1950's "Rogues of Sherwood Forest", another of Columbia's contributions to the Chivalry genre, is an okay entry, with a few definite 'pluses'; excellent Technicolor cinematography by Charles Lawton, crisp direction by Gordon Douglas, lush, elaborate (if somewhat generic) sets, and an above-average cast for a 'B' feature, including veteran screen 'villain' George Macready ("Gilda") as King John, beautiful (and very busy) screen ingenue Diana Lynn, as King John's ward, Lady Marianne (no one even mentions 'Maid Marion' in this film), and especially Alan Hale, in his final film, playing Little John for the THIRD time (first, in support of Douglas Fairbanks in 1922's classic, "Robin Hood", then Errol Flynn, in 1938's classic, "The Adventures of Robin Hood", and here, serving John Derek). Hale, at 57, may sound a bit tired, but he still has that twinkle in his eye, and appears to be enjoying himself, immensely!
As for John Derek...it's easy to see why he was cast as the son of Robin Hood; facially, he does resemble the youthful Errol Flynn, particularly when he smiles. However, Derek lacks Flynn's athletic grace (he is obviously doubled in every fight sequence), and he lacks Flynn's charismatic screen presence...and, honestly, he's a lousy actor, at least in costume epics (even ignoring his incongruous American accent).
The plot is pretty straightforward; it's 1215 AD, Richard is dead, John is King, and, bitterly aware of the grumbling of the unhappy British nobility (wanting to continue the basic freedoms Richard had given), plans to import an army from Flanders to 'pacify' the population. Unfortunately, the Count of Flanders (a rather ineffectual Lowell Gilmore) wants a hefty fee (and later, Marianne, thus continuing the 'Guy of Gisbourne' tradition of lusting after Robin's woman). Surprisingly reluctant (for a moment), King John proclaims huge taxes (so the people will pay to bring in the army who will crush them...guess that's why they call these 'Dark Ages'...) Meanwhile, young Sir Robin of Huntington (Derek), son of the late 'Robin Hood' (no explanation given of how he passed away), recently returned with Little John from the Crusades, and having survived one murder attempt by King John (still holding a grudge against his father), declares himself against the injustices of the King. He and Little John are imprisoned, escape (with Marianne's aid), and recruit survivors of his father's old gang (Tuck, Alan-a-Dale...who, by the way, never appeared in the Flynn film...and Will Scarlet), and a band of new 'Merry Men', fighting King John's tyranny, and aiding the Barons in forcing him to accept the Magna Carta.
There is a definite effort made in capturing the 'look' of the 1938 film (some shots are framed exactly the same), and there are fewer glitches than in some 'Robin Hood' productions (although some pretty obvious telephone poles appear in the background, during one riding sequence!) The major problems here are a rather uninvolving plot (Robin isn't really even a major player, in the central 'Magna Carta' plotline), a lack of romantic chemistry between Robin and Marianne (oh, how I miss Errol and Olivia!), the lack of a really impressive opponent (Gilmore's 'Count' simply isn't 'dangerous' enough, and a better villain, King John's crony, Sir Giles, played by Paul Cavanagh, is woefully underused, and never even faces Robin), and, most obviously, the nearly magical sparkle that a truly wonderful adventure film has. That thrill of bigger-than-life heroes, derring-do on a grand scale, romance that makes your heart sing..."Rogues of Sherwood Forest" simply never achieves that kind of magic.
As Alan Hale says, in his very last words on a movie screen, "Everything Has Been Said, Everything Has Been Done..." He might well have been summing up the Flynn film against the Derek one!