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4.6 out of 5 stars47
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 May 2012
I caught this serial being played in it's entirety at my local theatre during our towns "film week" I went with my 8 year old and it's hard to say who enjoyed it most.

The acting is hammy by todays standards but this added to the charm, I vividly remember the Childrens Film Foundation weekly serials at my local "Saturday Morning Pictures" and read the Famous 5 books as a child and for a short while the years seemed to roll back.

Great family fun and a slice of nostalgia for little more than a fiver.
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on 20 October 2010
This DVD entertained the whole family eager to watch the next episode. It was bought for my 9 year old who is a famous 5 fan. The only disappointment was when I realised that I had unknowingly ordered a DVD in black and white. However my daughter(and the rest of us) loved it. The next DVD has already been ordered for christmas!
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on 4 September 2012
This is the beginning of the Famous Five, a must see for all the many Blyton fans who read the Famous Five books. It contains a beautiful booklet with many photos. The film was made in 1957 in Dorset at the Jurassic Coast and in Corfe Castle Village. I've been there in 2008 and it's still unchanged.
In 1964 "Five have a Mystery to solve" has also been filmed by CFF and is now available on DVD (with a gorgeous booklet as well).

One more tip for Blyton fans.
"Treasure at the Mill" is one of those suspenseful treasure hunt stories that we all loved to read in the fifties and sixties...they don't write such great children's books any longer.

Malcolm Saville was asked by Mary Field (Childrens Film Foundation) to write a book about the Ardleigh Mill near Colchester in Essex and he included the family Pettit (who owned the mill at the time) in his book.

Then CFF made the movie and that is one of the best CFF movies ever.

I can highly recommend the book (it has a map of the area and another map of the mill plus several illustrations) and the DVD (it contains an interview with Merrilyn Pettit who returned to Ardleigh Mill for the bonus material).
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on 16 September 2012
This is very good wholesome family entertainment. Sure it is an old monochrome film, but it has been very well restored, and it keeps fairly close to the original story, not like some more recent versions. Like most Enid Blyton stories written for older children, it is very "middle class", but still a good yarn nevertheless. I always enjoyed these books and her "Adventure" series when I was a child.
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on 17 January 2014
This film was made in 1957 for the Saturday cinema club circuit and consists of eight episodes of 15 minutes, each of the first seven with "cliff-hanger" endings to entice the children to return for next week's showing. There are substantial differences between the film and the book, but the film remains true to the spirit of the original. Enid Blyton personally chose the actors to play the children and they give most enjoyable performances. The new HD transfer produces one of the best quality black and white films I have seen.

Enid Blyton actually wrote the book in 1942 (blissfully ignoring all mention of WWII) but the film is set in the period when it was made. It shows an idealised village where even the fisher-boy has a posh accent and a time when children were well behaved and were respectful of adults. Today's kids will note that even though it was the school holidays Dick happily wore a tie beneath his jersey.

This is a most enjoyable DVD and must be the film which most accurately portrays the Famous Five as Enid Blyton saw them.
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on 2 October 2013
You will be taken back to another time when you were young and the world was there to be explored. The Famous Five books did just that and we enjoyed revisiting them on this charming adventure film with our children. Granny to 5 years will love its fun and innocence. The spirited children get the bad guys of course along with lashings of ginger beer. Enjoy.
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on 4 April 2012
I watched this with my 7 and 8 year-old last night and we all really enjoyed it. They loved the characters coming alive from the book and the suspense, whilst I enjoyed a nostalgic trip back to 1957 when everyone spoke with a terribly English BBC voice and the children were deeply respectful of their parents!!! I loved the Famous Five books as a child and, luckily, this has transferred to my children. The child actors were very good, probably better than the adults, and it was just a really, enjoyable evening watching episodes 1 to 8 back-to-back. No special effects, nothing clever, just simple, honest mystery and suspense. I would happily recommend this DVD. Our particular copy kept changing from black and white to a pinky/purple tinge but I'm not sure whether this is the dvd or our dvd player. Either way it didn't particularly bother us or detract from the story.
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on 15 September 2011
Even though this was black and white and very obviously of a time, my children absolutely loved this. Very good value for money and has helped to really get them into the idea of mysteries & detection. (Children aged 7 & 5)
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on 21 September 2012
My son enjoys all of the Enid B books and thankfully i have kept all mine from the early seventies to the early eighties. Having bought the Enchanted wood on dvd last year, i vowed to leave Enid B stories to books pre 1990 as they had completely re written the story to be politically correct..(Dame Slap has become Dame tickle!!! I kid you not!).

This film thankfully was filmed before the little PC crussaders got involved in re writing classic books. It sticks mostly to the story and yes, it is very middle class, very 1940s/50s but then.....so was Enis Blyton. Its not rocket science. If you want julian to be wearing a hoodie and effing and blinding everywhere then this isnt the film for you. We both thoroughly enjoyed the film and both watched it for what it is. Maybe i will even try another Enid B story on DVD!
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on 12 September 2015
THE BEST FOR A FIRST READ!

Enid’s books were the catalyst which encouraged me to start reading more than 50 years ago. Thank you, Enid. The BBC, many libraries, local authorities and alleged educational experts have been completely wrong about the worth of the Blyton works. I can remember having substantial difficulty obtaining the original books as so many places would not stock them. The stories are great to read for their simplicity and straightforwardness.

When one did find copies of the book they were quite expensive all those years ago but great to own. I loved the letter on the back cover from Enid and the physical appearance of the book which I treasured as a youngster with the way the books were produced then which made them somehow much easier to read.

It’s a delight to read the stories again in middle age although recent editing has diminished some of the memories I have of the original editions and words used then (but I am now getting old). Never mind… these books remain one of my best friends for life: they began my reading adventure so do read these special adventures for yourselves.
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