The Amazing Mr Blunden is an enjoyably spooky story for children based on the Antonia Barber novel The Ghosts. In 1918, impoverished widow and mother Mrs Allen is visited by the solicitor Mr Blunden (Naismith), who offers her a job as a housekeeper at a run-down country estate. But when her children, Jamie and Lucy (Frederick, five years before she became Peter Sellers’s last wife), go exploring through the house and gardens, they discover all is not as it seems. They encounter the ghosts of young Sara and Georgie Latimer, who have travelled forward in time from 1818 to seek their help. It seems their guardians wanted to kill them and it will happen tomorrow (well, tomorrow back in 1818, if you follow) if Jamie and Lucy don’t travel back in time to help.
Surprisingly dark for a children’s film, this spends quite some time dwelling on death, which may upset smaller viewers. And as Sara and Georgie tell their story, we see their lives in flashback, and it’s warts and all – as one recounts how a woman was a ballerina we see the real truth, she worked in a bawdy dance hall.
But if you view this as a pantomime (easily done, as Diana Dors’s turn as the Latimers’ guardian is over-the-top villainess), it has lots to recommend it to viewers over the age of eight.
Is The Amazing Mr Blunden suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The film is generally spooky but over eights shouldn’t find anything too scary about it.