Four children (the Swallows) on holiday in the Lake District sail on their own to an island and start a war with rival children (the Amazons). In the meantime, a mysterious man on a houseboat accuses them of a crime they did not commit.
On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise... See full summary »
Coot Club and its companion story, The Big Six, are based on the celebrated Swallows & Amazons series of childrens' books written by Arthur Ransome. For anyone who loves sailing and ... See full summary »
Joe, Bill and Pete are members of the "Coot Club", spending most of their time on the river in their little boat, the "Death and Glory." Trouble starts when they are blamed for setting ... See full summary »
The Walker children are looking out to the Island through their telescope at there holiday in the lake District and they borrow a boat called Swallow and they encounter the Amazon Pirates ... See full summary »
About two different groups of children who encounter one another on a small piece of land in a lake which they both live by. Both groups try to claim the land as theirs and do so role playing as two sets of enemy pirates. Whilst this happens they encounter another boat and a stranger, they must now work together to work out who he is and why he is there, but have they got themselves involved in something much bigger?
Based on the book of the same name by Arthur Ransome, published in 1930 and set in the same location of the Lake District in the summer of 1929. The book does not have a spy story within it, although 'Captain Flint' is still the uncle of the Blacketts and does live on a houseboat. See more »
The corned beef tins in the Post Office are clearly labeled 'Pemmican', which is nonsense - Pemmican is something quite different (a greasy Native American concoction). In the book the children call corned beef 'Pemmican' ( and lemonade 'grog') to add to the feeling of having an adventure. See more »
"Better Drowned Than Duffers. If Not Duffers Won't Drown"
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Updated but not quite ruined. Would Arthur Ransome approve?
For many of a certain age, Swallows and Amazons is embodied in the 1974 film, shot on the lakes and around the towns that Ransome knew and with a script quite faithful to the book. John, Susan, Titty, Roger, Nancy and Peggy were all terrifically well spoken and there was never so much as a strong word shared between them. The lakes were sunny and idyllic and nothing, not even a false accusation and a burglary could really upset the peace. Let's be clear, this remake sheds much of this and introduces more peril and to be honest, a more accurate representation of sibling interaction the world over.
The saying in the Lakes is that they don't have poor weather, you just have the wrong clothing for the current conditions. Maybe in Ransome's memory, the sun did always shine, but for anyone who has spent any time in the area will know exactly how the lakes remain quite so full and the countryside quite so green. This is faithfully presented in this version and all the better it looks for it.
The writers have chosen to add slightly more animation to the original story line, but have done so in an innovative way by calling on Ransome's real past. He spent long periods in Russia during the Great War and it is widely understood he was a spy as much as a newspaper reporter. Bearing in mind that Ransome based Captain Flint on himself, this seems perfectly acceptable. Right from the off, the action steps up a gear and the finale is to be honest, a little contrived. It does however, add another facet to the story line, as well as a little more back story and purpose to Captain Flint's life.
The cast is generally very good and the kids do a great job of playing slightly restless, bickering siblings, exploring not only their surroundings, but also the limits of their capabilities. One thing Ransome was always very clear on was that there could not be any "frisson" between the older Swallows and Amazons and it is good to see that at least this aspect has been respected by the writers.
The scenery is still beautiful, the production values high and on the whole, the editing keeps the pace jogging along quite nicely. I do have a problem though. Just who is the film aimed at? No doubt a die-hard bunch of 50-somethings will watch it, dragging children and grandchildren along in tow, but compared to the current crop of fantasy action adventures, it still feels quite tame and slow moving.
One for a rainy afternoon maybe, but possibly not destined to become a modern classic.
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