A Polish sailor on leave in Cardiff murders his unfaithful girlfriend. A lonely young girl is a witness and takes the gun to impress her playmates.
A strange friendship then grows between the girl and the gunman as the two go on the run and the police net around them tightens.
Hayley Mills gives an astonishing performance here in her film debut, playing the young girl who befriends murderous sailor Horst Buchholz and hinders detective John Mills’s investigation at every turn.
The “kid and the killer” plot had cropped up regularly during the 1950s and this variation has nothing new to say on the subject. But J Lee Thompson (always a fine director of children) surrounds 12-year-old Hayley with credible characters and faithfully captures the sights and sounds of Cardiff’s docklands.
Det Sgt Harvey
J Lee Thompson