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The Adventures of Robin Hood - The Prisoner

episode 1.39

UK 1956
produced by
Sidney Cole for Sapphire Films/ITV
directed by Bernard Knowles
starring Richard Greene, Bernadette O'Farrell, Donald Pleasence, Donald Bradley, Jack Melford, Valerie Cardew, Willoughby Gray, Doris Nolan, Arthur Skinner, John Dearth, Paul Connell, Charles Stapley, Gabriel Toyne, Victor Woolf
written by Anne Rodney

TV-series
Robin Hood, Robin Hood (Richard Greene), Adventures of Robin Hood, Adventures of Robin Hood (1950's)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mentally unstable Prince John (Donald Pleasence) decides it's time to usurp his brother Richard's throne, announces him dead, and prepares the coronation ceremony. Robin Hood (Richard Greene) however doesn't believe in his King is dead and believes John is holding one of Richard's couriers prisoner - so he tricks his way into John's castle's dungeons and starts whistling a song only known to crusaders - and suddenly he hears someone else finishing the song, who of course turns out to be Richard's messenger, Blondel (Willouoghby Gray). Of course, Robin manages to free him, the two make a daring escape, and ultimately Blondel is presenting Richard's message to the archbishop (Jack Melford) just as he prepares for the coronation - which he will now, with the King alive, of course no longer perform ...

 

Ok episode that mixes the Robin Hood-story with quite a few chunks of a (highly disputed) legend about Richard's own liberation - in which singer Blondel is said to have wandered from castle to castle looking for Richard by singing a tune only known to the two of them, until at Castle Dürnstein (or Trifels, sources vary) a voice finished the tune that could only belong to Richard. Donald Pleasence has his first appearance as Prince John in this one, and he does a marvellous job playing him as a mentally unstable weakling, but on the other hand, this is one episode where the cheapness of the sets painfully shines through when the battlements of the castle, supposed to be of solid rock, just can't stop wobbling every time somebody bumps into them.

Still, if you can look past these shortcomings and like (in a good way) old-fashioned Robin Hood adventures as such, you will probably be entertained by this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD