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Jim's Gift (1996)

A young boy receives a magical VCR with the power to replay the past and preview the future, and finds his comfortable middle-class existence thrown into complete disarray.


Bob Keen


Tony Clarke, Sylvia Wickham (novel)


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Credited cast:
Jean Boht Jean Boht ... Mrs. Leaver
Doug Bradley ... Mr. Winthrop
Daniel Burke Daniel Burke ... Jim 4 years old
Jennifer Calvert ... Mrs. Totteridge
Sean Connolly ... Mr. Arthur T. Bowen
Sarah Cronin-Stanley Sarah Cronin-Stanley ... Dogs Home Attendent (as Sarah Cronin)
Sara Dee ... Broadcaster Sadie Broad
Nick Frost ... Wally
Joe Garner Joe Garner ... Removal Man
Ann Gosling Ann Gosling ... Karen
Danny Green Danny Green ... Bully's Mate
Amy Griffin Amy Griffin ... Karen 8 years old
Chris Jury ... Mr. Totteridge
Robert Llewellyn ... The Stranger
Ann Micklewhite Ann Micklewhite ... Reporter / Photographer


A young boy receives a magical VCR with the power to replay the past and preview the future, and finds his comfortable middle-class existence thrown into complete disarray.

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Dandelion Films See more »
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Did You Know?


The Stranger: [on the video after Jim is injured by a swing in the park. The Stranger is a park-keeper] That's not very good is it, only getting a lollipop. What if you lose your head, will you get a packet of wine gums?
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References Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993) See more »


You and Me
Music by Martin Pavey
Lyrics by Sara Dee
Vocals by Jamie Hartman
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User Reviews

Quirky oddity
19 December 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

JIM'S GIFT is a quirky, little-seen British children's film that was originally broadcast on British TV back in 1996 (although on what channel I'm not sure). It's a sci-fi fantasy about a bullied kid who picks up an old VCR at a car boot sale only to discover that it has the power to foretell the future.

It's actually a pretty decent premise and JIM'S GIFT isn't a bad film at all despite the very low budget. Certainly it's a film constrained by the poor acting of the child stars and the obvious limitations of the special effects and such, but I think as a whole the story works very well and is sufficiently 'wacky' to appeal to kids. Obviously, it also has a huge retro/nostalgia appeal for modern viewers who can recall the old days of massive video recorders, horn-rimmed glasses, dodgy fashions, and the like. Checking out the posters on the protagonist's bedroom wall is a delight in itself.

Cast-wise, the only notable stars are a cameoing Doug Bradley, and Robert Llewellyn. The latter goes way over the top in a rather embarrassing turn that requires him to gurn and mug at the camera throughout, which is a pity. The film also features bit parts from various UK TV faces, and the IMDb reports that Nick Frost is in it, although I couldn't see much of him (I think he might have played one of the reporters outside the house).

The special effects are cheesy and dated, which is all in good fun, and the presence of a lovable Jack Russell as one of the key players is a highlight. A number of different sub-plots mix and match together leaving this a rather watchable creation, although some of the humour is very silly if you're an adult viewer. A bike chase through the streets of Rickmansworth is handled particularly well and was a real highlight for this viewer.

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