6.9/10
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6 user 7 critic

The Yellow Balloon (1953)

One of two young boys accidentally falls to his death when playing in a bombed-out London neighborhood. Frankie, the survivor feels guilty about his friend's death. Len, a petty thief who ... See full summary »

Director:

(as J. Lee-Thompson)

Writers:

(from an original story by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Andrew Ray ...
Frankie
Kathleen Ryan ...
Em
...
Ted
...
Constable Chapman
Stephen Fenemore ...
Ron
...
Len
Marjorie Rhodes ...
Mrs. Stokes
Peter Jones ...
Spiv
Eliot Makeham ...
Pawnbroker
Sidney James ...
Barrow Boy (as Sydney James)
Veronica Hurst ...
Sunday School Teacher
Sandra Dorne ...
Iris
Campbell Singer ...
Potter
Laurie Main ...
Bibulous Customer
Hy Hazell ...
Mary
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Storyline

One of two young boys accidentally falls to his death when playing in a bombed-out London neighborhood. Frankie, the survivor feels guilty about his friend's death. Len, a petty thief who has just killed a pub owner during a botched robbery, learns of the accident. He poses as Frankie's friend and blackmails the boy into stealing from his parents to finance Len's escape. When Len decides that Frankie may know enough to connect him with the murder, he decides to silence the boy in a tense "hide and seek" chase through the ruins. Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british noir | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der gelbe Ballon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Slice of nostalgia from a Britain long past
14 October 2015 | by (London,United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Made in 1953 we are transported back to the still bombed out ruins of London. Frankie Palmer is smitten by a yellow balloon he sees a street vendor selling, but before he can buy it, a friend of his has already up and bought it. Now Frankie is an erstwhile 'good boy' but the green eyed monster of envy leads him to snatch it and 'do a runner' as is the common parlance. His friend follows and an accident happens that will change Frankie's life.

Luckily he is taken under the wing of some man who witnessed the incident. This is Len Turner (William Sylvester) who at first appears to be the friend he claims to be but it is not long before he is revealed to have intentions that are much more sinister all together.

Now this is beautifully shot in black and white and the scenes of London and the Tube are a great romp back in time. The actors will be known to a few, with Kenneth More doing his best to be working class, Sid James and Bernard Lee ('M' from James Bond) to name but three. The story is linear and as black and white as the film print, but it still manages to have a high degree of tension and a believability that has survived down the years despite changing societal norms.

This is one for those who love a bit of nostalgia and moreover a bit of realistic British cinema. It is only 77 minutes long but does not waste a single one and is so compelling it feels an awful lot shorter – so if any of the above floats your boat you will not be disappointed – recommended.


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