On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise...
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Four children (the Swallows) on holiday in the Lake District sail on their own to an island and start a war with rival children (the Amazons). In the meantime, a mysterious man on a houseboat accuses them of a crime they did not commit.
Coot Club and its companion story, The Big Six, are based on the celebrated Swallows & Amazons series of childrens' books written by Arthur Ransome. For anyone who loves sailing and ... See full summary »
On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise this has been the territory of two other girls who sail the Amazon, and the scene is set for serious rivalry.Written by
The film was submitted for classifying to the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) on Monday 10th December 1973 and passed with no cuts as a "U" classified certificate picture which is the equivalent of a general classification. See more »
When the children are fishing from the boat the fish that John catches is very clearly already dead when he catches it. See more »
Reasonable, but not fantastic, film of a great book
I read all the Arthur Ransome books as a child, and re-read them recently as an adult, but until today had not seen this film.
It's well filmed, with only minor plot adaptations (although large chunks are missed out), and the scenery and period details are especially well done. The boats look good!
The chunks missed out from the original story do give the film a slightly "chopped" feeling - it's difficult sometimes to work out how the characters got where they are.
The acting lets the film down a bit, I think. The best of the Swallows is Titty by quite a long way - Susan is OK, but nothing special, and the boys are both awful - the worst kind of declamatory child acting. The Amazons are pretty good, but as they feature less in the book the bad acting of John and Roger really does spoil the film a bit. Odd that of these actors, John seems to have gone on to have the best career!
The thing which the film lacks most, perhaps inevitably, is the narrative. Watching the film made me realize just how the skillful prose of the books draws you into another world - something the film doesn't quite manage.
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