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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Amazing Mr Blunden


Starring: Laurence Naismith, Lynn Frederick, Diana Dors and Graham Crowden
Second Sight
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: U
Available 11 March 2013

Living off a widow’s pension, Mrs Allen (Dorothy Alison) can’t believe her luck when Mr Blunden arrives at their door and offers her a job as a caretaker for a remote country house. When she arrives at the solicitors with her children Lucy (Lynne Frederick), Jamie (Garry Miller) and baby Benjamin she discovers that oddly the job hasn’t even been advertised yet. Still Mrs Allen gets the job and the family move into the house, which is supposed to be haunted. While most think this is a country superstition, Jamie and Lucy actually encounter Sara and Georgie, children who died nearly a hundred years ago. Sara has a book on time travel and with its help Jamie and Lucy travel back to save Sara and Georgie who had died in a fire...

The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972 - 1 hr, 35 min, 01 sec) is a children’s film directed by Lionel Jeffries who adapted it from the original novel by Antonia Barber.

It must have seemed the obvious choice to follow the success of The Railway Children (1970), whose element made it almost the perfect children’s film. Set around the same time period, 1918, the two films have much in common, but while they share many elements, Blunden, feels like an older film and not only due to the costuming, which is for the most part early 19th Century.

Rather the elements which were so endearing in The Railway Children feel less naturalistic in Blunden, which is a real shame, as the film has an excellent supporting cast, including Laurence Naismith as Blunden, Diana Dors as Mrs. Wickens the Housekeeper and Graham Crowden as Mr. Clutterbug.

Having met Sara (Rosalyn Landor) and Georgie (Marc Granger) they recount the sad tale of their deaths, how their mother was killed and that they were left with a rake of an uncle, Bertie (James Villiers), who falls in love with Bella (Madeline Smith). She moves in with her mother, Mrs. Wickens, who determines to get rid of the children for their inheritance.

Do the time travellers save the children? Well what do you think? It would have been more interesting to see Sara and Georgie burn; it would have made for some difficult and traumatic conversations with young children.

The picture is a little grainy, but this would have resulted from how the original was filmed, rather than some inherent flaw in the transfer, the picture is presented in 16: anamorphic widescreen. The disc contains no extras.

Taken on its own merits this is a charming film, well-acted with some nice performances from the children. Eagle eyed viewers will spot shots which have almost been replicated from The Railway Children, but without the same level of emotional pull.


Charles Packer

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