The Scamp

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Attenborough gives a decent enough performance as a schoolmaster who befriends the winsome ten-year-old urchin of the title (Petersen), finds that he is being neglected by his drink-swilling father (Morgan), and contrives to take him home under his temporary care. Cue some soapy melodramatics, what with the father coming on like Bill Sikes, Attenborough's wife getting antsy (she's a career woman, so the boy seems to point a finger at their childless marriage), and Attenborough himself provoking the crisis when forced to thrash the boy for a minor theft by a snotty woman (Scott) who threatens otherwise to call in the police. In a lurid climax, the boy comes to believe he caused his father's death: 'All my life I'll know I killed my father,' he emotes woodenly (a scriptwriter's line, not a child's, if ever there was one), whereupon the wheels grind loudly into the happy ending.

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Wolf Rilla
Screenwriter: Wolf Rilla
Cast: Richard Attenborough
Terence Morgan
Dorothy Alison
Jill Adams
Colin Petersen
Geoffrey Keen
Margaretta Scott
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