Let The Balloon Go is a marvelous children's film produced in Australia at the height of that country's 1970s cinema renaissance. It's a simple, straightforward, and beautifully shot tale about a crippled boy overcoming his disability. Robert Bettles plays the lad, whose ailment is unspecified, but involves a leg brace and the threat of surgery. His overprotective mother (Janet Kingsbury) is unwilling to leave him alone and unsupervised...until one day, her son manages to convince her he'll be fine on his own. He promptly chucks his brace aside and scales the highest tree in town.
IMDb lists this film with a 92 minute running time, but Inter Planetary's video clocks in at 77 minutes and certainly doesn't seem to have suffered any cuts. The film features a superb array of Antipodean talent, including actor Bruce Spence (Cars That Ate Paris, Mad Max), cinematographer Dean Semler (Mad Max 2, Waterworld, Bruce Almighty), and 26-year old Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American) as assistant director. My copy of the IP tape also features an horrendously warbly music track, rendering George Dreyfus' lush orchestration worse than unlistenable. Whether it's just my tape or a mastering problem, I can't say. But I'm more than willing to urge the current rights holders--whoever they may be--to get this film digitally restored. Let the Balloon Go is a film crying out for rediscovery.
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