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Gypsy Girl (1965)
"Sky West and Crooked" (original title)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  January 1966 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 455 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 3 critic

A young, lonely, emotionally challenged teenage girl finds solace in burying dead animals after the sudden traumatic death of a childhood friend 10 years earlier.

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Title: Gypsy Girl (1965)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mrs. White
Laurence Naismith ...
Edwin Dacres
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Rev. Phillip Moss
Pauline Jameson ...
Mrs. Moss
Norman Bird ...
Mr. Cheeseman - undertaker
June Ellis ...
Mrs. Cheeseman
Hamilton Dyce ...
Bill Slim - grave digger
Judith Furse ...
Mrs. Rigby
Anne Blake ...
Mrs. Potts
Jack Bligh ...
Fred Strong
Michael Nightingale ...
Doctor
Wyn Jones ...
Miller
Dafydd Havard ...
Schoolmaster
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Storyline

Seventeen year old Brydie White is emotionally stunted due to an accidental shooting death with which she was involved when she was an adolescent, the incident which she doesn't remember. Mrs. White, a widow, recluse and alcoholic, still treats her daughter like a child, although she pays her daughter little attention. However, Brydie is physically becoming a young woman. Always fascinated by death, Brydie's new pastime is to bury any dead animal in the local church graveyard. She has convinced all the young children of her small English rural town to do the same, the animal plots complete with grave markers. These animal burials are the last straw for many of the townsfolk, who see Brydie as a menace and bad influence who should be locked away. The vicar, Reverend Phillip Moss, although as perturbed by the animal graves as anyone, does understand Brydie's position more than anyone in the town and wants to do what is best for her. When it looks that Brydie is in some real danger, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

January 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gypsy Girl  »

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John Mills' only film as director. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Mills family affair
22 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This charming and unusual film was written by Mary Hayley Bell (with inspiration from DH Lawrence's story 'The Virgin and the Gypsy'), directed by John Mills, and starred their daughter Hayley as disturbed teenager Brydie.

The basic premise - that the girl is 'sky west and crooked' because of something that happened in her childhood that she can't remember - soon switches into a 'growing-up' kind of tale as Brydie meets gypsy boy Roibin (Ian McShane). The people in the village are equally well-drawn (Brydie's mother, played by Annette Crosbie; the vicar, played by Geoffrey Bayldon; the grudge-bearing Mr Dacres, played by Laurence Naismith; and the gypsy grandma played by Rachel Thomas).

From encouraging the children around her to bury dead animals in the consecration of the churchyard, to her love match amongst the caravans and the Romany customs, Hayley Mills makes Brydie a delight, although she acts and looks much younger than the character's age of seventeen. As Roibin, Ian McShane is very much in 'glamour' mode, perhaps photographed too sympathetically to make the character believable.

Still, 'Sky West and Crooked' is a well-written and directed piece, a lovely fairytale in which the idealism of first love is well presented and where the surroundings, whether a church or an open road, marry to the action perfectly.


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