Swallows and Amazons

Claude Whatham continues his love affair with the past, moving back from working class youth of the '50s in That'll Be the Day to middle class children of the '20s in this adaptation of Arthur Ransome's story, which used to be required reading for all well brought up kids. Dealing with the adventures of six children one suitably idyllic summer holiday spent messing about in boats in the Lake District, it comes over as a labour of love rather than a commercial proposition. Period detail is strong, and the children gain in confidence as the story develops, but it's probably too slight to hold the attention of either children or accompanying adults, though individual scenes work, like the meeting with the charcoal-burners, and Sophie Neville is very good as one of the kids. It's pleasant/innocuous, depending on your frame of mind.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Claude Whatham
Screenwriter: David Wood
Cast: Virginia McKenna
Ronald Fraser
Simon West
Sophie Neville
Zanna Hamilton
Stephen Grendon
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