Sammy Going South

Film

Action and adventure

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Time Out says

While widely regarded as an example of Mackendrick's decline after the masterpiece that was Sweet Smell of Success, this is certainly not the mere 'family fodder' that disappointed Leslie Halliwell. Indeed, like A High Wind in Jamaica and Mandy, it is another of the director's dark, somewhat sour studies in child psychology: as the young McClelland, suddenly orphaned during an air-raid on Port Said, makes his long and lonely journey down through Africa in search of his aunt in Durban, he encounters all kinds of danger and criminality with barely a blink of an eye. If the pace is oddly flaccid in places and the photography sometimes verges on travelogue territory, there is no denying the vitality of the performances, Robinson being particularly affecting as the diamond mining outlaw who takes Sammy temporarily under his wing. Indeed, as in High Wind, it is the adults, rather than Sammy, who finally suffer the most, and the film stands alongside The Man in the White Suit, Whisky Galore! and The Ladykillers as a sceptical overturning of conventional ideas about innocence and experience.
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Release details

UK release:

1963

Duration:

128 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Alexander Mackendrick

Cast:

Constance Cummings, Edward G Robinson, Fergus McClelland, Harry H Corbett

Music:

Tristram Cary

Art Director:

Ted Tester

Editor:

Jack Harris

Cinematography:

Erwin Hillier

Screenwriter:

Denis Cannan

Producer:

Hal Mason

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