There's a bit of satire about atomic research and the official secrets in CHILD'S PLAY, but it's mostly about a gang of kids in a small English village who invent atomic popcorn. It has a silly and confusing air, told as it is, by the leader of the gang, Christopher Beeny, and there's a rough attempt to emulate Hal Roach's Our Gang series in post-war Britain. However, despite some silly moments and a fine, mildly daft performance by Mona Washbourne as the children's collaborator and saleswoman, it is far too scattered to ever quite gel into something.
The director is Margaret Thomson, a lady who began her career directing informational shorts for the Department of Agriculture, and who later became a specialist in writing and directing children's movies. A couple of later credits as "children's coach" in movies like THE LITTLE KIDNAPPERS indicate that she was good at getting performances out of the young 'uns. While Master Beeny has had a good career, and Anneke Willis also -- she had a good run as a companion on DOCTOR WHO -- most of the children's careers seems to have been limited to this one movie.
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