The only film version of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book (a new version is in the making for 2011), this British film has rather dated but is still worth catching if you or your little ones are fans of the story.
It’s simple stuff – in the Lake District in 1929, four children are allowed by their mother (McKenna, luminous as ever) to sail their little boat, the Swallow, to a nearby island to set up camp. Unfortunately for them, they soon discover that two girls, who have a boat named the Amazon, think that the island is their territory, and a rivalry between the two camps begins. It’s all rather sweet and very English, stiff-upper-lipped stuff that’s definitely wholesome entertainment for all ages. The kids – played by Simon West, Suzanna Hamilton, Sophie Neville, Stephen Grendon, Kit Seymour and Lesley Bennett – wouldn’t win any acting awards (only Hamilton continued an acting career into adulthood) but it’s cute nonetheless.
Is Swallows And Amazons 1974 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...