Hand in Hand (1961) Poster


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hand in hand
wigz6918 June 2006
I am so thrilled to read the lovely comments on this little film. the reason being, I was the little girl who played Rachel all those years ago. I am now a middle aged lady with three grown children of my own. I live quietly,but busily. My children may be grown,but they always seem to need me. I am very lucky. What a privilege to have read such heartwarming comments,I didn't think anyone remembered. My family have seen stills of various films I was in, but have never been able to show them Hand in Hand, which I have to admit, was my favourite. I would love them to see it, it could still be relevant today. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Your kind words really mean a lot to me.
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The Best !!
urchin_4neptune8 June 2005
I am 45 years old, and I have NEVER been able to get this film out of my mind! I was a child of 10 when I'd first watched it, on a Saturday morning..and I am thinking it was on a morning children's film festival. Like a previous comment stated, this film HAS AN IMPACT on those who view it. I would love to find it on video and enjoy it over and over again. I recall feeling touched- very moved, and for a child of that age, for a television film to do such a thing, I believe is pretty much a rare occurrence. All this time and for a movie to remain in my mind? You tell me how great it must be!! It was wonderful to have the experience of seeing interaction between 2 children of the opposite sex and opposed religions. I cannot believe I found this site, and info about the film that has stayed in my heart for 35 years. Amazing!!!
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Hand In Hand Should be on VHS or DVD
dnels19 August 2005
Hand in Hand shows that friendship can surpass any other barrier. It also shows how a child feels when he discovers that people are different. This is an excellent movie which should be put on either VHS or DVD This is a movie that helps both children and older people understand differences between people of different backgrounds. Michael wants to be Rachels friend and then he discovers how different their backgrounds are and feels that his friendship with Rachel is threatened because of that fact. I saw this movie when it first came out in 1961 and saw it again when it was shown on the Children's Film Festival in 1967 and again in 1968 and 1972. I have not seen it since but I can recall the scenes and the duologue as if I had gone seen the movie yesterday.I would not hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone
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A Plea to Release This Film on DVD/Video
clydedodge32 July 2003
I went to see this movie, "Hand in Hand", as a second billing with Walt Disney's "The Moon Spinners" when that film was first released. I can honestly say that this film affected me in a profound way that no film ever had before or has since.

I was so enthralled by the film that I talked my father into taking me to see it again, so I could take notes on it! I wrote down the events in the plot as they transpired on the screen. What I can remember about the film now is the feeling that it captured perfectly the emotion of love as a child experiences it.

I have always wanted to see this film again, but it never plays on television or in art house theaters. It would be my number one candidate for the honor of "Lost Treasure." I would love to see this film released on DVD and video.
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An unforgettable gem
jpb5821 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film for your childhood and your children's childhood. It is a love story between a little Jewish girl and a little Roman Catholic boy. I think adults viewing it will have different perceptions of it, since they've had decades of prejudices to deal with before they can come to this film openly and honestly, with a child's vision and perception.

I first saw Hand in Hand when I was a child in the 1960's and I remember being so moved by the children reaching out to one another despite the prejudice that surrounded them, and learning crucial lessons about God's love. The film is clever in that the prejudices are not stated overtly, but are more subtle (i.e. the mother of the little Catholic boy saying to her husband about Rachel, the little girl, "You wouldn't think she was Jewish, would you?"). Other things that strike me about this 1960 film are that 1) Michael the little boy says to an adult that their parents will not be worried about them as long as they are home before dark. Today you can't let your children out of your sight for 15 minutes, much less an entire day! and 2) Michael goes running to his priest for comfort and understanding and not his parents, and throws himself into the priest's arms! In today's world, with today's headlines of abuse, parents would not be comfortable with that action either! How the world has changed since 1960, and not for the better.

I would recommend that this film be made more available to families with young children. If they can see it before age 10 it will leave an indelible impression. I have an excellent digital transfer of this film in my collection, with none of the defects that are seen in that crummy bootleg tape that's floating around the internet. It makes all the difference in the world to see a nice print.
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Lovely little film on religious tolerance
overseer-310 June 2003
The acting of the children who play Michael and Rachel really make this 1960 British film work. Other characters appear to be stereotypical (i.e. the parents, the rabbi and priest) to a large extent, but the children's' performances are outstanding. It's a wonder they didn't do more with their careers after this film, particularly Phillip Needs, who played Michael. Watch his face early on, when he realizes that taunting the little girl at school is wrong. He backs away from the group, then grabs her and rescues her. And later, when he confronts Rachel angrily and yells "Why did you kill Christ?" She answers: "I didn't! I didn't kill anyone!" And it's true. The Romans executed Christ, not the Jews. Pontius Pilate could have always said "no", and left it at that. But of course, the scripture had to be fulfilled.

This is a film I love to show to my own children on a regular basis, to help them understand that God is love, not hate. I have wonderful memories of my parents renting this 16 mm film again and again from the local library in the 1960's when I was growing up. They would show it for the children in the neighborhood, who all came from different religious backgrounds. It was always a favorite and now is a favorite in my own library of films.
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Again, I must thank you all for your very kind comments. This is Loretta Parry. Shown under my married name. Since I last posted, I have divorced, (amicably),and have had the extreme pleasure of becoming a Grandmother 3 times, to the 3 most beautiful little boys,the youngest born only a few weeks ago. I am coming up to the big 60 in July, and cannot say I'm too delighted about it. It seems only a couple of years ago,when I was having my own children, and just a short time before that,was at school myself. The years and life have been very kind to me, my children and Grandchildren have become my life, and I just couldn't be more content. Thank you all so much for your continued interest in 'Hand in Hand'.Long may it have such a positive impact on us all.xxx
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Remembering my childhood
EBAM4EVER16 June 2001
I saw this movie as a child and have never forgotten it.I was raised Catholic and rememebr having a crush on the little girl across the street.She was Jewish.We played everyday and we had a special bond.Everytime I think of this movie, I am reminded of her and our precious innocense in the world around us.I hope she is doing well in her life.I would really love to obtain a copy of this movie.Lets all remember that we live together in this world and that we can walk with each other through it,"Hand In Hand"!!!!!!!
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One of my favorites...
brian200122 May 2001
I saw this film a number of times when before I was 10 years old. It is such a beautiful film in every aspect. The writing, acting, directing is all excellent. I only wish it would be released on video. Many children I believe would benefit from seeing this film as I did. In the end, a person watching this film learns the value of looking at the beauty within each person, regardless of their background.
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Very memorable
Gary M. James26 January 2007
It is amazing how powerful films can be to a child. Upon reading the numerous reviews and postings of the wonderful movie "Hand in Hand", it is interesting how many of the writers who are probably in the same age bracket and, at least in the U.S., remember this movie airing on the CBS Children's Film Festival on a Saturday afternoon. I guess one can thank CBS, Kukla, Fran (Allison), Ollie and Burr Tillstrom for introducing this powerful film on religious understanding and tolerance within the friendship of two young children.

I remember Rachel and Michael (Loretta Parry and Philip Needs). Even though the film was probably 7 or 8 years old when I first saw the movie on TV, I can relate to them as a child. Perhaps because of how they were raised and the different religions they were taught, the children were a bit suspicious but after a while they got to know each other. What still gets to me after so many years is how misunderstanding and seeing people just as what their were raised can get in the way of seeing others as human beings.

There is a sense of curiosity and wonder getting to know someone who was raised from a different religion and that curiosity begets friendship and, ultimately, understanding. As directed by Philip Leacock (who would later direct numerous TV shows including Route 66, Gunsmoke and The Waltons) and written by Diana Morgan (from a story by Sidney Harmon), Hand in Hand is a sensitive and powerful film.

I am not a fan of remaking great films. But consider the state of religion in the U.S. and the world and how many conflicts occur for the sake of religion. With the right screenwriter, director and cast, I think Hand in Hand could be adapted to the current day. Until then, I concur with others on releasing this wonderful film on DVD.
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childhood's innocence
prettynoose5923 June 2005
Like many others I first saw this film on "The Children's Film Festival" on a Saturday afternoon. I must have been 6 or 7 and I loved it! Many years later a friend of mine was humming a tune that I regocnized as the charming melody from the film. "Do you remember that movie?" I asked. "Oh yes." He replied "Hand In Hand" We both smiled. He had grown up in a very small town next to mine and gone to different schools, but it was touching that we were both sitting in front of our television sets on the same Saturday afternoon watching this lovely film. I was actually able to tape it back in 1988 off of Showtime, I just watched it again last night and it still moves me. Loretta Parry and Phillip needs were so good! I brought so many memories! Good ones.
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Contact me if you wish to discuss this film.
Kathryn-1713 April 2003
I updated my email address so that anyone who wishes to share their comments about this film can contact me. Also, I wanted to let you know that I have a Black and White still publicity shot from this film and I'd be happy to send you a copy via email or regular post.

The photo I have shows the girl and boy kneeling and praying together in a church pew. Cany anyone give a more detailed synopsis of the film? I haven't see it since about 1966. I am almost 54 years old and this remains one of the most influential films of my whole life.
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What unites us is stronger than what divides us
lisa-62127 April 2006
This movie, about the friendship of a little Catholic boy and his Jewish female playmate has been in my heart since I was a little girl. I wish I could see it again. More important, i wish today's children could see it. The most touching scenes were of the children trying to adhere to each other's traditions. I particularly remember a shot where the awestruck little boy enters Rachel's synagogue for the first time. He removes his hat in respect as he would in church. The rabbi unceremoniously plops it back onto his head again. The movie perfectly captures the "foreign-ness" and fear children are taught to associate with other people's religions and unfortunately never move past as they grow up. Besides being a moving story and wonderful film in its own right, the message of "Hand in Hand" has never been more timely or urgent. Let's all write whoever has the film rights and petition for a DVD release! or at least for the movie to be televised again. Lisa
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starbreath22 May 2005
It's been over 40 years since I first saw "Hand In Hand," and I remember it like it was yesterday! I have been trying to find out more about it on the internet for a long time. I finally hit the jackpot doing a "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie" search, as I clearly remember them in connection with the film. As soon as I saw "CBS Children's Film Festival" on the KFO website, things snapped into place! It was almost a relief to find the title on the list of movies that were part of this series, as I have relished its memory for so long!

I remember searching the Saturday TV listings for years -- probably until I was in my late-teens -- hoping it would be on just one more time!! I saw the film several times, between the ages of 5 and 10, and it is the earliest movie I clearly remember seeing. As I read through some of the other comments, I found myself flashing back to it and seeing it unfold again.

The scenes I remember most vividly are those in which the children encounter "Holy Mystery" in the rituals each of them practice. I was moved by the reverence, by the awareness engendered in me that the Divine is not the property of any one faith tradition, but contains them all and is the Source of them all. This is a film that molded me in a way that no other ever has. I wish everyone could see it, especially at a young age, when hearts are most open to truth, and not yet jaded by the cynicism that the world, including religious institutions, dumps on people.
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a beautiful film
levineds200218 April 2004
i saw this as a kid..i loved it so much i dragged my mother to see it..something about it touched my heart and as a 50 year old i still remember it with a special feeling as a Jew myself..i know how difficult it is to cope with prejudice and this was a real exposure of bigotry i was my first taste of how things could and should be it was also the first time i saw Miriam Karlin in a dramatic role.. it shows that really fine films don't need special effects. car chases,etc...just a little meaning and a subject worth talking about i give this film 10 /10
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Romeo and Juliet Lives!
deemo3129 January 2004
I saw this movie in the early 60's. I was nine or so years old. It had a profound effect on me. You see, I was not brought up in the kind of family that practiced this kind of prejudice. So the story was both a revelation of something I didnt know about, and a lesson in life. My step daughter was in a college class that required her to ask questions on a survey. In that survey the participants were asked to say the first thing that came to their mind after each question. One of the questions was "What was the most influential movie you have ever seen."

My answer was "Hand in Hand."
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If you get the chance, see it.
allan-4513 October 2000
I, too, saw this movie when it came out and I have never forgotten its message. It was this movie that made me realise that pretty well all monotheistic religions (apart from the fanatics) are essentially saying the same thing; they just have different ways of saying it. It helped me develop greater religious tolerance than I likely would have developed in its absence.

Most of the images in the movie have faded from my memory, save a few. One in particular was the moment when the boy goes to visit the synagogue and the star of David on the side of the building just jumps out at him. You can imagine the impact that it has on him, having been raised in a strict Roman Catholic environment with a crucifix as the dominant symbol.

As a little bit of trivia, in the 60's, I had heard that Orson Welles had a small, uncredited, cameo appearance in this movie. The shot was a long one, taken from the rear of the church with Welles as a priest at the altar with his back to the camera. I have never been able to confirm this. His filmography in this data base doesn't mention it, nor does the writeup on the film itself.

Trivia aside, this is an excellent movie and, although I have seen it only once, it remains one of the cinematic highlights of my life. I don't think that it has ever played in a movie theatre near me since its initial run, much to my disappointment.
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Beautifully haunting and memorable
monkeyface_si7 July 2001
As far away from biblical epics as you can get, Hand in Hand is definitively the most spiritual movie I have ever seen. I saw it in 1969 and cried and cried. The next time I saw it was in college in 1978 and I cried profusely again. The boy and the girl in the leads are absolutely perfect. The movie succeeds in conveying the enormity of the exploration they are doing. And how in the process, their sense of love blossoms, both for each other, but mostly for God.
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This film had a great impact on my life...worth seeing.
Kathy-329 February 1999
I saw this beautiful, little film on American television in the early 1960's. I've been searching for a video version or the screenplay or still photographs, or any other information available about the film, the film makers, cast and crew. I was raised a strict Catholic and never had an opportunity to meet a Jew until I was 17 years old. At age 30 I married a Jew. This film planted a seed in me that took decades to blossom and it was worth the wait. In my life, I've found that there is a special bond between Catholics and Jews, a spiritual resonance. This film introduced this concept to me and I've never forgotten it. This film helped shape my values and world view.
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You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
bkoganbing13 March 2017
I remember seeing this film in cinema back in the 60s and was finally glad of the chance to see it again for the first time in decades. It's a simple and profound film about two pre-pubescent children in the United Kingdom who become friends. The fact that the boy Philip Needs is Catholic and the girl Loretta Parry is Jewish makes no real difference until some of their peers around them tell them it makes a difference. Just like that Rodgers&Hammerstein song, You've Got To Be Carefully Taught.

Interesting that the cantor and priest characters played by Martin Lawrence and John Gregson have learned to respect each other's diversity. The kids learn that too just by simply being around each other.

I still love this film because Needs and Parry act like real kids instead of child actor celebrities. You don't they're acting at all, you think you're just watching from a window on their lives.

This film ought to be required viewing in grade school classes teaching tolerance, respect, and diversity. The message hasn't lessened any over the years.
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Required viewing for ALL SCHOOLS
thejcowboy2215 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Growing up in Irish Catholic neighborhood in the early 60's was an uncomfortable experience for me being Jewish. Attending a Yeshiva or as the Rough Gentile kids would call "JEW SCHOOL" made me feel detached and different. Then I came upon this movie totally by accident hearing the subject of Jew and Catholic mentioned by Rachel's parents in a scene on the subject that they might move to another Hamlet. I saw these two adorable British Children Rachel and Michael our little centerpieces in this film with an warm affection for each other, laughing and playing putting religious differences aside except for the final burial arrangement's for a pet mouse. The innocence and heart warming feeling you get from watching their friendship grow is something to savor. Michael and Rachel learn about each other as Micheal attends Synogogue on Saturday and Racheal attends a Sunday Catholic Mass. They also have plans to go on a boat trip down the Thames but I'll leave that part up to you the viewer. The truth is that love and friendship should not be quashed due to racial or ethnic differences and when you do meet that special person learn about their culture, embrace all you can about their differences,and equally share your own experiences with that special someone. Most schools in America show the film to kill a Mockingbird to teach students about racism and the unjust profiling surrounding that doctrine. This movie shows religious differences in a very positive light. I think all grammar school children today should see Hand In Hand as required viewing. Watch listen and learn and I'm sure the children who view this epic masterpiece of childhood innocence will come out thinking differently when it comes to religious differences.
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Profoundly touching, on many levels
j c5 March 2012
Where do I begin..... I watched this movie as a young boy on the CBS Children's Film Festival and the event was burned indelibly in my mind. I was about the same age as the characters in the movie, and to say the movie touched me would be an understatement. Every so often, typically while reminiscing about my childhood, this movie would come to mind. I often wondered what the name of the movie was and assumed I'd never know, that the film would be lost to me forever. Imagine my surprise to discover a link to the movie while reading an article about Kukla Fran and Ollie!

I'm a middle aged man but can remember vividly the effect this movie had upon me. And to this day, it is still with me, as vividly as the moment I first watched it. I also see I'm not alone in the way it touched me and am not ashamed to say I'm moved to tears at having finally discovered the name of this jewel of a movie. I am SO grateful to finally know it's name.
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A childhood remembrance from a Saturday afternoon.
copper19636 August 2006
Great film for teaching tolerance in the classroom. No heavy handedness here. Hosted by Fran (a human) and two hand puppets, Kukla and Ollie, the CBS Children's Film Festival was the Fort Knox of family film fare from around the world. All these years later, I still have a strong feeling for this charming movie. By the 80's, however, I had forgotten the title. So, while at college, I was able to dig up some old volumes of New York Times movie reviews and unearthed it. I will not forget it again.

Many of my thoughts on this film are cloudy. Some are trapped in another time and place. Maybe even completely wrong. In any case, let me throw some out there and see if any stick. In modern day England, a Catholic boy and a Jewish girl develop a friendship despite opposition from their elders. Angry and confused, they head off--like Huckleberry Finn--on a dangerous trek down a river in some type of raft. The raft tips over and dumps them into the water. The movie is cloaked in flashbacks. The scenes which remain vivid in my memory involve the parallel visits the children make to each others houses of worship. Out of respect, the boy wears a Yamulka to the Synagogue. And to return the favor, the girl drapes a white handkerchief over her hair in the Catholic Church. I do recall the girl being frightened by the "Stations of the Cross." But she comes around when she spots a statue of Mary. Their initial meeting is also sketchy in my mind. I think some kind of schoolyard activity brought them together: perhaps some bullying by another boy toward the girl. And the ending is up in the air. I think it ended happily. But I'm simply not sure. This movie needs to be released on DVD. Why the hold up?
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Am I thinking of the right film?
wiley2584 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I spent a long time on Google trying to track down this film after discussing it with a friend. Is this the one where the little boy and girl go to each other's church services and are terrified by them? Do they set off attempting to sail down the river to Africa in a little inflatable boat.

If so, could somebody PLEASE tell me how the film ended? I recall watching it (clears throat) years ago but missed the ending. As I recall the boat capsized, and the boy ran for help thinking he'd killed his friend. The scene of him running down the street was also how the film began and the rest was in flashback.

I've never seen the film again and not knowing how it ended has bugged me for nearly 40 years.

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A real blast from the past
john boy hall28 January 2005
I was born in 1952, so would have been 8 years old when this film was released. I, like many of my generation growing up in post-war London where money was very tight, was lucky enough to visit the local Gaumont cinema in Camden Town every week for 'Saturday morning pictures' I am fairly sure that this was where I saw Hand in Hand. I only ever saw it once, but it must have left a lasting impression on me for me to still remember it after all these years. I would like to ask all your members please, if anyone knows where I can get a copy of it from, would they kindly contact me the following e-mail address john.a.c.hall@fluor.com One lovely scene I do recall, is deep into the film, when the two characters, that despite everything, have now become inseparable and walk through a lush green field holding hands. A marvellous film of children when I was a child myself.
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