7.8/10
2,725
46 user 17 critic

Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 6 August 1961 (UK)
When an injured wife murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the owners three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ.

Director:

Bryan Forbes

Writers:

Mary Hayley Bell (original novel), Keith Waterhouse (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Lee ... Bostock
Alan Bates ... The Man
Norman Bird ... Eddie
Diane Clare ... Sunday School Teacher
Patricia Heneghan Patricia Heneghan ... Salvation Army Girl
John Arnatt ... Superintendent Teesdale
Elsie Wagstaff ... Auntie Dorothy
Hamilton Dyce Hamilton Dyce ... The Vicar
Howard Douglas ... The Vet
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ... P.C. Thurstow
Gerald Sim ... Detective
Michael Lees ... 1st Civil Defence Worker
Michael Raghan Michael Raghan ... 2nd Civil Defence Worker
May Barton May Barton ... Villager
Hayley Mills ... Kathy
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Storyline

Little Kathy discovers a man wanted for murder hiding in her family's barn. When she asks him who he is, he says Jesus Christ just before he goes unconscious. Kathy and her siblings are convinced that he is Jesus, and try to hide him from grown-ups. Written by Nasser <NasKU@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Today's hottest young star in her newest... and by far her greatest. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Le vent garde son secret See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Sir Richard Attenborough and Gerald Sim (Detective Wilcox) were brothers-in-law in real-life. Attenborough was married to Sim's elder sister Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death in 2014. Furthermore, Charlotte Attenborough (Child in Final Crowd) is Attenborough's daughter and Sim's niece. See more »

Goofs

In several scenes, but especially when the children are in the barn discussing a name for the cats, the youngest boy can be seen mouthing the other characters lines before he says his own. See more »

Quotes

Kathy Bostock: Who is it?
The Man: [Dejected that he's been discovered] Jeee-sus Christ!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blue Peter: Episode dated 21 August 1961 (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

We Three Kings
(uncredited)
Words and Music by John H. Hopkins (as Reverend John Henry Hopkins,, Jr.)
Incorporated into incidental music
See more »

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User Reviews

superb, superior children's film
11 January 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The original story, before Andrew Lloyd-Webber americanised it (and ruined it, IMO), was written by Hayley Mills' mother, Mary Hayley Bell, and starred Hayley as a Northern girl who thinks she finds Jesus Christ returned to Earth and living in her father's barn. In fact the man is a convict on the run (beautifully played by Alan Bates, one of his best early roles).

The girl and her sister and little brother (Alan Barnes, a superb performance) cosset the man and plot to keep him secret from the adults, because of what happened to him 'last time'. The man in turn is bewildered by the increasing adultation and attention of the neighbouring kids.

One of the strongest points of the story, aside from the contention that religion really couldn't cope with the return of Christ, is the developing attraction between the pre-teen Mills and Bates. This is understated but unmistakable, and owes a lot to Hayley's talent when she was a child actress. The music by Matthew Arnold is superb and Bryan Forbes' direction is sympathetic and cleverly done.

Perhaps the final symbolism is overdone but 'Whistle' is an excellent film that lingers long in the memory.


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