Blu-ray Review: SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST

SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST was directed by Terence Fisher from a screenplay by Alan Hackney and stars Richard Greene, Peter Cushing, Niall MacGinnis, Richard Pasco, Jack Gwillim, Sarah Branch and Oliver Reed. The score is by Alun Hoddinot.

Hammer Films’ Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) is a big-screen adaptation of the popular television series, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-59); it stars the same dashing actor, Richard Greene, as the aristo man of the people, and is directed by Terence Fisher, a Hammer favorite who also helmed many of the series episodes. As in so many adaptations of the classic tale, we have the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham (a superb Peter Cushing), the lovely Maid Marian (a plush Sarah Branch), and a handful of terrific cross-the-pond actors: Niall MacGinnis, Richard Pasco, Jack Gwillim, Nigel Green, and even – in a tiny role – Oliver Reed.

Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) continues the adventures of Robin Hood (Richard Greene) where he meets and instantly falls for Maid Marian (Sarah Branch) who ends up introducing the hero to the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Cushing). Marian is a little naive so she isn’t aware of how corrupt the Sheriff is just yet and this is why she’s a little standoffish with Robin Hood in the beginning.

The thing is, these two men already know about each other very well and they both have a crush on Marian. What happens is, the evil Sheriff has a sinister agenda to claim an estate as his own but there’s one man stnading in his way and he has plans to kill him. This is where Robin Hood and his men come into play because they ultimately put a stop the the Sheriff’s sinister agenda and save the day.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Sword of Sherwood Forest by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, we’ve gotten all kinds of incarnations about Robin Hood over the years and Sword of Sherwood Forest was Hammer Film’s reworking of the classic tale. It’s true, this is a Hammer classic but it also kind of serves as a sequel to the television series that aired from 1955-1959. It’s pretty much the same story where Robin Hood falls for Marian and puts a stop to the sinister Sheriff of Nottingham and his wicked ways. To me the dialogue is kind of cheesy but you have to remember that this comes from a much different time where the theatrics are sometimes over-the-top. Sword of Sherwood Forest is the story about good versus evil with a little romance at the core. This 1960 adventure does feature a good amount of action and precision archery that only Robin Hood could pull off. All in all, it’s kind of a silly watch but I did enjoy Hammer’s attempt at this classic tale. Sword of Sherwood Forest is available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3.000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 80 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include an isolated music and effects track and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (01:53)
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3.5

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