I have watched this spectacular film over and over - maybe until I was purple (my favourite colour) in the face and I am still not fed up of it! It is impossible to know how many times I have watched it. Maybe somewhere in the region of 40-ish times? Difficult to tell. I recorded it, well my brother might have actually (he shares the love for it too) one fine afternoon in 1988 or 1989 perhaps, when Children's BBC showcased 70's and early 80's Children's Film Foundation films.
Such films were, and still are, the light of my life - 'The Boy Who Never Was' being my favourite one. Andy Crane introduced it, when he presented in the broom cupboard. I can even recite the whole film, oh yes. I have subjected many friends to this film, at least the ones with good taste and an appreciation for the finer things in life. They report that they love it too!
It starts off with a scene with Terence Alexander (Charlie Hungerford in Bergerac!) demonstrating to two mighty assassins how to 'fly-fish'. It's a quality scene - the gripping, spooky music and three devious faces who proceed to kidnap a young boy named Salu in order to liquidate those who stand in the way of men of power.
Never a dull moment, this film is so exciting. One has to remember that all the scenes of kidnap, torture, chases in the hospital, The Green Dragon Pub, poisoning a young child, bomb-making, attempts at moon watching, and general falling off bicycle mischief, take place over about three days I think. Genius!
Charlie is my favourite character. He's a young Cockney lad who comes across all aloof, but in actual fact has a very caring nature and a fantastic local knowledge. This, combined with his bravery and resilience, means he evolves as the people's champion. "Charlie, you idiot. You could have been killed!'........."Yeah, I could couldn't I"
Favourite quotes: 1.*clicking of the fingers* "Get the boy some refreshments" 2. "My clothes, where are my clothes" 3. "Nurse, nurse" 4. "You hold it up to the moon and you'll see right through it" 5. "Look son, we sell newspapers, cigarettes and sweets. If you want the boy's name and address then go to the post office. Now go on, 'op it" 6. "Inspector, inspector" 7. "Mr Foster, Mr Foster" 8. "Now get him out of here" 9. "I do wish my father was here" 10. "He'll be safe until morning" 11. "I don't think those boys will trouble us anymore" 12. "Is it digital" 13. "It was a house in the wood with big black gates" 14. "Don't mind me. I'm not really in. Just part of the wallpaper" 15. "Charlie, you know something" 16. "Course I know something. I know the house he's talking about, don't I!" 17. "Major" 18. "Bingo" 19. "Eh no, it's Charlie" 20. "I don't like it. He's been go for ages"
One of my favourite scenes is the pouring of the high juice into the glass. The angle at which the jug and glass are held wins me over every time.
By Lesley Haw.
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