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Swallows and Amazons

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Ten best films for kids this summer: Swallows and Amazons
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The classic tale of plucky kids foiling skulduggery at the Lake District is good clean family fun

This new film version of Arthur Ransome’s much-loved children’s novel offers a cosy fantasy of England in 1935: all steam trains and wholesome outdoorsy kids dashing the plans of dastardly foreign spies. The five Walker children are on holiday in the Lake District when they find a dinghy, the Swallow. They persuade their mum (Kelly Macdonald) to let them sail to the island on a nearby lake and camp out for the night, clashing with the elusive ‘Amazons’ – two local sisters playing at pirates. The kids also become involved in the mysterious goings-on between a boat dweller who claims to be a travel journalist (Rafe Spall) and a sharp-suited mystery man (Andrew Scott), who speaks Russian and comes with his own moustachioed ruffian sidekick. 

The film’s pleasures are simple – soaring landscapes, old-school DIY adventure and some sweet performances by the child actors. It makes for a charmingly old-fashioned family adventure – one that you can imagine several generations of a family gathering to watch on a rainy grey Sunday afternoon.

Dave Calhoun
Written by
Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:PG
  • Release date:Friday 19 August 2016
  • Duration:97 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Philippa Lowthorpe
  • Screenwriter:Andrea Gibb
  • Cast:
    • Kelly MacDonald
    • Andrew Scott
    • Rafe Spall
    • Harry Enfield
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