Let's be realistic.
There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest is directed by George Sherman and Henry Levin and collectively written by Wilfrid H. Pettitt, Melvin Levy and Paul A. Castleton. It stars Cornel Wilde, Anita Louise, Jill Esmond, Edgar Buchanan, Henry Daniel, George Macready and Russell Hicks. Music is by Hugo Fridehofer and cinematography is shared between Tony Gaudio, William Snyder and George B. Meehan. A wonderful spin on the Robin Hood legend finds Robin Hood (Hicks) enlisting the help of his son, Robert (Wilde), in stopping the nefarious members of the Regency who seek to basically abolish the Magna Carta. What follows in narrative trajectory terms is the usual array of fights and face-offs, with bow and arrows skills supplementing the swordplay. There is of course some simmering passions whilst loyalty and camaraderie is never ever far away. There's such a sense of fun about the picture, like everyone is enjoying playing in a costume adventure. The Technicolor is luscious and the set design and art direction is impressive given the modest budget allocated the production by Columbia. The draw card is Wilde, a one time Olympic standard fencer, he convinces as a swashbuckler and has charm in abundance. Not all the costuming strikes as period reflective, neither does one or two character accents, but it matters not one jot. A sometimes rousing, often engaging, swashbuckling adventure, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest is one of the better "Hood" movies out there. 8/10
As the Robin Hood legend goes Robin Hood was the son of a noble forced into outlawry when he defended King Richard I against the usurpation of his brother John. The fictional Robin Hood was ennobled again by a grateful king and he lived for a while happily ever after.But now it's the troubles of a new generation, old Robin Hood played by Russell Hicks opposes the Earl of Pembroke who is the regent for the minor King Henry III, son of King John who Robin Hood had so much problems with. Just the fact that Henry Daniell is playing Pembroke is enough to tell you who the villain is. He wants to do a Richard III number and make himself king. Hicks is getting old, but he's got his son Cornel Wilde to do the real heavy action stuff and he and the Merry Men of both generations get to do their thing again. Wilde is once again The Bandit Of Sherwood Forest.I feel bad for William Marshall the Earl of Pembroke who was the son of the first William Marshall who had the same title. Neither Marshall was a bad guy given the mores of the times. In fact he married the King's sister and had his own entry into the royal family. Daniell, the man with the built in sneer in his voice is aided and abetted by George MacReady and there's a pair of villains to worry about especially in the same film. Jill Esmond plays the Dowager Queen and Mother of the king played by Maurice Tozzin. Her lady in waiting is Anita Louise who is where Cornel wants to make some time with. But saving the king comes first.Wilde is a natural swashbuckler, it didn't hurt his career that in real life he was a master fencer, a member in fact of the US Olympic team before he was an actor. The best parts always seemed to go to Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power.History gets trashed in The Bandit Of Sherwood Forest but with the cast it has, the film is a royal treat.
Of the myriad epic adventures revolving around the legendary figure of Robin Hood, this is the one (despite the inherently low-key nature of it all) to come closest – in spirit, accomplishment and entertainment value – to the definitive 1938 Errol Flynn vehicle: I suppose it was mere coincidence that both had two directors assigned to them! For one thing, the look of the film is just as gorgeous (Tony Gaudio, one of the cinematographers involved, was also partly responsible for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD) but the action is similarly zesty, the leads (Cornel Wilde – actually playing the Son Of – and Anita Louise) equally likable and well-suited, and the rogues' gallery (including Henry Daniell, George Macready and Ian Wolfe – even if, admittedly, only the first gets a character of any real substance) no less formidable. Of course, a good deal of the plot is familiar from previous versions – since the off-spring of the crusading outlaw goes through much the same paces as his father: from the initial antagonism between him and the leading lady, and also between him and Robin's band of "Merrie Men" (apparently, they fail to notice the comparable attire!), to the presence of a usurper on the throne (who not only comes face to face with the hero for the first time when the latter interrupts the Regent's banquet, but the villain even tries to ensnare Wilde via an archery contest which Robin Jr. attends – and wins – under heavy disguise!). The script does, however, supply its own exciting embellishments to the formula, such as devising an elaborate plan to rescue the child king from certain death at the hands of the tyrant eager to get him out of the way – while the expected storming-of-the-castle at the climax by the forces of good takes a back seat to the inevitable duel between Wilde and Daniell (which surprisingly occurs out in the open at nightfall). The supporting cast also includes the likes of Jill Esmond – the ex-Mrs. Laurence Olivier – as the Queen Mother (whose character disappears half-way through), Lloyd Corrigan (as the typically bumbling Sheriff of Nottingham), John Abbott (as Will Scarlet) and Eva Moore (so memorable as Rebecca Femm in my all-time favorite film, James Whale's THE OLD DARK HOUSE , relegated here to only a couple of scenes in one of her last roles). For the record, Wilde, Daniell and Macready would all appear in a number of other enjoyable swashbucklers over the years: interestingly, Daniell had previously dueled with Errol Flynn himself in THE SEA HAWK (1940), whereas Macready would eventually graduate to chief villain for this film's immediate follow-up i.e. ROGUES OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1950; which I actually watched early on in the year) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042901/usercomments-2.
I first saw this film when I was 9 years old and I have never forgotten the story. Cornell Wilde and the most beautiful blonde actress I had ever seen. Her name is Louise_______. Very exciting story. The prison scenes are very exciting and you know all will be well Thank you, Florence Forrester-Stockton Reno, Nevada