Miss Robin Hood is a wonderful film and truly an under-rated gem. Henry Wrigley (Richard Hearne) is a writer at a large newspaper and magazine company. The company publishes the comic strip “The Adventures of Miss Robin Hood” on a weekly basis in the children’s magazine “The Teenager.” It’s a comic strip for children that portrays a modern-day young woman as the Robin Hood character, who robs from the rich and is always aided by teenage school girls. When the new owner of the newspaper decides to drop Miss Robin Hood, Wrigley is furious, and storms out of his job.
He soon encounters Miss Honey (Margaret Rutherford), an eccentric elderly lady who delights in reading about how Miss Robin Hood can crack open a safe. Miss Honey is convinced that Wrigley can help her retrieve a secret family recipe from the MacAlister (James Robertson Justice). The recipe in question is for “Honeycup”, a scotch-based drink with an extra special ingredient that creates feelings of euphoria.
Wrigley unwittingly agrees to help. After stealing the recipe from the MacAlister’s safe, he finds himself caught up in an exciting game of cat and mouse with the MacAlister, Scotland Yard and the newspaper editor.
The film does have some promising ideas, a delightful start with its trick on the audience, and introduces us to some enjoyably interesting characters. At times, unusual lighting, menacing close-ups, and odd angles- all of which are used to deliver a comic effect- bring character and focus to the film.
Some of the sequences are quite memorable, such as the arrival of the MacAlister, with its waiting bowler-hatted entourage and their peculiar walk (affected by using a sort of slow-motion technique.)
The sets are presented in such a way that they enhance the characters in their surroundings.
It is easy to imagine the typical publishing tycoon sitting in an office like the one in the film, while the editor of one of his smaller publications slaves away in a monotonous cubbyhole. Similarly, Miss Honey’s residence perfectly complements her character, and the MacAlister’s brewery is just what would be expected.
The casting for this film is virtually flawless. Not only are the principals sensibly cast, but even the smaller supporting roles are perfect. It’s worth watching merely for Margaret Rutherford, an on-screen gem. Rutherford is wonderfully eccentric in this role, while Richard Hearne does a good job as straight laced and serious- a good balance for Rutherford’s boldness.
James Robertson Justice as the menacingly painted MacAlister, and Sidney James as a hypochondriac cabbie also stand out.
Miss Robin Hood is a cheerful, heart-warming, crazy-but-cute British film. It is definitely a forgotten gem, and should be enjoyed.
Miss Robin Hood – Cast
Margaret Rutherford – Miss Honey
Richard Hearne – Henry Wrigley
James Robertson Justice – The MacAlister
Sidney Jones – Sidney