Rogues of Sherwood Forest
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGordon Douglas
Written byGeorge Bruce
Ralph Gilbert Bettison
Produced byFred M. Packard
StarringJohn Derek
Diana Lynn
George Macready
Alan Hale, Sr.
CinematographyCharles Lawton Jr.
Edited byGene Havlick
Music byMario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Heinz Roemheld
Arthur Morton
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 21, 1950 (1950-06-21)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States

Rogues of Sherwood Forest is a 1950 Technicolor adventure film from Columbia Pictures, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring John Derek as Robin, the Earl of Huntingdon, the son of Robin Hood, Diana Lynn as Lady Marianne, and Alan Hale, Sr. in his third Robin Hood film role as Little John during a 28-year period; he had played the part opposite Douglas Fairbanks in 1922 and Errol Flynn in 1938, one of the longest periods over which a film actor played the same major character. It was also Hale's final film before his death. Rogues of Sherwood Forest was written by George Bruce and Ralph Gilbert Bettison. The supporting cast features George Macready as King John, Billy House as Friar Tuck and John Dehner in an early appearance as Sir Baldric, billed fourteenth in the cast list.


In this take on history, evil King John resumes his old ways following the death of Richard the Lionheart. His plan is to retain his power by importing Continental mercenaries and paying them through his old ploy: oppressive taxation. King John first attempts to kill the son of longtime nemesis, Robin Hood. His henchmen fix a faulty protective cap to the Flemish Knight's lance, who has challenged Robin, the Earl of Huntingdon, to a joust. Surviving the lance attack, he challenges the Flemish Knight to joust without using protective devices, successfully impaling his opponent.

Having returned from the Crusades, Robin and Little John once again recruit the now aging Merrie Men, who wage a successful guerrilla-type war throughout the realm. They cleverly use intelligence provided by messages attached to Lady Marianne's carrier pigeons to aid them in their successful campaign to defeat King John.

Robin and the Archbishop of Canterbury are able to compel the defeated King John to seal Magna Carta, establishing the rights of all Englishmen.[1]



The film was known as Swords of Sherwood Forrest.[2]

Gig Young was the first choice to play the role of Prince John, but he was suspended by Columbia Pictures when he refused the part.[3] The film was photographed in Technicolor, with location shooting being shot at Southern California's Corriganville Movie Ranch.[4]

Critical reception

Leonard Maltin wrote: "Despite good production and fair cast, pretty limp".[5] DVD Talk found it "a good programmer that makes a decent family film for a rainy Sunday afternoon, or anytime for classic film fans. Highly recommended".[6]


  1. ^ p.56 Fraser, George MacDonald, The Hollywood History of the World, Penguin Book group, 1988
  2. ^ THOMAS F BRADY (Jul 15, 1949). "PARAMOUNT SEEKS 'DETECTIVE STORY'". New York Times. ProQuest 105617346.
  3. ^ "Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950) – Notes –". Turner Classic Movies.
  4. ^ p.356 Schneider, Jerry L., Corriganville Movie Ranch, 2007
  5. ^ "Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950) – Overview –". Turner Classic Movies.
  6. ^ "Rogues of Sherwood Forest". DVD Talk.