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Candleshoe (1977) Online

Candleshoe (1977) Online
Original Title :
Genre :
Movie / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Family
Year :
Directror :
Norman Tokar
Cast :
Jodie Foster,David Niven,Helen Hayes
Writer :
David Swift,Rosemary Anne Sisson
Type :
Time :
1h 41min
Rating :
Candleshoe (1977) Online

Small-time crook Harry Bundage discovers that the old manor house where Lady St. Edmund resides, with three orphans and her butler Priory is the resting place for a hoard of treasure. Unfortunately, he doesn't know where it is. Bundage recruits urchin Casey Brown to dupe Lady St. Edmund into thinking that she is her long-lost granddaughter, so she can search for clues to the location of the treasure. Unbeknownst to Bundage AND her ladyship, Lady St. Edmund is flat broke, and Priory and the children help her ladyship try to keep her home and pride. Joined by Casey, they do all the chores and Priory acts as the butler, gardener, chauffeur and an old major all at the same time!
Complete credited cast:
David Niven David Niven - Priory
Helen Hayes Helen Hayes - Lady St. Edmund
Jodie Foster Jodie Foster - Casey
Leo McKern Leo McKern - Bundage
Veronica Quilligan Veronica Quilligan - Cluny
Ian Sharrock Ian Sharrock - Peter
Sarah Tamakuni Sarah Tamakuni - Anna
David Samuels David Samuels - Bobby
John Alderson John Alderson - Jenkins
Mildred Shay Mildred Shay - Mrs. McCress
Michael Balfour Michael Balfour - Mr. McCress
Sydney Bromley Sydney Bromley - Mr. Thresher
Michael Segal Michael Segal - Train Guard
Vivian Pickles Vivian Pickles - Grimsworthy

Final cinema movie of actress Helen Hayes.

Laurence Olivier was originally considered for the role of Priory. However, David Niven was cast instead.

Jodie Foster turned down the chance to play Violet in Pretty Baby (1978) in order to play Casey.

Screenwriter David Swift, who in the early 1960s directed Pollyanna (1960) and The Parent Trap (1961) for Walt Disney, developed this project for the company and was set to direct it. However, he felt Jodie Foster (then one of the most popular teenage actresses in the country) was all wrong for the part of Casey and stepped down.

Actress Jodie Foster only had three weeks break between the end of production on Freaky Friday (1976) and the start of principal photography on Candleshoe (1977).

The tune played by Grimsworthy on the piano and by the music box is "Greensleeves" (also called "What Child Is This").

The English estate and stately home of "Candleshoe" was portrayed by Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire, England which is the home of British peer Spencer Douglas David Compton, nicknamed "Spenny", the 7th Marquess of Northampton.

After this picture actress Jodie Foster did not appear in another cinema movie for around three years until 1980 when she starred in both Carny (1980) and Foxes (1980).

Actor Bruce Forsyth has said in interviews such as one on a BBC Breakfast show on 23rd May 2013 that he was an early choice to play Priory which was in the end cast with David Niven. Apparently, Forsyth has said that Niven originally had turned down the role as he had not seen the screenplay but later changed his mind.

The age of the Casey Brown character played by Jodie Foster was fourteen. This was the actual age that Foster was around the time the picture was made but Foster had turned fifteen by the time the movie debuted late 1977.

The film was made and released about twenty-four years after its source novel "Christmas at Candleshoe" by Michael Innes had been first published in 1953.

The railway track featured in the film was the heritage Severn Valley Railway that runs between the towns of Bridgnorth, Shropshire and Kidderminister, Worcestershire in the midlands of England.

The character of Bundage portrayed by Leo McKern was inspired by Charles Dickens according to Lawrence Van Gelder of 'The New York Times'.

Actor David Niven plays one role in this movie: Priory. However, this character in turn plays Gipping, John Henry and Colonel Dennis in order to keep up his ruse.

Veronica Quilligan was apparently an eleventh-hour replacement for the role of Cluny. Early promotional stills for the film were released to the press with an entirely different young actress standing alongside the cast dressed in Cluny's costumes.

Final of three cinema movies that actress Helen Hayes made for the Walt Disney Pictures studios during the 1970s. The earlier films were Herbie Rides Again (1974) and One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975).

Leo McKern replaced Harry Andrews in the role of Bundage.

One of Casey's gang members in the first shot of the film is wearing a white T shirt with PIRATES written on it, linking the gang to Captain Joshua, at least in spirit.

The steam train featured in the movie was called "Small Prairie", a GWR 2-6-2T, with registration No. 4566.

Final of four cinema movies that actress Jodie Foster made with the Walt Disney Pictures studios during the 1970s. The feature films include Candleshoe (1977),Freaky Friday (1976), One Little Indian (1973) and Napoleon ja Samantha (1972). During this period, Foster also made a fifth Disney feature title, but made for television, it being the tele-movie Menace on the Mountain (1970), the first of the 70s era batch.

Peggy Ann Clifford was cast in this film but replaced.

The film's "Candleshoe" title refers to an 16th Century English Tudor stately home and country estate where most of the action in the movie takes place.

Teddy and Piggywig, the two toys Lady St. Edmund returns to "Margaret," are original-style Winnie the Pooh and Piglet stuffed animals. (It's often believed that the names were changed due to copyright issues, but as Disney owned the rights to the characters at the time, it's likely that "Teddy" and "Piggywig" were chosen simply as the silly names a small child would choose for her toys).

During the climactic sequence in the Great Hall when the pirate treasure is revealed, the score prominently features part of the theme 'A Pirates Life For Me' from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, composed by George Bruns. The movie score, composed by Ron Goodwin, features parts of the melody from the ride in various different arrangements throughout.

User reviews



I'm not sure exactly why I love this film so much. It's not like it has shockingly wonderful performances, story, or setting. But it never fails to warm my heart and make me smile.

Fans of Jodie Foster will recognize her as the young teenage star of this film. She plays Casey, a foster child and juvenile delinquent. A British con man recognizes her as being strikingly similar to a young heiress who disappeared years earlier and offers her anything she wants if she will pretend to be the missing girl. He is certain that there is a treasure hidden in the house of the girl's grandmother, and he wants Casey to find it for him.

The story of how Casey becomes a part of this odd British family is heartwarming and sweet. It is classic Disney fare, without the pathetic romance that often destroys modern Disney films.

Watch this film if only for David Niven's performance as the butler, gardener, grandmother's best friend, and chauffeur.


I worked at the Disney Studios when this film was made. It was given a wide showing to Studio employees prior to release. At that time there were no "main titles." We were also given a list of potential release titles, the simple "Candleshoe" winning out. The employee comments were overwhelmingly positive and the movie went on to do good business.

One reviewer commented that the movie contained a high level of violence for a live action Disney film. It is no more violent than many such Disney movies (just see the final fight in "Blackbeard's Ghost" for example). There are several general brawls in Candleshoe, (including the climatic battle between the good guys and the bad guys), but it all done tongue-in-cheek; it is totally unobjectionable, and meant purely for fun. This last "battle" is played so broadly in fact that one might even say it nearly goes "over the top."

David Niven is wonderful in a variety of roles, from the butler, to a gardener to a retired army colonel. (The role was originally set for Laurence Oliver.) This was the first of two Niven films for Disney, the other being "No Deposit, No Return."

The nice thing about "Candleshoe" is that it continues to entertain more than 25 years after its release.


I loved this movie as a kid and watched it so much that i had all the lines memorized and wore out the betamax tape. I love David Niven in this movie and it was actually the reason I wanted to see the David Lean movies... my favorite scene is where Lady St. Edmund and Priory share a last dance. Some of the puzzles have remained in my head (For the sunrise student there is treasure among books) and have formed a long-lasting obsession with pirate treasures and real-life hidden treasure stories (oak island and rennes-le-chateau). Too bad movies of this type are no longer being made.


Possibly one of the best family films ever made by Disney. Jodie Foster is brilliant as the wayward teen who's going nowhere. Even at that early age you can see why she has gone on to become one of Hollywoods most successful actresses - she's definitely underrated.

Candleshoe is packed full of memorable one liners that just stick with you for months, even years, following watching this film.

I grew up watching it and have never stopped! Also, 'Grandmother's' accent is perfect, considering the actress herself is American.

Watch this film, you won't be disappointed!

Unfortunately I had to surf the Net and order it from America to get hold of my copy, but if you DO find it to buy, don't hesitate.


Another Disney classic, a definite for young children and a movie I would recommend for families.

The country setting helps this film along as it reinforces the atmosphere being an "old" age film, set in the past, but not to far back. The acting by Jodie Foster in this film is delightful to watch as the tomboy cliché is used but to great effect. Another brilliant performance is by David Niven, the butler, but who undergoes changes in his personality to acquire different identities as to accompany his mistress in disguise, giving her a sense of many friendships.

Any fight scenes are classically in Disney fashion, amusing and inventive defences and preceding this, even a car chase magnificently manoeuvred by Mr. Prairy the butler (Niven)and much to any child's delight.

A film guaranteed to be loved by young children and even appreciated by the open-minded of older years but without a doubt, a family film enjoyed by all the family, including the grandparents!!


This movie is the movie that made me truly fall in love with jodie foster! I don't particularly know why but there is just something about her in Candleshoe that is different from even "Freaky Friday". The acting in this movie is generally very good, with stars like David Niven and Helen Hayes (Of course Jodie), to liven up the cast. This movie is great for younger and older audiences! The fight scene at the end is a bit long, but other than that the movie is awesome!


This is one of those movies I know inside out after watching it on HBO every time it was on (which was quite often). These live-action Disney flicks don't seem to get a lot of attention nowadays, but when I was a kid I was more into movies like "Candleshoe" than the animated Disneys.

Obviously the charm of "Candleshoe" is the talent involved. Helen Hayes and David Niven are on hand, and Jodie Foster is splendid as the American orphan who becomes part of a con man's plot to swindle Hayes's Lady St. Edmund out of a fortune that is hidden somewhere in her very own manse. Goaded by Leo McKern, Foster poses as Hayes's long-lost granddaughter in order to gain admittance to the mansion, where she must follow up on a series of clues regarding the hidden treasure's location.

Although definitely made for kids, the best thing about "Candleshoe" is that it's just as fun watching as an adult. The plot has a certain giddy excitement to it--after all, who could resist a treasure hunt in an old mansion?--and David Niven's many disguises are pretty funny (especially his grouchy Scottish gardener who has an amusing argument with Lady St. Edmund). The other kids in the movie are enjoyable, too.

What really strikes me about the film today are the two surprisingly adult scenes between Hayes and Foster. The way Hayes wins over the distant Foster is a little abbreviated, but the film's denouement between the two of them at the train station is genuinely touching.


Before this vehicle became contrived, Disney did it while it was still fresh. A group of orphans must save the castle in which their adoptive "grandmother" has housed them. This work involves some intrigue and a very young Jodi Foster as a nearly incorrigible ruffian girl.

This is a lot of fun, but it also bears some touching moments, endearing characters, and a great script. Honestly, this is one of my favorites of the Disney Family series. It offers you hope, love, and a promise of better things to come.

This is truly good.

It rates an 8.9/10 from...

the Fiend :.


This film has become cult viewing amongst the students of Birmingham, England, with its quirky Disney humour, its cracking one-liners (they're nice and squashy! whats grandmother going to say when she finds out! better take the garlic! ) top performances, (why did Bobby never work again? ) and a storming soundtrack by the fantastic Ron Goodwin! Parties of students have been found wandering through the Warwickshire countryside on a pilgrimage to Compton Wynyates, aka Candleshoe!The walk was 26 miles in the rain but everyone agreed that it was definitely worth it!!!Candleshoe is quite possibly the best film ever made and Disney at its finest!!!!


One of Jodie Foster's first roles, but she succeeds brilliantly despite a script with some corny verbatim. Very tomboyish but still gorgeous and her demeanor and acting ability far surpass her years. Niven is great fun playing several roles, all while trying to keep a straight face. Fight scene near end perhaps a bit overlong and typical, but maintains some humour. Average script is made up for with strong, tender performances in a children's movie (which probably only appeals to adults, now)which surprisingly is not emotionally manipulative. 7/10


There are so many rave reviews here by so many who cherish this film that it hardly seems necessary to add anything because everyone said it so well. But because I have always truly loved this film and have always tried to endorse it as one of Disney's finest classics, I'm going to add my two cents worth. Heck, I've added a review when there were over 750 reviews of a film already. I find reviewing our movies is good mental exercise for us all. Especially the ones that are near and dear to us like this film, are an obligation.

I have always raved 'Candleshoe'. Even when most adults thought I was crazy for heaping so much praise on such a simple children's film. I think that Helen Hayes was one of classic Disney's best stars, and at the time one of their most bankable. She has all the charm, sweetness, and above all, wholesomeness, that is most appropriate for Disney family films. Any true classic Disney film buff will recognize her right along the other Disney stars like Fred MacMurray, Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Haley Mills, and of course Jodie Foster, who was also one of Disney's very best and most profitable money makers. The film is almost flawless to perfection which always impresses me since, anyone who knows the classic Disney live action product, knows they were usually produced on a modest budget with lots of cost cutting. You can never really tell since the films always look neatly and tightly crafted. Everything clicks. Even the obligatory 'Donald Duck' slapstick ending that is trademark Disney formula, doesn't taint the sweet gentleness of this film. Sure it's a little low level to see villains getting hit on the head with frying pans (funny how in many ways the ending here pre-dates John Hughes 'Home Alone' film)and just a little creepy to see small children being chased with knives and maces and things, but it all works out well in the end. There is also toward the end one breath-taking moment with a train and a Helen Hayes staging a stand off.

It's nice to know the film is obtaining some cult status in England. It is a funny little film. But it deserves much more than cult status amongst adults. This film should be thought of as a family classic and a true perennial. It really does deserve it for it seems to have acquired some faithful and loving fans.


In this film Jody Foster is a typical tome-boy, who acted more than a boy than a girl. She is more adult than the adults and in her point of view you must shoot first or you would be shouted. Her life is a great fight and she have no time to coming nearer with people. Thats her problem to - this fight distance - she never can give it up - and the grandmother - who talked to her see this problem clear. The other girl in this film - do what girls do - but Foster never do this. There is a strange fight between them before they like each other.

This is an adventure Disney-Film for children but adults can learn a lot of it. I think it's more seriously than "Pippi Langstrumpf" or something like this. The film played most of time in England and you can feel this. So it's the story of an American girl in England too.


I'm not a JODIE FOSTER fan, but she's well cast as the tomboy posing as a wealthy aristocrat's long lost daughter, really on a mission to discover where the wealth is hidden.

David NIVEN is the aristocrat's butler, but forced to assume many different disguises to keep HELEN HAYES from realizing that she has almost no household staff other than him. Seems they are facing hard times just keeping up with the payments on the castle called "Candleshoe," an elegant British house in the countryside that provides a handsome setting for the story.

Foster, Niven and Hayes give delightful performances and keep the film going whenever it runs out of steam--which, unfortunately, happens toward the end when the slapstick becomes something better left to the likes of a Buster Keaton or a Charlie Chaplin.

Neverthelss, kids and adults will be drawn into the story, deftly played and well directed with enough humor and excitement to keep any viewer interested until the wacky finale.

And that "Candleshoe" house is something to see. As Jodie Foster says, "What a shack!"


Directed by Norman Tokar with an hysterical screenplay from David Swift and Rosemary Anne Sisson.Candleshoe is a fun and surprisingly touching tale of childhood adventure and one of the best non animated films to come from Disney.

The story is all about young orphan Casey Brown(Jodie Foster)who lives with foster parents in America.One day she is taken to a posh hotel by a private detective and there she meets con man Harry W.Bundage(Leo McKern).

He tells her all about a scam he has going on with his cousin Grimsworthy(Vivien Pickles),to find the mysterious treasure hidden in the sprawling English mansion Candleshoe.Casey must pretend to be the long lost granddaughter of the owner Lady St Edmund(Helen Hayes).Once she wins the old ladies trust she can start to follow clues on a piece of paper to the treasure.

When Casey gets to the mansion the old lady believes her story and she actually finds herself loved for the first time in her life.The highlight of the film though is David Niven as Lady St Edmunds butler,gardener,chauffeur,cook and best friend Priory.

He goes through various disguises to prevent his mistress knowing her money is very nearly gone and all the other staff have left her.He's helped in this by some local orphans adopted by Lady St Edmund loyal and feisty Cluny(Veronica Quilligan),sweet floor slider Bobby(David Samuals),shy Anna(Sarah Tamakuni)and natural leader Peter(Ian Sharrock).

Jodie Foster gives a fine early performance as the lonely teenager and David Niven and Helen Hayes are perfect.

There is also more than a touch of the Ingrid Bergman film Anastasia here.In which Helen Hayes plays the Dowager Empress Marie the grandmother of the murdered Romanov children who believes the young woman is her youngest granddaughter.

Yes it's cheesy and some bits look dated but this is a good film about friendship,family,adventure and fun this is one to watch whether your young or old.


This is a Disney live action family that, unlike The Parent Trap (either version) has a lot of sappy moments. (Don't get me wrong though, I love The Parent Trap). Not to mention a level of violence not normally seen in a live action Disney flick - I'm referring, of course, to the fight between Cluny and Casey, and the fight of villians vs good guys.

The storyline is simple, and yes, done before and after, but it is done well, and that's what counts. Acting is great, considering the main characters were mostly kids, and there are some great lines to quote. Overall, it's a simple, fun, family movie. One that I think could appeal to almost everyone.


I cannot possibly say enough about this film. The cast is legendary...Helen Hayes, David Niven, Jody Foster, and Leo McKern...the plot will have you on the edge of your seat, and the locations are beautiful. Jody Foster is superb as the tough as nails ("I ain't deprived, I'm delinquent. There's a difference, you know") Casey Brown who is swept away to England to play the part of the long lost granddaughter of Lady St Edmund of Candleshoe. Her partner in crime is Harry Bundage, who has long been searching for a girl he can use to infiltrate Candleshoe, the St Edmund family estate. The home was built by the notorious ancestor Joshua St Edmund, a pirate, who had allegedly hidden clues to a treasure that was hidden in the house. Mr Bundage's sister who was once employed at the home found the first clue in the man's long lost will, which she discovered hidden in a bedpost. "To the sunrise student, there is treasure among books". Once Casey is accepted into the family, she sets about searching for the subsequent clues to the treasure. Unfortunately she also begins to soften after learning the secrets of the 'family': The old lady is almost broke, but doesn't know. The butler Priory and the orphans who she has taken in are working very hard to make money to save the house and most importantly the old lady's feelings. All of the other 'staff' are actually Priory playing the different parts in order to save money and make the old girl think she has a full staff. He even plays the part of her best friend, the Colonel, who comes to tea. Casey finally realizes the meaning of family and also that the treasure she's been looking for could save the home of the people she's come to love. This leads to a fantastic train race with an edge of your seat climax and a great battle scene between the orphans/Priory and Harry/his thugs in order to get to the hidden treasure! This is a great family movie and my favourite of the Disney live action films. I used to watch it on the Disney Channel as a kid, back when the Disney Channel was great! Because of it, I even became a huge fan of Robert Gray, whose Elegy Written In a Country Churchyard is used as one of the clues in the film ("The paths of glory lead but to the grave.") So much of a fan that I begged my mother to buy me an old leather-bound Victorian copy at an auction, which I treasure and always reminds me of Candleshoe! Such a lovely and memorable film! I love it so! 10/10!!!!


I remember this film from its original airing, and while I have not watched it in years, I still list it in my favorites. This only shows the strength of the movie and its acting. I loved Jodie Foster after seeing her in it, and have enjoyed her acting ever since. I am on the hunt for it for my newborn son, for him to enjoy it like I did! My many thanks to Disney,Helen Hayes,Jodie Foster,Leo McKern and all of the rest of the crew for a wonderful story and great memories. I give the movie a 10 for any parent wanting a good clean movie for their young ones, and even for a young teenager to watch something other than the sex,drugs and violence that is so prevalent in today's movies.


I watched Candleshoe when ITV screened recently and enjoyed it very much.

An American orphan girl is sent to England by a conman and goes to stay at Candleshoe Manor, where some other orphaned children live as well. She makes out to the owner, Lady St Edmond that she is a distant relative but she is really there to look for some treasure that the conman is after. After several adventures, Lady St Edmond finds out about this and the conman and some of his cronies manage to get into Candleshow and a big fight ensures and the police are called and the baddies are arrested. The orphan leaves for America but Lady St Edmond catches up with her at the railway station and makes her make Candleshoe her new home as they have grown rather close to one another.

A lot of Candleshow was filmed on location in the Midlands: Warwickshire with the railway scenes being filmed on the Severn Valley Railway.

Now to the excellent cast: a young Jodie Foster plays the orphan Casey Brown, David Nivern (who has four roles in this), Leo McKern as the conman and Helen Hayes as Lady St Edmond.

Candleshow is a mixture of drama and comedy and is Disney at its best. Great fun.

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5.


Jodie Foster plays an American hard-knocks-life kid who travels to England, and together with a small-time crook tries to swindle an old lady (played by Helen Hayes) out of her fortune. Foster passes herself off as the child of a long lost relative (now orphaned), which makes Hayes feel responsible. Although the hoax is soon discovered, the two grow fond of each other, and when there appears to be no money at all in the estate, they band together to save the place from the tax man. The predictable ending is nonetheless satisfying.

This film makes for pleasant family fare, and incidentally features 3 Academy Award Winning actors (Foster, Hayes and David Niven).


Excellent movie. This was one of my favorites as a teen, and my children and grandchildren love it as much as I did. I still laugh just as hard, and enjoy wataching it with them. I found the story to be as good for today as it was in 1977, it never gets old.

Outstanding performances by Helen Hays and David Niven, who are a couple of my all time favorite actors. David Niven shows off his talent by playing several characters. A young Jody Foster gave a believable and heart renching performance as Casie Brown.

This is a must see movie, a Disney classic, and is just as enjoyable for adults as kids. The movie is laugh out loud funny at times, and heart warming at others. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over.


I saw Candleshoe when it was new in the theater. Disney in the 70's was a pale shadow of its former self. Walt's death seemed to take the soul out of the company and much of the creativity. Most of the Disney films of this era are entirely forgettable; but not this one. Jodie Foster turns in a fine performance and proves she can keep up with masters, like David Niven, Helen Hayes, and Leo McKern.

I was eleven when this movie came out. I was a sucker for movies about hidden treasure and castles/manor houses with secret passages. The setting was perfect and the characters were fun. Yes, most of the other child actors are rather bland, but that is not unusual for these kinds of films. Thankfully, the main cast makes up for it in spades.

Foster is at her cynical, tomboy best here. I grew up watching her in movies and on tv in these types of roles, and she always handled them well. McKern is both comical and menacing as the crook Harry Bundage. Helen Hayes is the kindly grandmother, who is far stronger than she lets on. David Niven gives one of his better performances of this era as Priory, the Butler. He gets to indulge in a bit of character acting as he assumes his many disguises.

Unfortunately, the bulk of children's films produced today are forgettable fluff, often vulgar, with little to redeem them. At least Robert Rodriguez is trying to make films in the spirit of old Disney.

I find it curious that Disney has seemingly abandoned many of their live films to other distributors. They seem to want to be remembered only for the films produced when Walt was around, and not all of those. Still, some us enjoyed those films, even if Walt Disney or Michael Eisner weren't involved.

I still enjoy this film as an adult. It brings nostalgia for my youth and the dreams I had. It also makes a pleasant departure from a much darker world. If you have kids, forget Air Bud. Show them this.


The only thing I wasn't clear about in the film was whether Jodie Foster really remembered a loose brick in the fireplace (this was not in her initiation) or just got lucky making it up. She stares at the fireplace as though she really remembers. So little is made of this. And the ambiguity of whether she guessed the box was a musical box that played Greensleeves (a tune she'd been tipped off about) or also remembered the box for real...

But then she ate a strawberry at the beginning and didn't like rice pudding, so .. maybe not.

Maybe I'm analysing this too much as this scene is the only scene I remember as a 9year old - it really made an impact on me ... I have since watched the whole film again and loved it ... and if it is meant to be ambiguous as to whether she could be the long lost grand daughter, I suppose that's an unusual thing in a Disney film. The end is open, the grandmother says herself at the end that maybe she is the real granddaughter and we never really know.


I really adore this film, and greatly recommend it for anyone who enjoys live-action Disney movies from the 70s. It has a wonderful cast, especially Jodie Foster, Helen Hayes, and David Niven. I'm a Harold and Maude fan, but several years before I saw that, I saw Vivian Pickles (the actress who plays Harold's mother) in this movie. It's a really good film for a Saturday afternoon, especially being a mystery.


One of the first movies I ever saw with Jodie Foster in it. It still is one of my favorites from her, and easily one of the best kids movies made, including the animated ones that are so prevalent today. Jodie's street wise girl going to London to pull a con at the force of Leo McKern's character, and her learning to love the family that she is to set up for a big fall was done in a less pandering fashion than you see in today's kids movies. Also outstanding was David Niven's performance as Priory the butler.


Hard to believe the Disney branch of the mid-'70s thought kids would be interested in the kooky nuns of "One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing", the church-lady super-snoopers of "The North Ave. Irregulars", or in the plot of this talky, sentimental comedy starring Jodie Foster as a delinquent teen transplanted from Los Angeles to the English countryside. Foster's in cahoots with a thieving couple, trying to find a treasure hidden somewhere on the property of an elderly woman and her gaggle of orphans. Despite a few missteps, Foster's work here is admirable, particularly in the quiet scene where she walks the grounds with Helen Hayes ("You have to keep your dukes up," Foster says. "When you wake up in the morning, the first punch is yours."). Her introductory scenes being 'bad' are enjoyable, though she seems to bond awfully fast with the other kids in the English manor, and I didn't quite buy it when she has a complete change of heart and becomes part of the family. We are not spared another Disney car chase--I don't know why I thought we would be, I supposed since we were in England and searching for treasure that wouldn't happen--but by God if the archaic Disney brass didn't shoehorn a nick-of-time auto-and-train race into this thing. Still, Jodie's performance, Ron Goodwin's wonderful score and some lightly amusing set-pieces make the film entertaining. **1/2 from ****