HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Battle of Billy's Pond, The Eco AwareBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Harley Cokeliss
Stars: Ben Buckton, Andrew Ashby, Talfryn Thomas, Ann Beach, Keith James, Geoffrey Hinsliff, Derek Ware, Geoffrey Palmer, Andy Bradford, Miriam Margolyes, Linda Robson
Genre: Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Billy Bateson (Ben Buckton) is a young boy who likes nothing better in life than to spend time fishing at his favourite pond, an out of the way location in the countryside near his village home. That said, he is not always alone, as his best friend Gobby (Andrew Ashby) often accompanies him with the gadgets borrowed from his scientist father, such as a remote control speaker he can use to project his voice, or a periscope he can look under the water of the pond with. But today, there is a problem when they notice a dead fish floating beneath the surface; Billy retrieves it with concern, and brings it back to his home, setting off a chain of events that will ultimately expose the degree of pollution in the area...

Now, I know what you're thinking: Children's Film Foundation. A pond. This will basically be fifty-five minutes of people falling into the water, right? But hold your horses there, the pond, as it is established, is contaminated and if it kills off fish then it wouldn't be ideal liquid to topple into without the kids movie taking a wrong turn to predicting that notorious scene from Robocop with the chemical waste, so a more cynical audience might have observed the Foundation had shot themselves in the foot with this plot. On the other hand, it was created by Harley Cokeliss, who the next year would go on to direct one of the most celebrated of their productions, 1977's The Glitterball.

Therefore you would correctly anticipate this to be smarter than the average C.F.F. adventure, and with its pro-ecology message it was certainly forward thinking, though it was essentially adopting the same environmental causes as many pop culture movements of the seventies as the problem became more visible in the minds of the public. Children were particularly interested in helping their surroundings, and indeed still are, for it is they who will be adults in the world where either pollution has been allowed to get out of hand or the issue has been coped with thanks to the efforts they orchestrated (or helped to) back when they were young. Therefore Cokeliss penned a yarn that would easily earn their sympathies.

Aside from many scenes and shots redolent of a nineteen-seventies British childhood, the social consciousness aspect remained surprisingly vital so many decades in the future; couple that to a thriller narrative that was really not bad at all, assisted by non-obnoxious child performers and you had one of the stronger Foundation efforts. Naturally the two friends turned sleuths to discover what had happened to their beloved pond, tracing the pollution to the horrible big lorry that roars through the lanes, even nearly running over Billy in a scene reminiscent of Steven Spielberg's Duel, and from there to the massive corporation manufacturing the washing up powder seen in television adverts which has given the dumpers the OK to do the dumping. With excursions to a chemical plant where Miriam Margolyes can be spotted doing a tour, this was entertainment for smart kids who would be keen to recycle. Oh, and someone did fall into... something, but offscreen. Music by Harry Robertson.

[The BFI have released the Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box, which includes the following films:

Peril for the Guy
Cup Fever
Mr Horatio Knibbles
Anoop and the Elephant
The Zoo Robbery
The Battle of Billy's Pond
One Hour to Zero
4D Special Agents
Pop Pirates

Also included are a special feature length documentary The Children's Film Foundation Story, an interview with Veteran CFF writer John Tully, a booklet, and three shorts from the 1950s, all with heroic hounds.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 629 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: