The Son of Robin Hood

Cornel Wilde in The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946)

William of Pembroke, Regent of England is up to no good as he not only deposes the king and takes control of the land but also revokes the Magna Carta. Having once fought battles over such tyranny Robin Hood (Russell Hicks - 7th Cavalry), now the Earl of Huntington, knows that he must fight once again with the help of his loyal band of men. But the years have passed and Robin is no longer a spring chicken, fortunately his adventurous son Robert (Cornel Wilde - Leave Her to Heaven) is willing to lead the fight and in doing so rescue the imprisoned king.

Picture the scene, a studio boss has become aware that they have languishing in a warehouse an expensive castle set and demand that they come up with a movie to utilize them. With Errol Flynn's excellent "The Adventures of Robin Hood" not even a decade old they decide that it would be futile to compete but they could capitalize on it by for all sense and purpose giving us a sequel. That is basically what "The Bandit of Sherwood Forest" is, a sequel to the classic Robin Hood storyline with the introduction of Robin's son Robert to add some variation. Although in truth it added little variation and "The Bandit of Sherwood Forest" is little more than a generic Robin Hood adventure movie.

Anita Louise in The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946)

If you ignore the whole son of Robin Hood element and all we have is a typical story of a scoundrel trying to seize power, which means the King is in trouble as are a couple of damsels. It skips along at a brisk pace serving up those typical adventurous scenes of daring do as young Robert saves the Queen Mother and her maid Catherine from the Regent's guards. But it is only a typical adventure movie with typical scenes and relying heavily on the idea of Robert's son being enough to lure audiences to watch.

As to that subject, well Cornel Wilde play Robert in a typical fashion, hands on hips, glint in his eye and if he isn't firing off an arrow he is stealing a kiss from a beautiful damsel. The trouble is that once you look beyond Cornel Wilde's performance there isn't another which stands out with maybe the exception of Anita Louise and Jill Esmond who are typically beautiful although their characters are generic damsels.

What this all boils down to is that "The Bandit of Sherwood Forest" is just a typical Robin Hood themed adventure movie from the era where they were as popular as westerns. There is nothing wrong with it with Cornel Wilde doing a decent job of playing the Son of Robin Hood but there is nothing to make it stand out.

Tags: Robin Hood Movies

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