After the death of their mother, two children in Liverpool run away from home to escape their cruel uncle who treats them harshly. They flee to Ireland in hopes of finding love and safety with their kindly grandmother. However, their uncle is a failed actor who is a master of disguise. He uses his skill to pursue them in hopes of finding them for his own financial gain. The children must rely on their wits and the kindness of strangers to stay ahead of him or their lives will be in mortal jeopardy.Written by
As a 43 year old watching this film after over 30 years, it brought a tear to my eye. The beautiful music by Roy Budd (which is available on CD in Britain) reminds one of a totally different era that is part of my childhood. Watching the film and seeing the ancient cars on the roads, the clothes on the ordinary people in the background, the hairstyles and fashions ...... the sweet innocence of the little girl is something that's gone forever, but captured in this charming little film made in 1970 on location in Ireland. It makes me sad to realise that it is an age which I look back with fondness whilst remembering my own childhood. But what will my own kids have to remember? Despite my best efforts, they live in a world of wall to wall television filled with violence and sexual innuendo masquerading as comedy, computer cyberspace, street gangs and stress caused by modern life and expectations of them to perform and excel. As kids in the 1960's and 1970's we had none of that - life was so much simpler and immensely more enjoyable.
It is brilliant that this film is available on DVD for us to watch today. It deserves to be in the same league as those other classic British films made for family viewing at that period in British cinema history: "Oliver!", "The Railway Children", "The Amazing Mr Blunden", "Black Beauty" (1970 version!).
The film features British character actor Ron Moody who excelled at the multi-disguises villain with a soft heart, a type of role he would play again 10 years later on the HTV series "Into the Labyrinth". What a shame that Jack Wild (Finn) died earlier in 2006 of throat cancer. And whatever happened to the delightful Helen Raye (Derval)? She never acted in anything again, but she should have done as she was as good in this role as Georgie Henley is in the current Narnia film. Even Irish songstress Dana appears in the film (the same year she won the Eurovision Song Contest) as a gypsy girl to sing a hauntingly beautiful ballad in Gaelic and English.
My 9 year old daughter fell in love with this film when I showed it to her the other day. She still has that innocence, which I hold onto for as long as possible with her before she descends into the terrible tantrum-filled teen years that her brothers have already entered (and even they watched it and didn't moan!).
A great film for kids to watch, and a wonderful wallow in nostalgia for those of us over 40 years of age!!!
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