Rob Roy is a lively swashbuckling meller. The synopsis explicitly states that the film is not based on the Walter Scott novel, but is founded entirely on history and legend.
History has been conveniently romanticized to provide a boisterous and rollicking epic of the revolt of the Scottish clans against the English monarchy. Central character is played by Richard Todd, who takes the part of the adventurous Rob Roy MacGregor with a surprise virility. It is he who leads the clan against the red-coats, who is responsible for a siege of the king’s fort, and who eventually secures an amnesty for all the MacGregors.
The battle scenes have a vividness of their own and the stamp of realism is appreciated when it is known that Highland forces were loaned for these scenes. The misty highlands have been effectively photographed and the overall background provides the right touch of atmosphere.
While Todd has the stellar role which he confidently grips, there is a fine allround standard. Glynis Johns, as the innkeeper’s daughter, admirably provides the romance with a performance of honest sincerity. At the head of the name feature cast, James Robertson Justice stands out with his warm portrayal of the one-time secretary of state who brings Rob Roy to the King’s court.
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Tim Roth)