Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Swallows & Amazons (1973)

Swallows & Amazons (1973)

Four mischievous youngsters go boating while on holiday in the Lake District where they encounter two more children with a boat of their own, and a rivalry develops over a series of escapades.

Lovingly photographed by Denis Lewiston, this is an engaging if sometimes pedestrian adaptation of the Arthur Ransome children’s novel.

Director Claude Whatham clearly revels in the innocence of a 1920s summer, when the four swallows and two amazons embark upon their adventures – clearly pre-Health & Safety as campfires, bow and arrow assaults and firework pranks loom large –  and some of his enthusiasm is clearly evident in the willing performances of his young cast.

He also makes the most of the beautiful sun-dappled Lake District scenery, but the story stubbornly refuses to come to life and, sadly, few modern youngsters will relate to such old-fashioned game-playing.


swallows&amazons_002Mrs Walker
Virginia McKenna
Uncle Jim
Ronald Fraser
Mrs Dixon
Brenda Bruce
Old Billy
Jack Woolgar
swallows&amazons_003Young Billy
John Franklyn-Robbins
Simon West
Zanna Hamilton
Sophie Neville
Stephen Grendon
Kit Seymour
Lesley Bennett

Claude Whatham