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Swallows and Amazons (1974)

On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Uncle Jim
Simon West ...
Suzanna Hamilton ...
Susan Walker - Swallow (as Zanna Hamilton)
Stephen Grendon ...
Kit Seymour ...
Lesley Bennett ...
Brenda Bruce ...
Mrs. Dixon
Mike Pratt ...
Mr. Dixon
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Young Billy
Jack Woolgar ...
Old Billy
David Blagden ...


On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise this has been the territory of two other girls who sail the Amazon, and the scene is set for serious rivalry. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rivalry | lake | girl | island | children | See All (18) »


Arthur Ransome's Immortal Story


Adventure | Family


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El capitán pirata  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The names of the thirteen foot dinghy sailing boats were "Swallow" and "Amazon". See more »


When the children are fishing from the boat the fish that John catches is very clearly already dead when he catches it. See more »


Version of Swallows and Amazons (1963) See more »


Spanish Ladies
aka "Farewell and Adieu to You"
Arranged by Wilfred Josephs
Sung by the Swallows
See more »

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User Reviews

Reasonable, but not fantastic, film of a great book
18 July 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I read all the Arthur Ransome books as a child, and re-read them recently as an adult, but until today had not seen this film.

It's well filmed, with only minor plot adaptations (although large chunks are missed out), and the scenery and period details are especially well done. The boats look good!

The chunks missed out from the original story do give the film a slightly "chopped" feeling - it's difficult sometimes to work out how the characters got where they are.

The acting lets the film down a bit, I think. The best of the Swallows is Titty by quite a long way - Susan is OK, but nothing special, and the boys are both awful - the worst kind of declamatory child acting. The Amazons are pretty good, but as they feature less in the book the bad acting of John and Roger really does spoil the film a bit. Odd that of these actors, John seems to have gone on to have the best career!

The thing which the film lacks most, perhaps inevitably, is the narrative. Watching the film made me realize just how the skillful prose of the books draws you into another world - something the film doesn't quite manage.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Quite a good adaption, but now a bit dated tea-35
Health + Safety Issues ?? Edzachery
Filming Dates DavidW1947
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