Prince of Thieves

The Prince of Thieves

2.0 1
Director: Howard P. Bretherton

Cast: Howard P. Bretherton, Jon Hall, Patricia Morison, Adele Jergens

     
 
Columbia Pictures' 1948 B-movie The Prince of Thieves, starring Jon Hall and Patricia Morison, comes to us on DVD as sort of a cash-in effort over the release of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010). The movie was shot in Cinecolor, a sub-standard process used for lower-budgeted productions that actually comes out as quite adequate here; none of the colors

Overview

Columbia Pictures' 1948 B-movie The Prince of Thieves, starring Jon Hall and Patricia Morison, comes to us on DVD as sort of a cash-in effort over the release of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010). The movie was shot in Cinecolor, a sub-standard process used for lower-budgeted productions that actually comes out as quite adequate here; none of the colors threaten to leap off the screen, in the manner of the DVD of The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (which was shot in Technicolor), but apart from a slight dullishness to some of the tones, the full-screen (1.33-to-1) picture is bright and clean, with no significant fading. The soundtrack is also set at a fairly high volume level, and the dozen chapters are more than adequate for a movie that doesn't run too much more than an hour. The viewing is good fun, and that's the most that can be said for the movie, whose most unusual feature is the casting of Patricia Morison as a surprisingly acerbic Lady Marian -- she would become a star on Broadway less than a year later in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, as a shrewish actress. The disc opens to a simple two-layer menu that is easy to use, and there are no extras apart from an extended trailer focusing on the classic Columbia Pictures library, and a trailer for A Knight's Tale (2001).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Jon Hall and Patricia Morison are the two leads in Columbia Pictures' decided B-picture effort The Prince of Thieves -- shot in Cinecolor rather than the Technicolor used by the studio for 1946's The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, it lacked the glowing luster of that earlier movie; additionally, the soundtrack was mostly stock music from the Columbia library. Based on a story by Alexandre Dumas, the plot has the roguish bandit of Sherwood trying to halt the plans of an evil nobleman to secure power by marrying the Lady Christabel (Adele Jergens), who is betrothed to Sir Allan Claire (Michael Duane), an ally of King Richard, and whose sister is the Lady Marian (Patricia Morison). The movie's aim at younger audiences (and escapist male filmgoers) can be deduced from an ending in which the three heroes, each newly married to the woman he loves, are called off to a new and even bigger adventure (which, alas, couldn't be depicted on a B-movie budget and so was never filmed). The one true oddity in the movie, and its most offbeat element, is the presence of Patricia Morison as Lady Marian, who seems to be exercising some of the shrewishness than would finally put her on the map as an actress, by way of the Broadway stage, a year later in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate. All of these disparate elements may not hold together ideally, but with a running time of scarcely more than an hour and a cast that is trying hard to make it all fun, it's impossible for a picture like this to go far wrong, even if it gets nowhere near to being high art, either.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/11/2010
UPC:
0043396349681
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:12:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jon Hall Robin Hood
Patricia Morison Maid Marian
Adele Jergens Lady Christabel
Alan Mowbray The Friar
Michael Duane Sir Allan Claire
H.B. Warner Gilbert Head
Lowell Gilmore Sir Phillip
Gavin Muir Baron Tristram
Robin Raymond Maude
Lewis L. Russell Sir Fitz-Alwin
Walter Sande Little John
Sid Saylor Will Scarlet
I. Stanford Jolley Bowman
Fred Santley Lindsay
Belle Mitchell Margaret Head

Technical Credits
Howard P. Bretherton Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Fred Jackman Cinematographer
Sam Katzman Producer
Paul Palmentola Art Director
Charles H. Schneer Screenwriter
James Sweeney Editor
Maurice Tombragel Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Prince of Thieves
1. Chapter 1 [4:29]
4. Chapter 4 [4:20]
2. Chapter 2 [3:04]
3. Chapter 3 [8:35]
5. Chapter 5 [6:00]
6. Chapter 6 [6:03]
7. Chapter 7 [7:30]
8. Chapter 8 [6:04]
9. Chapter 9 [6:13]
10. Chapter 10 [3:32]
11. Chapter 11 [7:59]
12. Chapter 12 [7:22]

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The Prince of Thieves 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Mowkwurst More than 1 year ago
Amazing. I thought I'd seen every Robin Hood movie made, but this one escaped me when I was a li'l kid in theaters and when I was growing up I missed it on TV. Speaking of escape, that about describes this oater in tights. It was not released...it escaped. All seriousness aside, I must say, as a lover of programmers, this film did entertain me. It was filmed at Iverson's Ranch and Corriganville with just enough trees to make you think it might be on the edge of a real forest. And, if you're a fan of poverty row westerns and serials you'll enjoy the cast. I even picked out Jock Mahoney as one of the Merry Men. What a gas seeing Stan Jolly in tights. I got the most enjoyment out of the slew of booboos throughout this Katzman cheepy. Even before the guardsmen start to crank the gate mechanism the gate starts rising...and dead bodies in fight scenes rolling out of the way so as not to be hurt by another body falling on them. I grew up on John Hall in TV's "RAMAR OF THE JUNGLE" so I guess I have a forgiving soft spot in my heart for him, but his acting chops rival those of another childhood favorite, John Hart. Of course, this Robin is no more wooden than the so called villians of the piece. Katzman must have done his casting on a street corner. But, gee whiz...don't let me stop you from buying this gem. My wife, listening to me laughing from another room, finally asking me what was go funny. I had to tell her it was one of those movies that's so bad it's good. Know what I mean? Hey, if you don't, order this from B&N and see for yourself. The other three films in this Columbia "Robin Hood Collection" are vastly superior. Shoot. You gotta have a little bad to help the fairly decent come off even better. Do I ramble? Sure. So does this movie. Try it. 'specially if you're a Robin Hood completest like me. I must add that I like it better than Costner's turkey. One last thing. I must applaud Columbia for the "coloring" magic they did with their transfer. This 1947 film was a Cinecolor release originally, and we all know how "weak" that can look. Well, Columbia obviously spent some time and money "correcting" this movies color 'cuz it almost comes off as 3 strip Technicolor. Kudos to Columbia. They probably spent more on their color work on this feature than Katzman's entire budget way back then. Oh well...try it...you might enjoy it in the same way I do. 'Nuff said.