Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Whistle Down the Wind" The Book, the Movie and the Musical!

When I was a kid I was a fan of Hayley Mills. She was brilliant especially in her two early British movies Tiger Bay and Whistle Down the Wind. I especially loved and still love Whistle Down the Wind filmed in the early 1960s in which three farm children in the English countryside discover a man hiding in their barn whom they think is Jesus returned. Alan Bates played the man, an escaped convict, and he was also quite remarkable in this, his first lead role (and pretty gorgeous, too!) as he tries to comprehend the actions of the three children and their friends as they try to help him.

The book this exceptional film is based on is charming in its own right. It was written by Hayley's mother, Mary Hayley Bell, and the edition I have, which I came across years ago in a used book shop, has lovely pen and ink drawings by Oven Edwards (line over the O in Oven which I couldn't figure out how to do!).

When I read that Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is one of my most favorite composers (thank you, thank you Sir Andrew for Phantom! Also Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita (NOT Cats, though, except for "Memories", sorry!) I was excited but then I saw he was setting the musical in the USA in the 1950's south. So, I was disappointed he didn't adapt it to the original setting of Lancashire, England. I never heard the soundtrack until only recently, when I was thinking about the book and movie and was curious to finally hear it. It was actually wonderful with lyrics by Jim Steinman. Now, I'll have to break down and buy the CD!

So it made me want to post scenes from the original film, and from the musical all through the miracle of Youtube and thanks to those who posted everything there!

(Trailer for the original film)
(scene from the musical)
Lots of info on Wikipedia
And this, on the Mills family
And, if the musical still hasn't made it to Broadway (or NH!) why not release it to DVD? How about it Sir Andrew?


  1. I always love your posts about movies and musicals, Stephanie! I can't believe I've never read this book or seen the movie, because I know I've heard of both! And because I, too, loved Hayley Mills! I loved "Pollyanna" and as a child, I never could figure out why all those old people didn't like the way she found happiness everywhere!! Well, I'm a Pollyanna, myself, and proud of it! :)

  2. Another connection, Becky! I loved "Pollyanna", too! I'd like to think I'm a grown up Pollyanna, as well...just a darker, more cynical one!

  3. I love how much we have in common! And after reading your comment, I must add that I'm quite a bit cynical nowadays, too....I'm sad to say.....