Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Hand in Hand (1961)

Hand in Hand (1961)

7-year-old Rachel Mathias (Loretta Parry) and 9-year-old Michael O’Malley (Philip Needs) strike up a strong friendship and spend most of their time they can together.

Mike’s family is Catholic while Rachel comes from a Jewish family but Michael and Rachel learn about each other as Michal attends Synagogue on Saturday and Rachel attends a Sunday Catholic Mass.

The performances of the two children are outstanding. They confront the scary local shopkeeper Mr Pritchard (Finlay Currie) together, share a pet mouse, and make their own secret hideout in an old shed.

Their collective dreams include going to London to have tea with the Queen, and rafting down the river and off to Africa to go big game hunting.

Although filmed in 1961, Hand in Hand did not receive a theatrical release until April 1963 when it was screened as the supporting feature to The Punch and Judy Man starring Tony Hancock.

The film – shot largely on location in St Albans, Hertfordshire – won 14 international film awards including a special Golden Globe Award for Best Film Promoting International Understanding and the children’s category at the Venice Film Festival.

Rachel Mathias
Loretta Parry
Michael O’Malley
Philip Needs
Father Timothy
John Gregson
Lady Caroline
Sybil Thorndike
Mr Pritchard
Finlay Currie
Rabbi Benjamin
Derek Sydney
Mrs Mathias
Miriam Karlin
Mr Mathias
Arnold Diamond
Mrs O’Malley
Kathleen Byron
Mr O’Malley
Barry Keegan
The Cantor
Martin Lawrence
Miss Roberts
Barbara Hicks
Denis Gilmore
Peter Pike
Susan Reid

Philip Leacock