Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh
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"On the southern coast of England/Theres a legend people tell/Of days long ago when the great Scarecrow/Would ride from the jaws of hell/And laugh with a fiendish yell." Okay, it may not be as catchy as "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," but anyone who was glued to their TV sets in 1964 to watch the continuing adventures and heroic exploits of Dr. Syn on the Disney anthology series, The Wonderful World of Color, should feel a shiver of excitement that goes beyond mere nostalgia at hearing this theme song again. Old-fashioned to be sure, but The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is still a ripping yarn and rousing family entertainment with its unforgettable hero, despicable villain, galloping chases and breathless escapes. Grandly produced in England, this three-part miniseries is "a story of high adventure and heart," as Walt Disney states in his folksy and avuncular episode introductions. Patrick McGoohan (known at the time for his iconic role as John Drake on Danger Man) stars as Dr. Syn, who leads a double life as a mild-mannered village vicar by day, and a fearsome avenger known as the Scarecrow by night. The haunting burlap-masked Scarecrow is a folk hero to the villagers, who are overtaxed by King George III, and brutalized by his press-gangs, who violently shanghai men into Navy service. Only two know the Scarecrows true identity, his sexton Mipps (George Cole), and the local Justice of the Peaces son, John (Sean Scully, from Disneys The Prince and the Pauper). There is a love story between Johns older sister and conflicted and compassionate English soldier Lt. Brackenbury (Eric Flynn), but it doesnt slow things down or get too yucky. Over the course of three near-hour-long episodes, the Scarecrow foils attempts by his nemesis, General Pugh (Geoffrey Keen) to capture him, or intimidate villagers into giving him up. Leonard Maltin does his usual sterling job as enthusiastic host, who introduces the series, reflects on its place in the Disney canon, and credits the restoration efforts that made this pristine presentation possible. This two-disc set presents the miniseries as it originally aired, and also includes the widescreen feature film version that was released overseas. Disc one contains an interesting featurette about Dr. Syns historical and literary origins. Disc two features a segment about the British films that launched Disneys live-action feature film career. This welcome addition to the Walt Disney Treasures line does full justice to one of Disneys most wanted titles. --Donald Liebenson
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In 18th century England, the mysterious masked rider known as the Scarecrow (Patrick McGoohan) leads a rebel band to save the town of Romney Marsh from the King's oppression and Naval press gangs.
This tv show/film is simply put a great escape and great adventure. Expertly done with a great story, this is a fantastic DVD. If only Disney had kept up this kind of production.
Do not hesitate to buy this DVD. It is absolutely brilliant!!
I have been waiting years to own this excellent historical adventure and I was not disappointed. I remember watching "Dr. Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" when it first aired on the Wonderful World of Color and couldn't wait for the next episode. This was Patrick McGoohan at his best and I immediately fell in love with the cool, intelligent, handsome vicar. It's amazing how much of it I remembered after all these years so it definitely made a lasting impression on a 12-year-old. I'm so glad it has now been released so others can enjoy this timeless treasure. It was well worth the wait! Thank you, Walt Disney productions and Amazon!
The Scarecrow and his crew of 2 masked companions are being sought by the Kings soldiers. Scarecrow and his men take from the greedy King of England who over taxes the countryside people and if they can't pay.....
It has a Robin Hood type style but yet so different. This is a limited edition to 39,500 and is a must to anyone who watched this show when they were growing up in the 60's. I myself bought 3 as gifts and 1 for me. I am very pleased with the quality of program on the DVDs.
I was 5 in 1964, yet I still remember the song, and the laugh. Everything was just as I remember it (including some rather over-the-top acting by the Squire's daughter).
I loved that this had the Disney World of Color eps as aired including the starting of that show and Walt Disney's intros. Brought back many memories.
But best of all were the eps themselves. Such great adventures. Such great memories!
More than once I've gotten a DVD of something I remembered fondly ony to be disappointed. This was not only everything I hoped, but went well beyond it!