February 24, 2017


Whistle Down the Wind – 1961 | 98 mins | Drama | B&W


Plot Synopsis

Whistle Down the Wind

Bryan Forbes‘s first film as director is a delightful Keith Waterhouse/Willis Hall adaptation of Mary Hayley Bell’s novel. This classic parable of British cinema is a charming quasi-religious snapshot of childhood innocence.

Set in a grim Lancashire farm community, three impressionable kids (Hayley Mills, Diane Holgate, and Alan Barnes) find an injured fugitive from justice named Arthur Blakey (Alan Bates) sleeping in their barn. Upon awakening the bearded criminal, he takes one look at the children and exclaims: “Jesus Christ!” In their innocence, they assume he is Jesus due to their been sturdy religious upbringing and try to help him. In truth, he is an escaped killer on the run. News that Christ is living in the barn travels quickly to the other children in the village, they bring Blakey food and wine to earn his approval. The kids try to keep the secret from their parents, but when the authorities come around looking for him, the children, remembering Christ’s persecution, do their best to protect their undeserving new friend. When Blakey is betrayed by accident, the police move in to arrest him, by this time his attitude has softened and he surrenders peaceably rather than endanger the lives of any of the children.

Production Team

Bryan Forbes: Director
Ray Simm: Art Direction
Jack Rix: Associate Producer
Arthur Ibbetson: Cinematography
Max Benedict: Editing
Stella Rivers: Makeup Department
Geoffrey Rodway: Makeup Department
Malcolm Arnold: Original Music
Richard Attenborough: Producer
Willis Hall: Script
Keith Waterhouse: Script
Bill Daniels: Sound Department
Alastair McIntyre: Sound Department


Bernard Lee: Mr Bostock
Alan Bates: The Man
Norman Bird: Eddie
Diane Clare: Sunday School Teacher
Patricia Heneghan: Salvation Army Girl
John Arnatt: Superintendent Teesdale
Elsie Wagstaff: Auntie Dorothy
Hamilton Dyce: The Vicar
Howard Douglas: The Vet
Ronald Hines: PC Thurstow
Gerald Sim: Wilcox
Hayley Mills: Kathy Bostock
Alan Barnes: Charles Bostock

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