7.0/10
146
6 user 8 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 »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Charlie returns to the East End after two years at sea to find his house demolished and wife Maggie gone. Everyone else knows she is now shacked up with married bus driver Bert and a ... See full summary »

Director: Joan Littlewood
Stars: James Booth, Barbara Windsor, Roy Kinnear
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Bonar Colleano, Susan Shaw, Renée Asherson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The compère of a seedy strip club struggles to keep one step ahead of the bookies to whom he owes money.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Anthony Newley, Julia Foster, Robert Stephens
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Frank "women in prison" story that sympathetically tracks several inmates through their imprisonment and subsequent return to society. Some are successfully rehabilitated; some are not.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Glynis Johns, Diana Dors, John Gregson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After fighting with husband Stephen, Jan storms out with a suitcase. Meanwhile, Stephen gets drunk, picks up Grena and brings her back to their apartment. But a fight leads to a dead body, ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Dennis Price, Derek Farr, Patricia Plunkett
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A 45-minute trippy documentary of late 1960's London and is a fascinating time capsule of the remnants of a bygone age before Londons's extensive redevelopment in the late 1960's.

Director: Norman Cohen
Stars: James Mason
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Peter Weston is engaged to Vanessa Colebrook, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. On a journey home on a steamer he meets an old sea hand who shares with him how his wife won't let him ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Donald Sinden, Jeannie Carson, James Robertson Justice
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A married, middle-aged woman is shocked to discover that her husband, who she thought was content in their marriage, has become infatuated with a beautiful younger woman and is planning to leave his family for her.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Yvonne Mitchell, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A stockbroker's youngest daughter tricks an American singer into visiting her family at their suburban Wimbledon home. Her two sisters and their oddball husbands also visit and the ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Jack Buchanan, Janette Scott, Jeannie Carson
Wetherby (1985)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The mysterious death of an enigmatic young man newly arrived in the suburb of Wetherby releases the long-repressed, dark passions of some of its residents.

Director: David Hare
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Judi Dench
The Chairman (1969)
Certificate: M Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the US government sends a scientist to China to steal the formula for a new agricultural enzyme developed by the Chinese.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Anne Heywood, Arthur Hill
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The story of rocket scientist Dr. Werner Von Braun's career, from the 1920s until the late 1950s.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Curd Jürgens, Victoria Shaw, Herbert Lom
Edit

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
...
Barrow Boy (as Sydney James)
Veronica Hurst ...
Sunday School Teacher
Sandra Dorne ...
Iris
Campbell Singer ...
Potter
Laurie Main ...
Bibulous Customer
Hy Hazell ...
Mary
Edit

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:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der gelbe Ballon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?