Friday, March 4, 2011

Metal Mummy's Movie Meme - Black and White

After the resounding success of the first of Movie Meme last week, Metal Mummy has come up with another great theme for week 2: Black and White.

Easy. The very first film that popped into my head is one that I've loved for years - Whistle Down the Wind.

It's a charming tale of the innocence of childhood and how sometimes the adult world just doesn't make sense. I know it was made into a West End Musical, but please don't hold that against it.

The story is set in t' North of England and stars Hayley Mills as the eldest of three siblings. Whilst trying to save some kittens from being drowned the children discover a man hiding in their barn. 'The Man' (Alan Bates) is on the run from police and when he sees the kids lets out a 'Jesus Christ'. They then believe he is indeed Jesus and try to help him hide from the adults of the village.

Courtest of

It's a beautiful story but what I like best about it is the youngest boy Charles (Alan Barnes) who gets all the best lines such as 'He aint Jesus. He's just a fella', or when hiding a kitten under his coat is asked 'What have you got under your coat', and replies 'Me pully'. I also absolutely love that in some of the barn scenes he can be seen mouthing the lines of the other characters before he says his own. Classic.

Courtest of

That actually reminds me of when I was in a local Christmas play and one of the other girls, lets call her Samantha (cause that was her name), forgot to say her line so an enterprising elf said it for her. Cue raging Samantha storming across the stage shouting 'THAT WAS MY LINE!!'.

Anyway, I digress.

My last bit of trivia about little Alan Barnes is that when he came on to the set the first day of filming he saw three directors chairs with the names of the director and the two lead actors on them. On seeing Alan Bate's chair he declared loudly 'You've spelt me name wrong'. Cue a personalised miniature directors chair being brought in next day.

Watch it with the kids sometime. It's fab.


  1. I remember watching this when I was younger and you've reminded me of such a fabulous film.

    I think I need go shopping for some B&W classics...

    Thanks for being part of it again hun :) x

  2. how have I missed this one? I love Hayley Mills. It's on the list...

  3. OMG! I loved Hayley Mills when I was a kid. I used to pretend I was her and walk around talking in her accent. The Moon Spinners was my favorite movie forever. Ah, good memories! I have got to go get this movie. Thanks, Kate!

  4. I missed this one too. Sounds like a rite good Northern heart warmer. Get me back to me roots. Love tales of childhood too.

  5. I love that movie too. It inspired / is related to Voice of the Beehive, which is also a fab movie from a kids eye view. My own old movie obsession is "To Have and Have Not" with the fab line "did you ever get bit by a dead bee?" in it. And the excellent over the top going blind scene in Bette Davis' "Dark Victory", which has the added bonus of a young Bogart lokoing spry in it. Oh, I could go on. Off to rummage my box sets now.

  6. Well I never, I've not seen this one. Sounds like a lovely family movie. Must get hold of it, thanks for sharing :D

  7. OMG! I was only talking about this film to my daughter last week. It was absolutely wonderful and one of the films I remember most clearly from my childhood. but she didn't really get it. 'How could anyone think some bearded man in your barn is Jesus?'I give up! I once stomped around my office in the boots that Alan Bates wore in Hamlet... as you do. Just a little bit of pointless trivia! The other one is Captains Courageous with Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracey and Mickey Rooney. It's a proper oldie made in 1936 but I remember crying when Manuel died.

  8. I've not actually seen this - although heard of it. I'll have to look it up. Thanks Kate!


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