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A Challenge for Robin Hood
Robin Hood - Der Freiheitsheld

UK 1967
produced by
Clifford Parkes for Hammer
directed by C.M. Pennington Richards
starring Barrie Ingham, Peter Blythe, John Arnatt, Eric Flynn, James Hayter, Leon Greene, Gay Hamilton, John Gugolka, Douglas Mitchell, John Harvey, Jenny Till, Eric Woolfe, Alfie Bass
written by Peter Bryan, music by Gary Hughes

Robin Hood, Hammer's Robin Hood

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Cheated out of his inheritance & accused of the murder of his own cousin Henry (Eric Woolfe) by Henry's brother Roger (Peter Blythe) (the real killer), Robin de Courtenay (Barrie Ingham) has to flee the de Courtenay Castle with his trusted friend Friar Tuck (James Hayter), & team up with a gang of rebellious Saxons, who only accept him, a Norman, because he has saved one of them, little Steve Fitzwarren (John Gugolka) from Roger's deadly arrows.

Soon Robin, who adopts the name of Robin Hood, can turn the chaotic bunch of men into a well-organized group of guerrillas,  & when Roger & the Sheriff of Nottingham (John Arnatt), who came to his help, try to lure Robin back into the castle for an arrest by announcing the hanging of Will Scarlett (Douglas Mitchell) at a fair, Robin & his merrie men manage to not only free him but also little Steve's lovely sister Marian (Gay Hamilton) as well as getting Little John (Leon Greene), an old friend of Robin's, to join them, all by massive custard pie throwing (really).

From there on, Robin's gang of men seems to go from strength to strength, robbing more & more tax-collectors & practically cutting off supply routes for Castle de Courtenay, but Roger & Nottingham are not idle either & soon they device a way to abduct little Steve & Marian, & as an exchange for their lives, they force Robin to come to the castle alone & unarmed - which he does.

But Robin has lived at the castle long enough to know a secret entrance through which he has his most loyal men enter the place, & save him just in time when he's about to be burned alive.

In the showdown, Robin defeats Nottingham & kills Roger's master-of-arms Wallace (John Harvey), but is however almost killed by Roger, who is shot just in time by Alan-a-Dale (Eric Flynn), Robin's most loyal man since he has saved his life.

The Sheriff however manages to escape - & leaves the door wide open for a sequelö that was never made.

Alfie Bass has a comic performance as pie-merchant.

 

Hammer's 3rd & last adapation of the Robin Hood-legend (after Men of Sherwoood Forest [1954] & Sword of Sherwood Forest [1960]) is a rather free version of the actual story (in case you haven't noticed). That Hammer, by 1967 a brand name for horror-pics, would do another swashbuckling adventure movie at all would seem very odd at first, on second thought though the companies strength was always turning out very British costume dramas - if normally in a horror-context - which would come in quite handy here. 

Still, the overall outcome of the movie would be less than satisfactory:

On the plus side, this movie profits from lush colours, a pictorial English countryside and - as should be expected from Hammer - a solid supporting cast & an effective use of cheap yet convincing sets. On the debit side however, Barrie Ingham fails to bring any much needed charisma to the central character & the script is rather dull, steeping kneedeep in medieval clichés that seem terribly out of date in the late 60's, & for the most part it looks like nothing more than an elaborate game of tag in the woods.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD