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Robin, a young Norman nobleman, is falsely accused by his cousin of murdering another cousin. His accuser is actually in league with the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham to seize control of the family lands, which Robin would inherit. Forced to flee into nearby Sherwood Forest, Robin begins to gather a band of rebels to fight against his scheming cousin and the evil sheriff. Written by
Hammer Studios, best known for a long string of excellent (and later, not-so-excellent) horror films, also produced adventure films. "A Challenge for Robin Hood" is one such example.
Robin de Courtenay (Ingham) is a Norman nobleman falsely accused by his cousin Roger (Blythe) of murdering his other cousin Henry. Forced to turn outlaw, Robin flees the castle, joins a band of Saxon outcasts, and is dubbed Robin Hood. The fight for justice begins.
This version of the Robin Hood legend features a number of twists, not the least of which is that Robin is a Norman and his close friends, Little John and Will Scarlet, are Norman retainers. Maid Marian (Hamilton) has a rather limited role when compared to most other adaptations. Most, but not all, of the characters generally associated with Robin Hood are present in this version.
This well-made film is well worth a look, particularly for those who enjoy the Robin Hood genre or classic adventures. The cast is solid though Barrie Ingham simply lacks the charisma of others who have played the role (notably Errol Flynn, Richard Todd, and Richard Greene). James Hayter is excellent as Friar Tuck, a role he had previously played in the wonderful "The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men" (1952).
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