The Adventures of Robin Hood: Season 2, Episode 35

The Infidel (27 May 1957)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Family
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Greene ...
Bernadette O'Farrell ...
Archie Duncan ...
Francis Matthews ...
Ali ben Azra
...
Sir James
Alex Scott ...
Lucas
Noel Coleman ...
Baron Mark
Roland Bartrop ...
Father Justin
Graham Stewart ...
William
Ronald Hines ...
Edgar
Edmond Warwick ...
Simon (as Edmund Warwick)
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27 May 1957 (UK)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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"The Infidel" relevant today
17 June 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

"The Infidel" should be compulsory viewing today, especially in schools where we need to teach tolerance and respect. George Bush and Tony Blair (who should know better) would no doubt find this episode subversive television if caught it on cable TV today. A Moslem escapes his English kidnappers who brought him back from the Holy Land only to be beset by a bunch of English ruffians. Robin Hood, offended at the gutless behaviour of the gang, rescues the Moslem who explains his plight. There is a wonderful scene where they both speak with reverence of their respective leaders, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. Robin goes on to expose a land-grabbing plot in which the Moslem was a pawn. John Dyson was the pseudonym of blacklisted American writers. According to English film historian Steve Neale's excellent research, Robert Lees was a co-author of this episode. Ring Lardner Jr and Ian McLellan Hunter often used this pseudonym as well. The series had a strong social conscience. The films of Ralph Smart, who was a liberal rather than a socialist, had social justice themes and often questioned authority either gently or through rebellion. He worked with communist Harry Watt on the progressive films "The Overlanders" and "Eureka Stockade" in Australia and "Where No Vultures Fly" in Africa and later worked with blacklisted writer/producer Hannah Weinstein on several famous ITC television series. Ralph can be best judged on "Bush Christmas", "Bitter Springs" and "Never Take No for an Answer". Ralph especially loved the resourcefulness of children, something that shows up in several episodes of "Robin Hood", "William Tell" and "The Invisible Man". His films in Australia were among the first to feature Aboriginal characters and addressed the events on the frontier during white settlement. Smart, Weinstein and the blacklisted writers were a powerful team producing some of the best work ever seen on English television. Shows like "Robin Hood" were made for children. They may have been violent from time to time, but their social messages aimed to foster (Ralph's middle name, by the way) to inculcate fine values in children. Today's shows like "Robin Hood" stack up extremely well as educational and entertaining films. And episodes like "The Infidel" would be political dynamite today. Might teach some people that respect rather than hatred might better help resolve present-day world conflicts. If only Bush, Blair, Howard and Moselem leaders had seen it before a decision was made to go to war.


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