Five Have A Mystery To Solve was a 6 part serial made by the always dependable UK Children's Film Foundation, for children at the time and not really for adults nearly half a century later. However, adults who like me own rose-tinted glasses will have no problem in adjusting to the different world presented, although anyone who knows the original story might have a little trouble adjusting to the screenplay. This Famous Five was Enid Blyton's 20th in the series and written the year before imho it was her last good story before her illness took her over. It was the 2nd Five film the CFF had produced, the first being Five On A Treasure Island, in 1957.
Julian, George, Dick, Ann (sic) and Timmy arrive at a family friend's house overlooking a harbour to keep the boy who stays with her (Wilfred) company. It doesn't take long for the lure of the mysterious Whispering Island and its supposed treasure hidden there to envelop them all, providing many chases involving the 2 sinister groundsmen there. It's nostalgic and enjoyable to watch, and although I can understand why they did it, as a purist I would have preferred it to stick a just a little closer to Blyton's plot but the atmosphere was perfect, of the time and the cast certainly entered into the spirit of the thing. What the baddies were secretly doing and why it made them so ruthless takes some swallowing though!
The dual BFI DVD releases in Sep 2010 of this and Five On A Treasure Island are lovingly presented with plenty of background notes by Norman ("Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Famous Five") Wright, providing me tonight with A Wonderful Time!
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