PLUS: FRONT LINE KIDS
NEWLY RESTORED WITH SUBTITLES
and an exclusive interview with ANNEKE WILLS
Renown Pictures present Child’s Play (made in 1952 and released in 1954), a science-fiction comedy film about children who manage to split the atom! What could possibly go wrong? Never before released on DVD, this nostalgic 1950s film portrays a sweet and innocent view of post-war childhood and features early performances by Anneke Wills and Christopher Beeny.
Run time: 66 minutes
Directed by: Margaret Thomson
Stars: Christopher Beeny, Ernest Scott, Patrick Wells, Ian Smith, Anneke Wills, (as Anneke Willys), Peter Sallis, Wendy Westcott, Peter Martyn, John Sharp, Elain Sykes, Dorothy Alison, Carl Jaffe, Ingeborg von Kusserow, Ballard Berkeley.
Produced by: Herbert Mason
Written by: Don Sharp
Filmed at Southall Studios and on location.
What happens when a bunch of unruly children get their hands on an atomic chemistry set? They manage to split the atom and thereby create a new form of popcorn! Mischief soon follows when their little enterprise goes global, despite the interference of a suspicious local detective in this family-friendly adventure. A charming, nostalgic trip to childhood in 1950s Britain, this classic film was directed by Margaret Thomson, previously a prolific director of instructional horticultural, agricultural and medical films for wartime audiences. She went on to work as a casting director at Pinewood Studios, coaching the children on, among other films, Philip Leacock’s Kidnappers (1953). The two children involved (Jon Whitely and Vincent Winter) were awarded honorary Oscars. In the late 1950s she established a production company with her husband Bob Ash, retiring in 1977.
The film features an amazing cast that includes early appearances by future stars including Mona Washbourne (My Fair Lady), Ballard Berkeley (Fawlty Towers) and the beloved Peter Sallis, (Last of the Summer Wine). It’s based on a script by Don Sharp, who also worked on the film as an assistant.
Produced by: Group 3 (1951 – 1955) In 1951 the National Film Finance Corporation (NFFC) helped to set up Group 3, to bring forward new talent. John Grierson and producer/
director John Baxter ran the organisation, producing films funded by the NFFC and Associated British’s distribution arm.
Music by: Antony Hopkins. Cinematography: Denny Densham. Edited by: John Legard.
Production company: Group Three Productions. Distributed by: British Lion Film Corporation (UK).