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Whistle Down The Wind [DVD]

124 customer reviews

Price: £14.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Bates, Bernard Lee, Norman Bird, Diane Clare, Patricia Heneghan
  • Directors: Bryan Forbes
  • Writers: Keith Waterhouse, Mary Hayley Bell, Willis Hall
  • Producers: Jack Rix, Richard Attenborough
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Dec. 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004S8IN
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,008 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A man (Alan Bates) on the run for murder hides out at a nearby barn. Through a series of bizarre twists he is discovered by three children (Hayley Mills, Diane Holgate and Alan Barnes), who believe they have stumbled across Jesus and attempt to keep him hidden from the grown-ups. Based on the novel by Hayley Mill's mother, Mary Hayley Bell.

Synopsis

When a young girl finds an injured man hiding in her father's barn, she asks who he is. Startled by the girl, he exclaims "Jesus Christ!" and falls into an exhausted stupor. His striking resemblance to a picture postcard of Jesus confirms to her and her siblings that it really is Him. The word spreads about "a certain person" amongst the children of the Lancashire village, and secret parcels of food and gifts are brought to nourish and reassure Him. The grown-ups ultimately find out about the terrible confusion the children feel when the Man, who is brought out by the police, is touchingly palpable. An angelic Alan Bates enigmatically plays the Man, who is in fact an escaped prisoner; Hayley Mills plays the delightful eldest child Kathy. Her little brother and sister are played by Diane Holgate, and a particularly loveable and cheeky Alan Barnes, who declares over breakfast that he's eaten "198 eggs since last Easter." This enchanting allegory, written by Mills' mother Mary Hayley Bell, is charming and amusing enough to avoid being sentimental, and has deservedly become a classic.

--This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Molgiati on 29 Jun. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
What an absolutely lovely movie. Three children, two sisters and their brother, who live in a farm, discover a man one day hiding in their barn. They ask who he is, and the man, shocked, utters the exclamation, "Jesus Christ". From then on, the children think the man is Jesus.
The film follows a charming course, which will warm your heart, and at moment, break your heart too. Whistle Down The Wind is a portrait of platonic love between strangers, and the absolute trust children are willing to give adults who, they believe, deserve it.
Not a film to be missed - perfect for watching on a grey, rainy afternoon when there is nothing else to do...and simply poignant.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Technical and Artistic on 23 July 2007
Format: DVD
My late husband and myself watched this film a few times, first at the cinema as young marrieds and later on TV. It is one of those classics like The Sound of Music or The Railway Children which you never tire of and it is a wonderful story of childhood innocence in the days when children were allowed to be children. I too hope they don't attempt to remake this film because Hayley Mills made the part hers same as she WAS the twins in the original Parent Trap whose remake is not the same. Hayley Mills when young was a wonderful talented child actor but of course look who her Father was. Some films are good not only because of superb screenplay and production but because of the actors. I hope some of the upcoming generation will watch and enjoy this film and take a peek into the past and childhood as it was.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Stephen Nightingale on 28 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was one of the schoolchildren who ran on in the closing minutes of the film, to the farm at the foot of Worsaw Hill in Lancashire. There were several takes of this scene, and we alternately ran into the farmyard from along the stream in front, and down a rather steep part of the hill and into the farmyard. Many of the children chosen for disciple parts and principal parts were from Chatburn Primary School. The entire front row in the final gate scene were also Chatburn schoolkids. We were paid ten shillings as extras for each day's shooting. I remember earlier in the year - probably 1960 - Bryan Forbes and Dickie Attenborough came round to the school, and we were all lined up against a wall while they were doing cast selections.

Of course the film was a big hit locally when it premiered (at the Odeon in Burnley). It still is, as most people in the surrounding villages are related to someone who was in it.

It was a long time before I was able to develop a proper adult opinion of 'Whistle'. What strikes me now is how opinion in various reviews I have seen, and discussed, splits along the lines of the division of opinion among the protagonists. Having once 'identified' The Man as Jesus, even in spite of ("adult") evidence to the contrary, Kathy and Nan, and apparently also the disciples, persist in believing that he was Jesus and is being persecuted all over again. Charlie is the lone dissenter, who interprets the evidence of his senses and concludes "It's not Jesus. It's just a fella". So the overall flavour of the film from an analytical perspective is that in the matter of religious faith, presentation of contrary facts is completely irrelevant to the persistence of the belief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kentishmaid on 1 May 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film many years ago when I was a teenager & it found it very moving; I never forgot it. Several decades later & I decided to buy the DVD & have today just watched it again. I still think this is a wonderful film with fantastic child actors, but had forgotten how funny some of the children are, particularly Charles, the youngest son - he has some great lines & is a cracking little actor - he almost stole the film. I love that the children were chosen from the local school so that their accents are authentic. In some ways I find it hard to watch as you see how much harder & basic life was in the 1950s & 60s & how different attitudes were to children then, not that they were cruelly treated but just that children were treated & spoken to differently then & there doesn't seem much tenderness shown to the 3 children, but that is with 21stC sensibilities. When I first watched this I didn't see this as I was living in that era although thankfully not motherless. Athough I think that today so many children & teenagers are pampered and infantalised to the extent that many of them seem incapable of crossing the road safely, I for one think it is progress that we understand so much more about children's emotional health & are kinder to children. For me the most heart wrenching moment is at the end when Kathy is standing on her own after Alan Bates character has been led away ; she looks so desolate & all I could think was that she had no mother to turn to & to hug her. In fact I feel that the reason Kathy is so ready to believe that Alan Bates is Jesus is because her own mother is dead & "in heaven". The only thing that didn't ring true to me was the children's father.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jamie P. Kitson on 15 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Proof, if it were needed, that terriific films can be made at little cost if they have strong characters, a good story, a sharp script and convincing acting. More than anything else, this film is sweet but in no way encumbered by mawkish sentimentality. It captures the innocence of childhod beautifully, and thank God for that.
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