tuck, Nigel Green (Zulu) as Little John, Desmond Llewelyn (Q from the Bond films), and best of all, Hammer vet Peter Cushing as the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham. The plot is unnecessarily convoluted at times--at its crux, it's about the Sheriff's plan to usurp land from a noble away in the Crusades, and Robin thwarting a scheme to assassinate the Archbishop of Canterbury, who opposes the Sheriff--but Greene and his band of brigands deliver a level of derring-do on par with their series work, and Cushing is always a pleasure to watch (as is a young Oliver Reed, who has a minor role as a vicious lord). Modern audiences may find it a bit stiff and campy, but those who remember the series should appreciate this return to the days of TV yore. The original Columbia Pictures trailer is included as an extra. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hammer Films version of the Robin Hood legend May 22, 2010
By Dan Day
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST makes its American debut on DVD courtesy of Sony. The Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe Robin Hood film is probably the real reason for this release. In any event, it's great that this little-seen Hammer adventure is now available. Richard Greene, who played Robin in a British 1950s TV series, stars here under the direction of Terence Fisher, best known for his helming of most of Hammer Films classic horrors. Fisher had actually directed some of Greene's TV episodes, so he was familiar with the character. The story concerns Robin's discovery of a plot to kill the Archbishop of Canterbury (Jack Gwillim). Peter Cushing makes a dangerous Sheriff of Nottingham, and Hammer veterans Richard Pasco and Oliver Reed portray other villians. There are many other great British character actors in the film, including Nigel Green (as Little John), Niall MacGinnis (as Friar Tuck), and Desmond Llewelyn (better known as Q from the James Bond films).

Maid Marian appears as well, played by the cute and feisty Sarah Branch. However, Branch appears young enough to be Richard Greene's daughter, and they don't seem to have the chemistry that a Robin and Marian should have. The film's storyline has a bit too much plot for a simple old-fashioned adventure. There are times when Robin seems almost a minor part of the tale. The action sequences will be a disappointment to those used to in-your-face violence and video game style editing. Greene seems a bit old and too laid-back. He's not a bad Robin, but many will expect a Robin Hood with more pizazz.

Despite this, SWORD is not a bad production, if one looks at it for what it is. It's not the greatest Robin Hood tale of all time, but it supplies 80 minutes of decent entertainment for those veiwers who will accept classic film fare.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable June 12, 2010
Well worth a viewing is this nicely-done ROBIN HOOD film with Richard Greene and Peter Cushing. New and fresh locations, excellent sets and photography and a typically polished Hammer production all contribute to make this film very entertaining.

The acting is credible all the way through, the only disappointment being a rather lacklustre leading lady. But fine English thespians more than make up for that. Peter Cushing does the villainy, as always, superbly while Niall McGinnis is probably the screen's finest Friar Tuck. McGinnis makes more of the character than the usual gluttonous bufoon characterization of so many other interpreters.

A good film which belongs in your collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Outlaws Have Their Uses..." December 12, 2010
As a child, I had a beautiful volume of Robin Hood stories which I used to read by torchlight when my parents thought I was asleep. It was a big, hardbacked book; filled with brightly colourful pictures and printed in fine romantic Gothic. The wronged Sir Robin of Loxley, defiant elf, became an early hero of mine, the book responsible.
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 every 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 particular 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 conspiritorial Dr. Namaroff in 'the Gorgon'. Richard Pasco (CBE, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and, fascinatingly, married to Barbara Leigh-Hunt of Hitchcock's 'Frenzy') as his accomplice the Earl of Newark; and a young, squeaky-voiced Oliver Reed as the nasty back-stabber Lord Melton. 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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not up to the series June 3, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was rather disappointed in this movie. After Richard Greene did the Adventures Of Robin Hood series, I expected much more from the movie.
Instead, it seems like the movie was done as an afterthought. None of the great characters like the series had. The plot even seemed to be a bit.....contrived.
Even Richard Greene's performance seemed a bit muted compared to that of the series.
On it's own, it was an adequate movie, just disappointing compared to the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different, but fun, Robin Hood April 29, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Richard Greene's Robin Hood television show from the late 1950s, and this movie is, essentially, a triple-length (at 78 minutes), color, widescreen episode -- though without the wonderful cast from the show, apart from Mr. Greene, of course. It's not Errol Flynn's incomparable "Adventures of Robin Hood", but if you like the Richard Greene series, and are open to various interpretations or riffs on the Robin Hood myth, then you'll probably enjoy this too.

It has some fine archery, rousing swordplay and horsemanship, droll humor, a very engaging hero and heroine, some quite nasty villains -- including an entirely wicked Oliver Reed in a very early role -- and an unusual storyline that I won't go into, since it unfolds much in the way of a mystery.

I recommend this without reservation for fanciers of swashbucklers, Richard Greene, Robin Hood stories, and those who just like to have a good time!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great trip down memory lane for boomers
I have always loved Richard Greene's portrayal of Robin Hood. Still have my Disney play and read record from the 1950s. I enjoyed this one Saturday night. Read more
Published 1 month ago by KT M
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
This British television series on the life of famed hero Robin Hood has the feel of a good play as opposed to an action adventure and all the better for it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Auburn Cinefile Society
4.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned fun.
Richard Green as Robin Hood saves the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Cushing). In the process Robin meets and falls in love with Maid Marian. Read more
Published 5 months ago by allen scott
4.0 out of 5 stars "Take the bolt out of his back and try to stop the bleeding."
This has it all, singing, romping in the woods, swordplay, chases, backstabbing villains (in particular Oliver Reed as Lord Melton), ambushes, an icy Maid Marian (Sarah Branch),... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Einsatz
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I loved Richard Greene as Robin Hood in the 1950's TV series, and we purchased the collection of those episodes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by M&M
3.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Sherwood Forest
This movie could been better,Robin Hood and his men must try to prevent the murder of an archbishop the one King Richard placed in charge of England until he returns.
Published 16 months ago by john ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Sherwood forest.
I remembered this from my childhood, and it was good to see it again. I think Richard Greene does a tremendous job of portraying Robin Hood. Kathryn Punton
Published 18 months ago by Kathryn Ramey
3.0 out of 5 stars ROBIN HOOD FANS
Published 19 months ago by GETTYDACHS
4.0 out of 5 stars Robin Hood
Richard Greene superbly portrays the handsome Robin Hood who undertakes to rescue and protect those in need. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Rebecca W
5.0 out of 5 stars sword of sherwood forrest
this is another excellent robin hood type movie from the golden years of hollywood
with great actors in i would recommend this to all those people out there who like... Read more
Published 24 months ago by honourme
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