Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1950s Yellow Balloon, The (1953)

Yellow Balloon, The (1953)

A young boy dies while playing in the ruins of a London neighbourhood destroyed during the blitz.

His friend, who was with him at the time and blames himself, is blackmailed by a murderer on the run and is forced to steal from his parents to fund the fugitive’s escape or be accused of causing his friend’s death.


A typical example of the many dour dramas churned out by postwar British cinema.

Exploiting the period’s austere atmosphere and run-down landscapes, it owes much to such Hollywood “child in peril” pictures as The Window.

In his second film as writer/director, J Lee Thompson would have done better to focus on the relationship between timid pre-teen Andrew Ray and fugitive killer William Sylvester, but he can’t resist throwing in a social message and a family crisis that slows the action and dilutes the suspense.

Kenneth More flops as the doting dad, but Kathleen Ryan makes a monstrously shrewish mother.

yellowballoonFrankie Palmer
Andrew Ray
Emily Palmer
Kathleen Ryan
Ted Palmer
Kenneth More
Len Turner
William Sylvester
Constable Chapman
Bernard Lee
Sunday School Teacher
Veronica Hurst
Hy Hazell
Sandra Dorne
Campbell Singer
Sidney James
Mrs Jessie Stokes
Marjorie Rhodes
Eliot Makeham
Sid the spiv
Peter Jones
Stephen Fenemore

J. Lee Thompson