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Hammer Studios' third go at the Robin Hood tale reworks the legend into a case of fratricide and ruthless family double dealing. Jealous that his father has willed a third of his land to his honorable cousin Robin de Courtenay (Barrie Ingham, who cuts a fine figure of moral certitude and confidence), the evil Roger (Peter Blythe) kills his brother and frames Robin for the murder. The rest of the legend should be familiar, differing only in details: Robin organizes the repressed and the homeless into a band of noble outlaws who prey upon the rich, give to the poor, and fight the injustice of the crafty Sheriff of Nottingham (James Arnatt), who joins forces with Roger to capture Robin and his merry men. The lush green forests and meadows and the handsome castle that serves as the de Courtenay estate set this low-budget adventure film in a distinctive environment. The fight scenes are rather loose and the sword duals pale compared to the flashing brilliance of Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood, but the pastoral mood created by the lilting score (inspired by folk songs of the Middle Ages) and the landscape serve this modest but exuberant drama quite nicely. --Sean Axmaker
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