Friday, July 9, 2010

Children’s Film Foundation films: Scramble 1970, Hide and Seek 1972, The Hostages 1975

From the Children’s Film Foundation website: “The Children's Film & Television Foundation, then the Children's Film Foundation, was set up with the support of Lord Rank in 1951. Its remit was to make films specifically for children to be screened at Saturday morning matinees and used in schools.”

There were a ton of these movies made in England. But now it seems as though they’re impossible to get! Not sure why, as from my research many adults over there have fond memories of watching them. There were only 8 put out some years back on DVD, in 4 volumes, and ONE of the ones Robin was in (Hide and Seek) was on volume 2. STILL it’s hard to find! The set was put out under the name of “Saturday Morning Pictures” and guess what, the guy who’d sold me the entire series of “Please Sir!” had that listed on his leaflet he sent out with my purchase. He listed it as: “Saturday Morning Pictures, 6 Films.” Whoo-eee, I thought, jackpot! I emailed him asking exactly which 6 films they were. As helpful as ever, he emailed back and said he didn’t have title info. Sigh. But, it was cheap, £1.95, so I purchased it anyway. Worst comes to worst, at least I still have 6 children’s films to show my son.

And guess what? “Hide and Seek” was NOT on it. Typical. What was (for anyone collecting these things): “Adventures of Hal 5” from 1957 and “Egghead’s Robot” from 1970 (both on vol 1 of “Saturday Morning Pictures”). “Go Kart Go” from 1963 and “A Hitch in Time” from ? (both from vol 3) and two others that were unlisted "extras" on the “Saturday Morning Pictures” DVD series: “The Magnificent 6 ½: Ghosts and Ghoulies” and “The Magnificent 6 ½: A Good Deed in Time”.

I noticed that a FEW of the CFF films can be seen on YouTube, but so far I don’t see the ones with Robin there. Will a kindly person out there please upload them there, if you have them? Thanks. Until then, all I can give you is the CFF’s website’s synopsis of them:

SCRAMBLE:

Jimmy Riley, who has been in trouble with the Police, is befriended by members of a schoolboys' scramble club and given a job in a garage run by the club organiser. Unfortunately, his previous associates interfere with his efforts to start a new life. Robin plays “Lennie”

Ooooh just found a better review of Scramble at: http://www.tvcream.co.uk/?p=9252 :
“Jimmy Riley, who has been in trouble with the police, makes friends with Colin and Brian Buxton, both keen scramblers at a schoolboys’ scramble club. The club’s organiser gives Jimmy a job in his garage, where Jimmy builds his own bike, Lennie and Cliff, old friends of Jimmy’s, steal wealthy Mr Hepplewhite’s car. Mr Hepplewhite buys his son, Oscar, a bike, which he has no idea how to control. Next week when the scramblers are away, Jimmy – left behind – finds the crooks with the car but will not join in with them. Oscar’s bike, again out of control, crashes into the barn. Lennie and Cliff escape in the car, but are caught by Jimmy and Colin on their bikes. Cue lots of freeze-framing of bikes in mid air, to a pumping rock – or more likely high octane skiffle – soundtrack.”

Apparently, “Scramble” was shown in the States on the CBS Children’s Film Festival with Kukla, Fran and Ollie (puppets) hosting. I vaguely remember watching some of those as a kid, but don’t know if I saw them all. http://kukla.tv/cbs.html

HIDE AND SEEK:

Keith absconds from an Approved School in the hope that his father will take him to Canada. But Keith's father seems more interested in robbing a bank. Robin plays a “fake police constable”.

AUGUST 5, 2011 UPDATE! I have now seen "Hide and Seek" and have reviewed it here!

THE HOSTAGES:

Children on lonely farm outwit escaped Dartmoor prisoners. Robin plays prisoner “Terry Sladden”

AUGUST 12, 2011 UPDATE! I have now seen "The Hostages" and have reviewed it here!



(all photos “borrowed” from the CFF website!)

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