Cast & Crew
England in the year 1214 is suffering under the reign of the tyrannical King John I, brother of the late King Richard I. King John amuses himself by attending jousts, one of which will feature a match between Sir Baldric, champion of Flanders, and England's Robin, Earl of Huntington, son of the famed Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. Determined to take revenge on Robin's father for conspiring with Richard to bring about his exile, King John has made arrangements with Sir Baldric to kill the young Robin during the event. During the joust, Robin discovers that his lance has been tampered with, but he uses his skills to win the match nevertheless. Afterward, Robin shifts his attention to the lovely Lady Marianne, the king's ward, of whom he is enamored. Despite his feelings for Marianne, Robin accuses her of having known about the king's scheme, then departs for Nottingham. En route, Robin and his cohorts discover that the king not only has rejected his predecessor's tax reforms, but has enacted a law demanding English subjects pay a prohibitive tax, and is extracting money from them in a cruel manner. The king has ordered the new tax so that he can purchase the services of the Flemish militia to crush the Anglo Saxons. At every turn, the young Robin encounters the king's officials forcing English subjects to pay taxes, but he manages to fight them off in the name of the people. Robin and his father's faithful friend Little John are eventually arrested for their acts, charged with treason and ordered to die on the gallows. However, their execution is prevented with the clever help of Marianne, who provides Robin with tools to help him escape from his cell. After overpowering his guards, Robin flees the prison in disguise and takes refuge in an outlying cave. He then assembles an army consisting of his father's old friends and sympathizers, including Friar Tuck, Alan-a-Dale and Will Scarlett, and vows to give the king no rest until he reverses his cruel taxation practices. Robin is successful in thwarting the king's tax collection efforts with the help of Marianne, who sends him word of the collectors' movements by attaching notes to homing pigeons that fly to him. Soon after, an attempt is made by the king to incriminate Robin in the murder of three of the wealthiest men in the kingdom, all of whom were poisoned by the king himself. The king then arranges Marianne's marriage to the Count of Flanders, a term of the king's secret deal with the count, and issues a proclamation of their wedding. Robin learns of the wedding but knows that Marianne does not wish it, so he sends her a message instructing her to insist that the wedding be held at St. Dunstan's Abbey. Along the route to St. Dustan's, Robin and his men lie in wait for the royal procession. As the procession passes, Robin engages the king and his troops in a battle and wins. Following his victory, in 1215, Robin leads the people of England to force King John to sign a charter that will bring about the end of his tyranny, and they name the charter the Magna Carta.
Tom P. Dillon
Edwin George Wurzberg
Leslie A. Scott
Colin Keith Johnston
Mary Adams Hayes
Royden E. Clark
Charles Lawton Jr.
Columbia first cast Gig Young as the heavy in this film, then suspended him when he refused the role. Actor Alan Hale died in 1950 and Rogues of Sherwood Forest was his last film. In addition to this film, Hale appeared as "Little John" in both the 1922 United Artists film Robin Hood, and in the 1938 Warner Bros. film The Adventures of Robin Hood.
The story of Robin Hood has been the basis for numerous films. The earliest was a one-reel film made in the United States in 1908 by Kalem. A British film Robin Hood and His Merry Men was produced the same year. Another version was made by Thanhouser Film Corp. in 1913, starring William Russell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3752.) A fourth version was directed by Allan Dwan for United Artists in 1922, starring Douglas Fairbanks (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4663). In 1938 Warner Bros. released The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland and directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0021). RKO and Walt Disney British Productions co-financed The Story of Robin Hood in 1952. This production starred Richard Todd and was directed by Ken Annakin. In 1961, Columbia released Sword of Sherwood Forest, starring Richard Greene, who also starred in the television series Robin Hood, which was broadcast on the CBS network from 1955-58. In 1964, Warner Bros. produced Robin and the Seven Hoods, directed by Gordon Douglas and starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.
A Challange for Robin Hood was made by Hammer Film Productions in 1967, and starred Barrie Inhham and Gay Hamilton. C. M. Pennington-Richards directed this British production. Another film based on the Robin Hood character, The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood, was produced by P.B.S. Co-Mondo in 1969. It was directed by Richard Kanter and starred Ralph Jenkins and Dee Lockwood (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.4839, F6.4139, F6.0730). Robin and Marian, made by Columbia in 1976, starred Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn as the aging lovers. In 1991, Morgan Creek released Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and directed by Kevin Reynolds. The Costner film, as well as other Robin Hood films, was parodied in the 1993 comedy film Robin Hood: Men in Tights, directed by Mel Brooks and starring Cary Elwes and Richard Lewis. An American television movie entitled The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman, was released theatrically overseas by Twentieth Century-Fox.