Sword of Freedom

1958 | United Kingdom

Edmund Purdom starred as Marco del Monte, a 15th century painter, also a master swordsman, living in Florence where he leads a fight against the oppressive ruling family, the Medici's, and their political henchman, Machiavelli (Kenneth Hyde). 

ITC's Italian version of their own immensely successful Robin Hood, who was both aided and opposed by very similar characters. For help there was a Maid Marian in the form of Angelica (Adrienne Corri), a former pick-pocket turned model and a gentle-giant Little John type called Sandro (the wonderfully named Rowland Bartrop), while evil Prince John was Duke de Medici (Martin Benson). 

Quite clearly aimed at cashing in on the current trend for swashbucklers with one eye on the lucrative American market, the series went into production in 1957 under the working title 'Sword for Hire' and was then called 'The Blade' until Sword of Freedom was settled on. The series included scripts from blacklisted American writer Ring Lardner Jnr.

Published on February 5th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.