The experiences of two young Jewish boys evacuated from Manchester to Blackpool during the Blitz.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margery Withers ...
Grandma Miller
Ian East ...
Mr. Goldstone
...
Danny Miller
Aubrey Edwards ...
Wilhelm Schwartz
Michael Marcus ...
Cyril Winkler
Paul Besterman ...
Sidney Zuckerman
Steven Serember ...
Neville Miller
Laurence Cohen ...
Merton
Ray Mort ...
Louis Miller
...
Sarah Miller
Bob West ...
Workman
Gwen Harris ...
First Housewife
Joyce Kennedy ...
Second Housewife
Marjorie Sudell ...
Third Housewife
Margery Mason ...
Mrs. Graham
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Storyline

The experiences of two young Jewish boys evacuated from Manchester to Blackpool during the Blitz.

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Drama | War

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5 March 1975 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

The map of Europe on the schoolroom wall shows Germany's post 1945 borders, i.e. the Oder-Neisse line, not those existing before or during WW2. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Graham: I asked to adopt them, officially.
Mr. Gordon Graham: They're back with their mother now.
Mrs. Graham: I was their mother!
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User Reviews

Intensely personal, superbly-scripted teleplay
10 June 2010 | by (advicetothelovelorn.blogspot.com) – See all my reviews

The Evacuees (Alan Parker, 1975) is a little gem from the pen of Jack Rosenthal, based on his experiences of leaving Manchester for Blackpool during the dark days of World War Two. Gary Carp and Steven Serember are the youngsters who are casually brutalised after changing the city for the seaside, but resolve to keep their unhappiness from their put-upon mother. The film has moments of levity and humour, particularly in the opening minutes, but emerges as a much darker and more troubling work than Rosenthal's teleplay set in the aftermath of war: the joyous P'tang Yang Kipperbang.

Its considerable impact is aided by acute observation and the sense it has been ripped from life, exemplified by the quietly horrifying scene in which the boys are forced to eat pork by their unthinking hosts. As well as being an insightful look at a phenomenon of wartime not ill-served by popular culture, the film doubles as a portrait of an inner-city Jewish community, with Rosenthal fashioning a gutting contrast with the plight of Jews being heaped onto trains in other countries – one of their orphaned children a recent arrival in Manchester. Such heavy subtexts are balanced by showing the story largely through the eyes of children, meaning we also get several scenes based around the older boy's picture of a woman in a swimsuit and an escape sequence set to the strains of the Dick Barton theme, in which the boys wear one roller-skate and one shoe each.

This intensely personal, doggedly unsentimental film, which grabbed a BAFTA for the year's best script, is slightly disjointed and loses some momentum in the final third, but it's full of lovely little touches and there are superb turns from Maureen Lipman – as the boys' mother – and Paul Besterman, playing the boys' resourceful pal Zuckerman. He cropped up in Parker's Bugsy Malone the next year, as Yonkers.


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