My Mum and I love Hayley Mills, and of course her Father's films. And the fact they holidayed in North Devon makes them even more lovable!
We love the rural simpleness and innocence of Whistle Down the Wind where Mills and the village children think they have found Jesus hiding in a barn, who is infact an escaped convict.
This film, in colour is quite similar, directed by John Mills it follows a young girl of 17, Brydie White who seems to be quite simple and wild. She lives with her childlike, widowed mother who's always out of it on Gin.
The most charming scenes (which made us sob as we really are quite soppy) where when the children of the village, lead by Brydie decide to bury all the 'Deadders', all the animals they have found that have died or have been slaughtered for sunday lunch. These include Brydie's hamsters, a mole, and some bumble bees or Buzzers as they call them. They bury them in the village grave yard, with little crosses and epitaphs. They are soon punished and scolded by the adults that they can not be buried there as it is concecrated ground, for those with souls. A wonderful series of questions and a rendition of All Creatures Great and Small at church proves them quite wrong!
There is an underlying sad story of how Brydie accidentally killed her childhood friend as a little girl and this becomes the turning point in the film.
Unwanted Gypsies (proper ones with painted caravans and outfits) camp nearby and a young, handsome Ian Mcshane falls in love with her and soon becomes her only ally and family.
It's a wonderful story, you can feel the sunshine on your skin and the prickling sun dried grass.
And it has a happy ending. And thats how I like them.
This was based on a story called Bats with Baby Faces, and was also titled Gypsy Girl.