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1952 - Miss Robin Hood

Film
Title Miss Robin Hood
Year 1952
Type Feature
Country UK
Production Group 3 Limited
Distribution ABFD
Studio Southall Studios
Episodes 1
Duration 72 min.
Colour B/w
Margaret Rutherford as Miss Heather Honey / From the film.
Richard Hearne as Henry Wrigley / From the film.
Miss Honey and Henry Wrigley spying on The MacAlister Buttercup Company Ltd. / From the film.
Fanny (Frances) Rowe as Mrs Marion Wrigley / From the film.
Sidney James, as Sidney, Miss Honey's driver / From the film.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-10-21. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-11-08.

The 1952 British film Miss Robin Hood has more Robin Hood-connections than just its title. One of its main characters writes an eponymous serial in a magazine named The Teenager, while one of his most avid fans is an elderly lady who runs an unofficial orphanage/thievery school, financed by activities of the sort depicted in the serial. When called upon, her wards turn out in force, armed with golf clubs, tennis rackets, billiard cues etc. On occasion she wears the kind of hat that is now universally recognized as a Robin Hood hat.

Plot

Henry Wrigley is asleep, dreaming about a woman and two girls – his daughters perhaps – burgling a stockbrokers, where they open a safe with a welder, intending to spend the loot on helping orphans, feeding pigeons and constructing playgrounds. In waking life he is the writer of "Miss Robin Hood", a serial published in a widely read magazine titled The Teenager.


Wrigley is contacted by an avid fan who wants an autograph. She turns out to be Miss Heather Honey. This eccentric woman, much older than the backfisch Wrigley expected to meet, provides bright, sunny and cheerful schooling in thievery for all her youngsters at her private home cum orphanage. In addition to an autograph from her favourite writer she wants Wrigley to accompany her to MacAlister Honeycup distillers to watch its owner make an essence that is mixed into the whiskey. The secret recipe for this concoction was stolen from Miss Honey's great-grandfather back in 1832 by an ancestor of the present owner of the distillery. Now she wants Mr Wrigley, who as a writer of stories about a female Robin Hood must be an expert in such matters, to help her steal back the secret recipe. The reluctant Mr Wrigley is persuaded to take part in the caper, and together they manage to steal the recipe and a large amount of cash.

The loot is in Mr Wrigley's keeping as Miss Honey is under close police surveillance. An officer saw Mr Wrigley up close while they were escaping from the crime scene in a car driven by Miss Honey's cockney-speaking driver – quite a menacing character when not preoccupied with his knitwork – so Mr Wrigley now also finds himself the object of unwanted attention from goony policemen. Sue, the youngest of the three Wrigley daughters, accidentally discovers the suitcase full of bank notes, and soon all other members of the family – Mrs Marion Wrigley, daughters Sam and Pam – know about all the nice money, though perhaps not exactly how it was acquired. Only Ernest, the fiancé of eldest daughter Pam and a walking-talking encyclopedia who rather too well lives up to his Christian name, is obviously left in the dark. Family members do their best to help daddy fend off bobbies as well as plainclothesmen.

Mr Wrigley and Miss Honey discover that the secret essence, taken undiluted by whiskey, has such a drastic effect that a dose of it results in the normally downbeat but now exuberant and assertive Mr Wrigley cheerfully quitting his job at the offices of The Teenager. Honey and Wrigley write an anonymous letter to Mr MacAlister, telling him he must comply with their terms unless he wishes to see the precious recipe sold to a competing firm.

Constantly harassed by the police, the two decide to return the stolen money and recipe to Mr MacAllister's safe. While doing so, they are caught by MacAllister, who gloats at the prospect of their going to prison for their crime, only to learn that they still have a copy of the recipe and mean to sell it to the competing firm unless MacAllister agrees to turn over half his annual profits to Heather Honey. He gives in to their demands and is even obliged to settle the matter with the police so that the pair go free. Meanwhile the writer who took over from Mr Wrigley shocks his readers by making Miss Robin Hood assist in solving the theft of a Picasso. Everybody is horrified at the thought of Miss Hood being made to 'go over to the other side'. Mr Wrigley is despondent at being out of a job. Apparently Heather Honey is not sharing her half of the annual bribe from MacAlister with him, though this is never made clear. Lord Otterbourne, Wrigley's boss at the publishing company, is desperate to have him back as writer, and Wrigley, with well disguised relief, accepts the offer.

In the last few seconds of the film, it turns out everything was just part of the dream after all.

Cast and crew

All credits from the film unless otherwise indicated in footnotes.

Cast

Role Actor
Accident Policeman Francis de Wolf
Board Member[1] Kenneth Connor
Board Member Stringer Davis[1]
Boy with Blowpipe Kit Terrington[1]
Bunyan Russell Waters
Dennis, Wrigley's assistant Reg Varney
Detective Arthur Rigby[1]
Drunk Driver Humphrey Lestocq[1]
Ernest Michael Medwin
Heather Honey Margaret Rutherford
Helper at Accident Stuart Latham[1]
Henry Wrigley Richard Hearne
Inspector Wilson Edward Lexy
Lidstone Peter Jones
Lord Otterbourne Eric Berry
MacAlister James Robertson Justice
Marion Frances Rowe[2]
Newspaper staff Ian Carmichael[3]
Pam Eunice Gayson
Pearl, barmaid Dora Bryan
Police Constable Charles Farrell[1]
Sergeant David Davies[1]
Sidney Sidney James
Small Girl Who Sets Fire to Comic Lesley Dudley[1]
Sue Suzanne Gibbs[4]
[Unknown part] Ian Wilson[1]

Crew

Function Name
Art director Ray Simm
Assistant director Dennis Johnson[5]
Associate producer Bernard Coote[1]
Camera operator Ken Hodges
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Continuity Shirley Barnes
Dialogue Patrick Campbell
Dubbing editor Connie Mason
Director John Guillermin
Douglas Hurring Dubbing crew[1]
Draughtsman Harry Pottle[6]
Editor Manuel del Campo
Executive producer John Grierson
Focus puller Jim Goding[1]
Hairdresser June Robinson
Make-up Bob Lawrence[7]
Music Temple Abady
Musical director John Hollingsworth
Producer Donald B. Wilson
Production controller John Baxter
Production manager Frank Sherwin Green[8]
Screenplay Val Valentine
Sound recording Len Page
Story by Reed de Rouen
Treatment Geoffrey Orme
Wardrobe Amy Binney[8]

Technical data and formats

Audio Mono[9]
Aspect ratio 1.37 : 1[9]
Negative format 35 mm[9]
Cinematographic process Spherical[9]
Printed film format 35 mm[9]

International releases

Country Title Release date
UK Miss Robin Hood 1952-11-??[10]
USA Miss Robin Hood 1953-06-08[11]

DVD

Reviews

Background

Notes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Uncredited, cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  2. She later adopted the stage name 'Fanny Rowe' cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood and IMDb: Fanny Rowe.
  3. Uncredited, but cf. Wikipedia: Miss Robin Hood and IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  4. Real name Susanne Gibbs cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood and IMDb: Susanne Gibbs.
  5. A.k.a. Denis Johnson, cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  6. Cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  7. A.k.a. Bob Lawrence, cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  8. 8.0 8.1 In part cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Full Cast & Crew.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Cf. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Technical Specifications.
  10. Month cf. Wikipedia: Miss Robin Hood.
  11. IMDb: Miss Robin Hood: Release Info
  12. It refers, for instance, to the 'Miss Robin Hood' serial in The Teenager as a comic strip published in a large newspaper.

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