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Sammy Going South [DVD] [1963]

30 customer reviews

Price: £9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
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£9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Sammy Going South [DVD] [1963] + A High Wind in Jamaica [DVD] [1965] + Mandy [DVD] [1952]
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Product details

  • Directors: Alexander Mackendrick
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jun. 2010
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VD5S4W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,940 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Early 1960s adventure drama set in Africa. After narrowly escaping a bomb blast that destroys his home and kills both of his parents in Port Said, Egypt during the Suez crisis, ten-year-old Sammy (Fergus McClelland) decides to walk to Durban in South Africa to find his only living relative, an aunt he has never met. As he makes his 4500-mile journey across Africa, Sammy has all kinds of adventures including a run-in with the slave trade, and is forced to survive on his wits alone. Edward G. Robinson co-stars as Cocky Wainwright, a wily old diamond smuggler who befriends Sammy.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Fergus McClelland on 1 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
It's amazing to think how many years have passed since I was filming Sammy Going South in Africa and England in 1962. At the time, I had fun and learned o much from so many experts. Sandy MacKendrick had directed a lot of the best films of the 50's in England and Sammy was the most expensive film ever made by a British company at the time - so Bryanston Films (after Bryanston Squre in London where Sir Michael Balcon had his offices) joined with 7 Arts from America and the whole project took off. Sandy was a perfectionist and studied traumatised children in foster homes before making the film.

It was many years before I realised what a deep and dark classic was blended in with a simple family film.

I don't think you will be disappointed when you buy it. I KNOW I won't be. And NO, I will not make a penny from the release, I am just happy to know it is out there for new generations, and for all the people who have written to me over the years wanting to see it.

Have fun.

Fergus

Fergus McClelland
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David Rayner on 29 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Filmed over six months from May to November, 1962, on picturesque locations in Africa and at Shepperton Studios, England, "Sammy Going South" is a truly remarkable and wonderfully acted film directed with consummate skill by Alexander Mackendrick. Chosen as The Royal Performance Film of 1963, the film covers a five months period from November, 1956 to March, 1957. Ten years old English boy and only child Sammy Hartland (Fergus McClelland) lives in an apartment block in Port Said with his English parents. It is the start of hostilities in the Suez crisis and Sammy is out playing when the RAF launch the first bombing raid on Port Said. Sammy runs home to find that his parents, along with some Egyptians, have been killed when a bomb hit the apartment block. The Egyptians he thought were his friends turn on him because he is English and, lucky to escape being killed, he runs away, heartbroken; penniless and completely alone. He knows that he has an Aunt Jane, his mother's sister, who runs a hotel in Durban, South Africa and so, with only a toy compass to guide him and the irrepressible optimism of a ten year old, he starts his journey south on foot to travel to Durban, five thousand miles away at the other end of the African continent. The adventures he has and the people he meets en route form the story.

On his first night out, he is found sleeping on a sand dune in the middle of the Egyptian desert by a Syrian peddler (Zia Mohyeddin) who is sexually attracted to him and wants to have his way with him (the British Board of Film Censors asked for cuts to be made in these scenes before they would give the film a "U" certificate and the producers had to comply...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the possibly unexpected developments in the DVD business in the last couple of years has been the appearance on disc of 50's/ 60's films that hardly, if ever, get shown on TV. Many of these are at least worth watching once, and there are some occasional gems. This is certainly one of them. I only heard about it from a mailing from the firm MovieMail (don't tell Amazon!).

As other reviewers have done a fine job, I don't think I need to go on at any great length about this superb film. But one point I would make is that the only acting credit on the front of the DVD case is Edward G Robinson. Now Robinson gives a fine performance, and of course is the 'big' name to sell the film, but he only appears half way through the film. From the very beginning we see 12 year old Fergus McClelland (as 10 year old Sammy) in virtually every scene, as the young boy orphaned in Egypt. It is no exaggeration to say that McClelland carries the entire film; an astonishing performance. I recommend everyone to read Fergus's, (now a grown-up!), own review and the subsequent comments as they reveal a great deal about the making of the film.

I found it a most moving film, serious in nature but not without humour; beautifully photographed, largely on location in Africa, by cinematographer Erwin Hillier. And the transfer to DVD is a very good one, and in the correct widescreen ratio.

An absolute gem which you must see. There will I am sure be more 'classic' British films coming to light, but I very much doubt if a more rewarding one than this will be found.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 July 2010
Format: DVD
Well, well, it is not often you see a review on Amazon from one of the principal actors in the original film, and Fergus McLelland (two L's) was certainly that, giving a very fine performance and the great Edward G Robinson a run for his money in the acting stakes. Who can blame anyone for wanting to lunch out on that fine achievevement, not that he needs too, given that he now gives talks on public speaking in such diverse places as Iran. Fergus also contributes an interesting interview on this DVD. He talks of his experiences during the making of the film, and of especial interest were his illuminating comments about Robinson who was multi lingual and seemed to be a warm hearted individual who would remember and talk to a Claridges porter who he remembered from many years past. Fergus demonstrates that even if he is not acting these days he can certainly still talk very well, the film serving as a fine apprenticeship for that skill.

The film itself concerns Sammy an 11 year old boy who is orphaned during the Suez crisis, who decides to travel from Port Said to Durban, some 5,000 miles away. Like you do! The journey becomes a sort of rights of passage for the grieving youngster. He meets many different characters who befriend him for a variety of reasons, mostly for their own gain. But he also finds true friendship in a surprising source. We watch as Sammy travels through the diverse and magical landscapes of Africa, where much of the film was clearly made. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty, and is happier in the Sudan travelling with the ebony coloured locals, rather than in 1st class with other Europeans as they cruise up the Nile. This is what makes Sammy so accessible and likeable.
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