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The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh: Part 1 

Dr. Syn, a country priest leads a rebel band against the King's naval press gangs. Press gangs (impressment) roam the country side beating young men into submission or unconsciousness, ... See full summary »



(novel), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Christopher Syn / The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh
Mr. Mipps / Hellspite
Tony Britton ...
Simon Bates
Squire Thomas Banks
General Pugh
Kay Walsh ...
Mrs. Waggett
Patrick Wymark ...
Joseph Ransley
Alan Dobie ...
Mr. Frank Fragg - Prosecutor
Sean Scully ...
John Banks / The Curlew
Eric Flynn ...
David Buck ...
Harry Banks
Dover Castle Jailer
Sam Farley
Jill Curzon ...
Katharine Banks


Dr. Syn, a country priest leads a rebel band against the King's naval press gangs. Press gangs (impressment) roam the country side beating young men into submission or unconsciousness, usually at local inns and pubs, in order to enslave them in the Royal British Navy. Dr. Syn conceals his secret identity behind a sackcloth mask, and carries on activities ala Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro from his parish base. Written by Les Segal <asdmh02@sasknet.sk.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

9 February 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "Days of Syn" festival is held every even-numbered year (e.g. 2006) by the residents of Dymchurch for fund-raising purposes. See more »


In his introduction, Walt Disney states that Dr. Syn/The Scarecrow was a historical figure. Syn was, in fact, born in the mind of novelist Russell Thorndike as the hero of a book series first published in 1915. See more »


Referenced in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Marvelous period piece set in England
9 January 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a really rousing film, full of good deeds and chases, disguises and daring escapes. It's set in the late 1770's, since reference is made to the American fight for freedom from the British, and filmed in England.

Patrick McGoohan, one of my favorite actors, plays Dr. Syn, mild-mannered minister by day and rakish do-gooder by night, called the Scarecrow by the local people. George Cole plays Mipps, his assistant in both guises. The Scarecrow intercepts British government supplies and distributes them to the poor in the district, so he is greatly loved by the locals, and greatly sought by the government. The first half is taken up with the acts of a weak man who takes money from the army commander to turn in the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow finds out about this from a loyal local, and sets up a trap for the commander and the traitor. He wins the day, of course. The Scarecrow inventively and effectively deals with traitors in his network of thieves in his own fashion, but he's got a heart of gold underneath his rags; no one dies in this film. The Scarecrow and his right-hand men wear full head masks and disguises so that they are not recognized. These masks are pretty scary, and lend a lot to the flavor of the movie.

The Scarecrow also helps a local Lord's son; the man was shanghaied into the navy, escaped after 2 years of terrible slavery, made his way back to his family, but is discovered and thrown into jail. The Scarecrow springs the man by dressing up as a press gang leader, and marchs the son, as well as another man who was wrongfully accused, out of jail right under the commander's nose. He's helped in this by the lieutenant of the local guards, whose in love with the jailed man's sister. Michael Hordern plays the Lord; he's always wonderful.

I can't recommend this movie enough. Patrick McGoohan is perfect in the role, and I think it's one of his best. It's hard to find; Disney hasn't shown it for years. But they've started to bring a lot of their older things from the TV show out on video, and I sincerely hope this will be one of them. It's a great Saturday night movie, but younger kids might be scared by those masks.

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