HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
   
 
Newest Articles
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sammy Going South Wand'rin' Star
Year: 1963
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Fergus McLelland, Constance Cummings, Harry H. Corbett, Paul Stassino, Zia Mohyeddin, Orlando Martins, John Turner, Zena Walker, Jack Gwillim, Patricia Donahue, Jared Allen, Guy Deghy, Marne Maitland, Steven Scott, Frederick Schiller
Genre: Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sammy (Fergus McLelland) lives in Port Said in Egypt, near the Suez Canal, in 1956 at the height of the crisis there. He lives with his parents in their apartment, and they are discussing sending him away to his Aunt Jane in Durban at the other end of Africa to keep him out of harm's way. He is listening in on this, not liking the sound of it when he accidentally drops his toy over the balcony and goes to retrieve it. When he is outside, he gets distracted and ends up near the canal when there is a sudden bombing raid, short-lived but long enough to blow up his home - and his parents...

Although it was dismissed at the time by many who felt that this was a too-simple Boy's Own adventure, and not up there with director Alexander Mackendrick's previous classics, over the years there were plenty of viewers who caught this as children who responded to the young hero's plight, and the excitement that his trials and tribulations brought out. At its heart was a rather good performance by child star McLelland in his debut that ensured this would be no sentimental trudge through some hopeless orphan's misery, as Sammy was not one to sit about feeling sorry for himself.

Mainly this was due to the pressures his new life had inflicted upon him, and the way that he coped with a lack of home and parents, or anyone to look after him or anywhere to seek shelter. He didn't have time to mope as he sets out for Durban and the aunt he has never met, only knowing that she runs a hotel there. He doesn't even bother to contact the authorities, as he feels as an English boy he is unwelcome in Egypt at that point, and so begins one of the longest - in distance - road movies of all time, with the odds seeming insurmountable as Sammy literally has nothing but the clothes on his back as possessions.

The first person he hooks up with, or rather who hooks up with him, is an uncomfortably sleazy peddler (Zia Mohyeddin) who ends up being blinded by an exploding stone he was baking bread on in a sequence surprisingly unsettling for a movie assumed to be aimed at children - in fact it was extensively toned down from an original cut that was purposefully stronger stuff, until a more family-oriented version was preferred. Sammy has better luck later on, as he is taken in by American tourist Constance Cummings but she attempts something that becomes the lesson of what not to do with this boy: limit his freedom, liberty being an important theme.

Once he knows she plans to take him to the authorities, he escapes and resumes his trek, and it's only when he meets Edward G. Robinson, who plays Cocky the dealer in illegal diamonds, that Sammy finds someone who could conceivably become a substitute parent. The time spent with him is the happiest the youth has been since tragedy entered his life, and it's here the emotion that has been missing from the rest of the story emerges and lifts the interest in what has been lightly diverting previous to Robinson's appearance. Even Sammy feels his experiences catching up with him, although his survival instincts make certain he doesn't dwell too long on anything that will drag him down. It does make you wonder what kind of person he grew up to be with all that behind him, but his pluck, determination to see his journey through to its conclusion, and most of all his resourcefulness in the face of grave odds, give you faith that children can endure the worst of times. Music by Tristram Cary.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3341 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: