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Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World (1989)

Somewhere in England, in the Autumn of 1955, a widowed father and his son live an idyllic life together. Only their gas station happens to sit on a piece of land that a local developer ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... William Smith
... Victor Hazell
... Danny
... Doc Spencer
... Lord Claybury
... Mr. Snoddy
... Miss Hunter
... Rabbetts
... Captain Lancaster
... Tallon
Bill Armstrong ... Springer (as William Armstrong)
Ceri Jackson ... Mrs. Clipstone
James Walker ... Vicar
Phil Nice ... Postman
Anthony Collin ... Wheeler


Somewhere in England, in the Autumn of 1955, a widowed father and his son live an idyllic life together. Only their gas station happens to sit on a piece of land that a local developer wants to buy. And when he won't take no for an answer, and sets government inspectors and social works onto Danny and his father, Danny and his father decide to get even with Hazell and his pheasant- shooting friends in a manner in keeping with their own family tradition. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

29 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daantje de wereldkampioen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the Anthony Horowitz novel Russian Roulette, a former headmaster likes to drink; that may have been inspired by the headmaster of this story Mr Snoddy, who drinks gin to cope with his abusive wife. See more »


Captain Lancaster: This isn't a school! It's a bear pit! The most disgusting shambles I've ever seen! I'm resigning, do you hear me? As of now!
Mr. Snoddy: Good!
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Referenced in The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Superb Dahl Adaptation
30 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

I revisited this film, having caught some of it on television not long after it's release. I was seeking a bit of charming nostalgia and wasn't disappointed.

The storyline, quite faithfully enacting one of Dahls less fanciful but nonetheless entertaining novels means it has class in spades, and I feel the positive reviews this goes alongside give a good account of the film's merits.

What I would add though is the feeling that this fim stands above many other Dahl adaptations because of the low-key way it was produced, acted and directed. We don't see any of the usual fantastical sequences found in more modern or big budget Dahls, instead we find a sweet little drama played out without fanfare, but with great sympathy toward both the characters and the original book. The headmaster is... masterful in his understatement, as are some of the other minor players, the Policeman too.

It's not a gag fest and it's not syrupy or overly sentimental (I think the word 'charming' is the more appropriate adjective here). The pairing of real life father and son works too, and I was surprised to see the young Samuel Irons hasn't gone on to act further, as he showed promise here.

Anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining bit of understated British nostalgia. What's not to like?

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