Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963)

Article 3763 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-21-2011
Posting Date: 12-3-2011
Directed by James Neilson
Featuring Patrick McGoohan, George Cole, Tony Britton
Country: USA
What it is: Feature version of TV episodes

A vicar has a secret identity known as the Scarecrow, a smuggler who fights the tyranny of the government and helps the poor people of the village. He is forced to match wits with a ruthless general who intends to bring him to justice.

When this movie first entered my hunt list, there was no listing for it on IMDB. However, since the movie is edited together from a series of episodes of Disney’s “The Wonderful World of Color” entitled “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh”, I substituted those episodes for the movie, and when I acquired those episodes on DVD, I watched them. Recently, the title popped up again on my hunt list because IMDB had, in the interim, made a listing for the movie version, and since the movie version was also available on the DVDs, I decided to go ahead and review this version as well.

As I stated in my previous review, this was far from an unpleasant experience; I enjoyed it the first time I saw it, and I enjoyed this version as well. Its condensation to a single feature seems to have mostly been accomplished by largely removing the first of the three episodes from the mix, which makes sense; the second and third episodes make for a smoother single story. I like the same things as before (McGoohan’s performance, the excellent masks, the lack of cuteness, etc), and, like before, I must admit that the fantastic content consists of little more than the fact that those masks are so effectively scary. Enjoyable, but ultimately it’s pretty marginal.

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