When I was six, the Kevin Costner Robin hood movie came out, my parents wouldn't let me see it in the theaters because I was too young (however I was allowed to repeated watch it on video without argument, go figure), but I went Robin Hood crazy. From the animated Disney film to the Errol Flynn movie to black and white episodes of the Richard Greene series. This particular video made it's way into my library, and I will never forget it (actually I still own it, though it is worn from years of repeated viewing). It became my favorite of the Robin Hood movies (though at the time it was unknown to me to be edited together from the series). This movie motivated my adventures for about a year and a half, I was the ringleader of the neighborhood boys, usually coming up with the fun that would result in a round of groundings for all of us. Fortunately we lived out in the boonies of NW Oregon, and there was no shortage of trees, our Sherwood was about a block from my house. Oh sorry... got a little nostalgic there. This "movie" was really entertaining to me at the tender age of six, and has stuck with me. I don't know if I'm still entertained by the heroics and excitement of this fifties period piece, or if it's just earned a place of honor in the mantle of childhood memories. Although I am inclined to believe the former because unlike many other films on my childhood, this one hasn't ever outworn it's welcome. Most of the popular takes on the Robin Hood legend is presented here, most famously the splitting of the arrow in the archery tournament. The series from which this movie is culled (quite seamlessly, unlike most other edited together episodes of TV series) is legendary for their money saving methods of filming (all sets and backgrounds are actually movable panels on wheels) but never do these show through. The film has been beautifully colorized, and the colors look real and natural, not muddy or washed out. This is a film that someone took their time in producing, a labor of love that really stands out. If I were to make a list of the greatest action films of all time for families, this would top it. The time to hunt down a copy will be well rewarded, whether you are six or sixty, you can't help but be engrossed by a film that is fun, exciting, and never leaves you doubt, the bad guys are bad, the good guys are good, and the good guys always beat the bad guys.
Directors: Terence Fisher, Ralph Smart.
Stars: Richard Greene, Bernadette O'Farrell, Alan Wheatley.