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Tawny Pipit (1944)

 -  Comedy  -  5 October 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Jimmy Bancroft, a fighter pilot, who is recovering from injuries sustained during the Battle of Britain, and his nurse Hazel Broome, come across a pair of rare birds nestling in a field. ... See full summary »

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Title: Tawny Pipit (1944)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colonel Barton-Barrington
Rosamund John ...
Hazel Broome
Niall MacGinnis ...
Jimmy Bancroft
Jean Gillie ...
Nancy Forester
Lucie Mannheim ...
Russian Sniper
Christopher Steele ...
Reverend Kingsley
Brefni O'Rorke ...
Uncle Arthur
George Carney ...
Wylie Watson ...
Lyonel Watts ...
Scott Harold ...
Arthur Burne ...
Billy Bridget ...
Jackie Christie ...
John Salew ...


Jimmy Bancroft, a fighter pilot, who is recovering from injuries sustained during the Battle of Britain, and his nurse Hazel Broome, come across a pair of rare birds nestling in a field. After a run in with the army, and a couple of thieves, they, with the cooperation of the village people and the Ornithology Society, help the eggs to hatch. A wonderful look at life in a small village, during World War II. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pilot | world war two




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Release Date:

5 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tawny Pipit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The birds in the film aren't actually Tawny Pipits, they are Meadow Pipits. Tawny Pipits are very rare in the UK (even more so in wartime when this film was made) and it wasn't possible to find any to film. The rarity of the Tawny Pipit is a major thread to the story. It was decided to photograph a pair of ordinary meadow pipits and keep to shots which showed the back view only; the tawny has a plain breast and the meadow a speckled one, but their back plumage is very similar. See more »


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User Reviews

There is nothing scrawny about our Tawny!
12 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Tawny Pipit is written and directed by both Bernard Miles and Charles Saunders, and Miles also stars in the piece. It also stars Rosamund John, Niall MacGinnis, Jean Gillie, Christopher Steele, Lucie Mannheim, Brefni O'Rourke and George Carney. Music is by Noel Mewton-Wood and cinematography by Eric Cross.

The village of Lipsbury Lea suddenly springs to life when it is discovered that a pair of rare Tawny Pipit's are nesting in one of the local fields. As outside forces threaten to destroy one of nature's great achievements, the villagers rally around to stand defiant in Mother Nature's corner.

Dated? Yes absolutely. Even twee? For sure. Unsubtle propaganda? Too right mate! Wonderful? Yes indeed.

Anyone would think we were fifth columnists!

The Brits were great at this sort of thing, at showing a slice of old fashioned life, where quaintness rules the day and nature's wonderful pastures envelope an assortment of colourful characters rallying around for a collective cause. Tawny Pipit is basically a metaphor for standing up to the bad guys, in this case during war time, Nazi Germany. The message is simple, if we stand together then you shall not have her!

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.

The backdrop is quintessential Britain, a place of rolling hills, country lanes, of one public house, one grocery shop, one post office, one vicar who actually serves a purpose to the community and one copper who no doubt gets around on his bicycle. Into this British ideal comes those villagers, each with their own ticks and traits, be it stoic men of straight backs refusing to bend an inch, or pretty ladies doing their bit for the cause - such as stopping tanks in their tracks! And of course pesky villains who would gladly steam roller a birds nest or filch the eggs for financial gain. You shall not pass, unity is powerful. Doesn't matter if it's 1944 or now, it's whimsy with relevance and it's a jolly good show. 7/10

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