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Friend or Foe (1982)

| Family | April 1982 (UK)
Two children in wartime England find a German fighter pilot.


John Krish


Michael Morpurgo (based on the book by), John Krish

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Bardon ... Jerry
Stacey Tendeter Stacey Tendeter ... Anne
John Holmes John Holmes ... David
Mark Luxford Mark Luxford ... Tucky
Jennifer Piercey Jennifer Piercey ... Miss Evers
Valerie Lush Valerie Lush ... Miss Roberts
Edward Burnham ... Mr. Cooper
Jasper Jacob Jasper Jacob ... German Pilot
Robin Hayter Robin Hayter ... Injured German
Phillip Manikum Phillip Manikum ... Captain (as Philip Manikum)
Prentis Hancock ... Sergeant
Ann Mitchell ... Mrs Hardy
Len Marten ... Seedy Reporter
David Cunningham ... Despatch Rider
Stephen Bent Stephen Bent ... Corporal


In wartime Britain, two boys are looking for a crashed Nazi German plane. One of the boys is rescued from drowning by the pilot of the plane. Should the boys tell the army where the pilot and his wounded companion are hiding? Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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Release Date:

April 1982 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Vän eller ovän See more »

Filming Locations:

Buckinghamshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (archive footage in opening credits)| Color (Colour by)
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Did You Know?


Closing credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional. See more »


Seedy Reporter: If newspapers only printed what was true, we'd be *very* short of stories.
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User Reviews

Marvellous evocation of the reality of the evacuation of children in WW2
21 January 2015 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This excellent film by director John Krish provides a realistic and authentic portrayal of what it was like for the children evacuated from London to the British countryside to avoid the bombing in London during World War II. The countryside filming was done in Buckinghamshire, although the location intended for the story appears to have been the English-speaking part of South Wales, and the schoolmaster has a very profound Welsh accent. One field of cows is, however, largely the same as another, as they might say, or should I say as they might moo. A charming and entertaining tale is the basis for this film, which does not appear to have employed professional actors. But everyone does an excellent job, and they are all entirely convincing. The heroes of the film are two young boys played by the excellent child actors John Holmes and Mark Luxford, who are both absolutely charming and perfect for their parts. They arrive in a country village by train and are taken in by a dairy farmer. They soon become familiar with country life and between helping on the farm and attending the one-room village school, they romp around the fields and woods having a great time. Then one night there is a bombing raid near the village itself and the boys see a German bomber come down. They try to tell the locals, but they are disbelieved. A search finds no evidence of a downed plane, and the boys are criticised for wasting police and Army time. However, the plane had come down in the lake and sunk out of sight. The boys encounter two German airmen hiding in the woods who are the only ones to have survived the crash. One of them saves one of the boys from drowning in the lake. The soldiers both speak English and let the boys go but ask then not to tell. The boys have a serious crisis of conscience, because one of them has lost his father, who was in the Navy and died because his ship was sunk by a German submarine. However, the boys decide to protect the Germans despite their being the enemy, but when one of the Germans injures himself he hands himself over to the boys and lets them 'capture' him, as he needs medical attention. The boys then become local heroes and are on the front page of the local paper. However, there is one more German airman still in the woods, and the dilemma remains. The authenticity of this film is so remarkable that it really ought to be shown to all young people in British schools as an entertaining history lesson. It teaches much more than any textbook could about the subject. And it contains in addition the words of wisdom of one of the boys, who puts the matter bluntly: 'I think war is stupid.'

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