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Swallows and Amazons (2016)

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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.


Philippa Lowthorpe


Andrea Gibb, Arthur Ransome (based on the book by)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby McCulloch Bobby McCulloch ... Roger Walker
Dane Hughes Dane Hughes ... John Walker
Kelly Macdonald ... Mrs. Walker
Abbie Glozier Abbie Glozier ... Baby Vicki
Megan Glozier Megan Glozier ... Baby Vicki
Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen ... Tatty Walker (as Teddie Malleson-Allen)
Orla Hill ... Susan Walker
Andrew Scott ... Lazlov
Dan Renton Skinner Dan Renton Skinner ... Zukin (as Dan Skinner)
Rafe Spall ... Jim Turner / Captain Flint / Polski the Parrot
Harry Enfield ... Mr. Jackson
Jessica Hynes ... Mrs. Jackson
Fenella Woolgar ... Miss Crummock
Jack Ibbotson Jack Ibbotson ... Postman
Richard Bremmer ... Old Billy


About two different groups of children who encounter one another on a small piece of land in a lake which they both live by. Both groups try to claim the land as theirs and do so role playing as two sets of enemy pirates. Whilst this happens they encounter another boat and a stranger, they must now work together to work out who he is and why he is there, but have they got themselves involved in something much bigger?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Swallows forever. See more »


Adventure | Drama | Family | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

BBC Films | Harbour Pictures | See more »





Release Date:

14 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Golondrinas y amazonas See more »

Filming Locations:

Yorkshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The espionage elements added to the film are inspired by the fact that the author of the book, Arthur Ransome, had actually worked for British Intelligence, spying on the Russians. The code name "S76" that appears in the film was Arthur Ransome's actual code name. See more »


In the film's title sequence as the Walker family travel north, the children's map of their train journey shows that a huge lake over 100km across has appeared between the cities of Birmingham and Chester, somehow drowning the Midlands Plateau. See more »


Nancy Blackett: Shut up, you donkey.
See more »


Version of Swallows and Amazons (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

A reminder that a summer spent outdoors is the most memorable of all.
25 August 2016 | by jordanhuntgeneralSee all my reviews

It is this reviewer's humble opinion that British children's literature, with its whimsical nature and picturesque settings, is the best of its kind. It is also this reviewer's opinion that British filmmaking best capitalises on these elements, making for full-length features that are every bit as captivating as their source material.

Set against the backdrop of the 1930s English Lake District (shot on location and realised here in breathtaking aerial views), Swallows and Amazons sees an innocent childhood sailing adventure become embroiled in a sinister conflict of interest between two mysterious parties. Though it preceded Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories it is strikingly similar in tone, and reinforces the notion that childhood detective fiction has been consistently appealing to us from Arthur Ransome's classic novel through to the television adventures of Scooby Doo.

Held up by a veteran supporting cast including Harry Enfield and Kelly McDonald, the young Walker children are all an enthusiastic delight, chiefly responsible for rendering this particular adaptation so cheerily playful for the majority of its running time. Even when the atmosphere shifts and the film must briefly cease to reminisce on the carefree pleasures of our youths, the focus adapts accordingly to challenge the audience's perspective on responsibility; as Rafe Spall's cryptic Jim Turner tells an accountable John Walker, this is not (always) a game.

While the topic of childhood privileges is one which the film has no obligation to comment on directly - the source material predating the advent of smart electronics by a great length of time - there are subtle nods to taking the great outdoors for granted which director Philippa Lowthorpe delivers as contemplative gestures, rather than heavy-handed sermons. Swallows and Amazons is precisely the film that family audiences need in 2016; a reminder that a summer spent outdoors, rather than five inches from a screen, is the most memorable of all.

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