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The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972) HD online

The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Family / Mystery / Fantasy
Original Title: The Amazing Mr. Blunden
Director: Lionel Jeffries
Writers: Lionel Jeffries,Antonia Barber
Released: 1972
Duration: 1h 39min
Video type: Movie
A mysterious, very old solicitor Mr. Blunden visits Mrs. Allen and her young children in her squalid, tiny Camden Town flat and makes her an offer she cannot refuse. The family become the housekeepers to a derelict country mansion in the charge of the solicitors. One day the children meet the spirits of two other children who died in the mansion nearly a hundred years previously. The children prepare a magic potion that allows them to travel backwards in time to the era of the ghost children. Will the children be able to help their new friends and what will happen to them if they do??
Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Crowden Graham Crowden - Mr. Clutterbuck
Dorothy Alison Dorothy Alison - Mrs. Allen
Benjamin Smith Benjamin Smith - Benjamin
Stuart Lock Stuart Lock - Thomas
Deddie Davies Deddie Davies - Meakin, Mrs. Wickens' Servant
David Lodge David Lodge - Mr. Wickens
Madeline Smith Madeline Smith - Bella
James Villiers James Villiers - Uncle Bertie
Diana Dors Diana Dors - Mrs. Wickens the Housekeeper
Rosalyn Landor Rosalyn Landor - Sara Latimer
Marc Granger Marc Granger - Georgie Latimer
Garry Miller Garry Miller - Jamie Allen
Lynne Frederick Lynne Frederick - Lucy Allen
Laurence Naismith Laurence Naismith - Mr. Blunden
Erik Chitty Erik Chitty - Mr. Claverton

This was Laurence Naismith's final film before his death on June 5, 1992 at the age of 83.

Lynne Frederick (Lucy) wears the exact same blue Edwardian coat worn by Jenny Agutter two years earlier in Lionel Jeffries previous film "The Railway Children"

Bette Davis was first offered the role of Mrs. Wickens, but turned it down out of frustration for being type cast as eccentric and ghoulish older women type of characters.

Early script drafts of film (from the 1960s) briefly modeled production as a musical. This idea was later scrapped after the box office and critical failure of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

Julie Dawn Cole auditioned for the role of Sara Latimer.

Lynne Frederick started work on this film the day after she finished filming her role in Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972).

Spike Milligan, Gert Fröbe, Gene Wilder, David Niven, Michael Gough, David Tomlinson, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Donald Pleasence, and Robert Helpmann where all considered for the role of Mr. Blunden.

On one occasion Lynne Frederick had to leave the set half a day early to re-shot a scene for her previous film Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972).

Hayley Mills was offered the role of Bella. In addition, Helen Mirren was considered for the role.

Agnes Moorehead and Angela Lansbury where considered for the role of Meakin.

Lionel Jeffries originally promised the role of Lucy to actress Sally Thomsett. She had been cast, but due to personal problems that Thomsett was dealing with at the time forced her to withdraw from the project.

Shortly before being cast in this film, Rosalyn Landor and Lynne Frederick both auditioned for the title role of Alice In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972). Neither of them got the role.



Reviews: [23]

  • avatar

    Gio

    The very first time I saw The Others my mind rushed immediately back to this gem...very much a similar premise, people from different periods of time appear to each other as ghosts. It's a nice little film. It's long been my wife's favourite, and its available on DVD from Feb 24, 2003 in the UK which is ooh so cool :)
  • avatar

    Vertokini

    This movie worried me at first with a bit of a slow start, but it quickly changed into a wonderfully imaginative fairy tale. The characters are very good and the acting feels the period. Grahm Crowden from the British Sitcom "Waiting for God" does a very good job as well.

    Everyone should give this one a try.

    The concept is very intriguing and holds your interest well. I really loved the idea surrounding the ghosts and how they got where they were. The story is really one that I would love to share with my whole family.

    This one feels like a Dickens Narrative due to the time period it is set in, which adds to the overall feel and believability.
  • avatar

    Tejora

    Saw this film when I was a child, and it still gives me the same lil shudders and I STILL giggle in the right places... its a good old story with the sweetest ending EVER.

    It really encapsulates the film genre of the 1970's and the old way of telling ghost stories which seems to have been lost in modern films.

    This film is good for the whole family and actually deals with death and the afterlife in a manner that makes you talk about it afterwards
  • avatar

    Yozshunris

    A very good family film; its only flaw is that it's a bit too long. The film takes place in England, in approximately 1916. A widow and her three children are left destitute on the husband's death. The mysterious Mr. Blunden shows up and offers the mother a caretaker's position at an old country mansion which was partially destroyed by a great fire decades ago. The family goes to live in a small cottage on the estate. The two oldest children, Lucy and Jamie, are drawn into the unsolved mystery that surrounds the old fire. They find out that the two heirs to the estate, a boy and girl, were killed in the fire, but it might have been murder and not an accident. The film takes a fanciful twist at this juncture, sending Lucy and Jamie back in time to save the two orphaned kids. Will they succeed? And what will it mean to their own lives if they do? What does Mr. Blunden have to do with all this and why does he need Lucy and Jamie's help? I can only say, rent the movie and find out. It has a nice late Victorian air to it, and is steeped in atmosphere. Older kids and adults will enjoy it; my entire family loves this movie.
  • avatar

    Deorro

    This is a film for children and adults alike, a warming family film which sends a message of compassion and hope. Mr Blunden(Laurence Naismith) is the benevolent, kindly guardian of the children Jamie and Lucy who sets out to right a wrong from 100 years ago. Because of Mr. Blunden's insensitivity and unwilingness to listen, two children and a gardener who tried to save them die in a fire started by the wicked Mrs Wickens (Diana Dors). The children (the ghosts) get Jamie and Lucy to drink a magic potion which sends them back in time to try to change what has already happened. Mr Blunden has been a tortured soul for 100 years as he ignored the pleas of the children who told him that Mrs Wickens was out to poison them, so she could get their inheritance for her beloved Bella who married the financially impoverished Bertie, who doesn't have a pot to pee in. Bella (Madeline Smith) is the childlike daughter of Mrs Wickens who can see ghosts as she only has the mind of a child but the body of a buxom wench. Mr Blunden saves the day by guiding Jamie and Lucy through the flames to save the children from the fire and changing history in the process. We get the happy ending we hope for, with everyone living happily ever after and Mr Blunden's gravestone reads "The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep". This will bring a lump to your throat. This film has been criticised for being muddled but all you need is a rich imagination to appreciate this film. Some wonderful performances from the cream of English acting talent: Diana Dors, Laurence Naismith and the beau of the ball, ex playmate of the year Madeline Smith. Enjoy!
  • avatar

    Perongafa

    Like many films made by the British film industry at it's nadir in the 1970s, the Amazing Mr Blunden could be overlooked, but those willing to make the effort will find a gem. There's the wonderfully English setting of the film, mixing the nostalgia of a Georgian England of Mr Blunden and Langley Park, with the Edwardianism of Jamie and Lucy's world. Mixed with good background music and wonderful setting amongst a stately home and a traditional village and the film is playing to all the traditional strengths of British film and drama. Adults will perhaps prefer these aspects to the plot, but children will enjoy the 'good vs. evil' aspect of the children's fight to save the lives of Georgie and Sara against Mrs Wickens (played excellently by Diana Dors who steals the film). Sadly, the film misses much 'fun' that could be made out of the stark characters of Mr and Mrs Wickens and the rest of the cast (particularly the dandy-ish uncle played by James Villiers). There's also one cringe-worthy moment too - when all the actors and actress wave goodbye at the end. They don't make things that this anymore....
  • avatar

    Mikarr

    This Halloween challenge is giving me the opportunity to catch up with a lot of horror-themed movies I missed out on as I was growing up and this genteel but utterly charming children's ghost story is yet another one such instance. Two young kids who have inherited 30,000 pounds (a fortune in 19th Century England) are about to be done in by their half-brother' (James Villiers)'s nasty in-laws – a grotesque couple almost unrecognizably played by Diana Dors (complete with funny speech impediment) and David Lodge (playing a brain-damaged ex-boxer). Unfortunately, their pleas for intervention to both Villiers and their solicitor Mr. Blunden (Laurence Naismith) fall on deaf ears, but the latter becomes so guilt-stricken that he reappears a century later and 'wills' a modern-day couple of kids back into the past to save his charges from a fiery death!

    The film is highlighted by a literate script (by director Jeffries), a meticulously-detailed production (for what it's worth, the early setting in London's Camden Town brought back memories to my visits there in January 2007, highlighted by my attending an all-star Rock concert!), an evocative score (by Elmer Bernstein) and good performances by all concerned. Ill-fated Lynne Frederick is one of the children, Hammer starlet Madeline Smith plays Dors' child-like daughter, while Graham Crowden appears briefly as the newest partner in Blunden's firm whose name the old man can never remember; incidentally, the cast list isn't given at the film's beginning – rather, Jeffries has the actors introduced at the end and bowing down to the audience just like in a stage play! Incidentally, former actor Jeffries (where he specialized in eccentric, bubbly types) had a reasonable directing career (with a penchant for children-oriented, though not necessarily kiddie, fare): even if his first effort – THE RAILWAY CHILDREN (1970) – is generally the best regarded of the lot, this one's definitely a close second.

    Though not genuine horror fare as such, the ghost and time-travel devices here are enough to grant THE AMAZING MR. BLUNDEN a deserving place in this Halloween challenge; even so, the Leonard Maltin Film Guide's comment regarding its "muddled plot line" probably refers to the children going forward in time before the fateful accident (the boy even says, "You can be a ghost but you don't have to be dead") – yet, in the modern-day (1918) setting, we can clearly see their graves (which are no longer there by the end, having been replaced by a monument dedicated to Mr. Blunden who has now died in their place)! In conclusion and, just for the record, my viewing of the film was unfortunately slightly – but, thankfully, not too obtrusively – hampered by the jerky motion associated with the DivX format.
  • avatar

    Small Black

    This movie is a classic fantasy film about two children who travel back in time to save the lives of two children who died in a fire 100 years ago. Two siblings, Lucy and Jamie, get the shock of their lives when they encounter the ghosts of two children in the garden of the home there mother is overseeing. Sara and Georgie are two young ghosts that died in a fire at the house nearly 100 years ago. They desperately need help and cannot find it in their own time so they find a recipe that enables them to travel back in time. They ask Lucy and Jamie to make the potion in order to travel to their time to help save their lives. This movie is also nice because it has an interesting plot twist at the end and it is also one of the few movies in which you get to see Diana Dors act instead of just look nice. It is a thrilling movie but out of print and hard to find. I highly recommend it.
  • avatar

    Andromajurus

    Two children time travel from the year 1815 to a hundred years in the future. Their purpose is to foil a crime committed by a greedy relative and his in-laws. This should be a good picture for kids to watch, I think they would find it exciting. I liked the little spin the writers put in at the film's ending.
  • avatar

    Manona

    I loved this film as a kid - aside from the cheesy " Goodbye, hope you enjoyed it" from the actors, coming out of character at the end of the movie ( very much a Lionel Jeffries signature - also did it in "The Railway Children") - which I HATED (!) this movie still holds the same magic for me now as it did when I first saw it.

    The premise has been described many times before but I will just add the fact that all the atmospheric ingredients are there - the mist on the open lawns, the cawing of the crows, the suitably haunted looking old ruin and a musical score that really captures every emotion that it needs to in the wonderful story telling. Laurence Naismith is every inch the "actor", whose casting in this role was genius. Lynn Frederick, whose troubled life was ultimately cut short, was a little miscast as Lucy - already 18 and obviously a woman, it was difficult to see her as a little girl. However, Rosalyn Landor was perfect as, what turns out to be, Lucy's Great Grandmother.

    David Lodge and Dianna Dors were superb in their roles as Mr and Mrs Wickens although James Villiers looked a smidgen uncomfortable as the 1816 children's wicked uncle.

    However, it is the story and the atmosphere that Jeffrie's evokes in this movie along with the wonderful score. I have just ordered this again on DVD as it is many years since I last saw it and I cannot wait. It really is a childhood favourite and I am looking forward to the nostalgia buzz that it will, undoubtedly evoke.
  • avatar

    Nuliax

    1918, Camden, London: elderly solicitor Mr. Blunden (Laurence Naismith) calls at the squalid home of widower Mrs. Allen (Dorothy Alison) to offer her a job as caretaker of run-down country mansion Langley Park. Despite rumours that the property is haunted, Mrs. Allen moves into the caretaker's cottage with her three children, teenagers Lucy (Lynne Frederick) and Jamie (Garry Miller), and their baby brother Benjamin (Benjamin Smith).

    In the grounds of the house, Lucy and Jamie encounter the spirits of two children, Sara (Rosalyn Landor) and Georgie (Marc Granger), who have travelled from the year 1818 looking for help: their Uncle Bertie's wicked mother-in-law, Mrs. Wickens (Diana Dors) is trying to kill the children so that their inheritance will go to Bertie (James Villiers) and his child-like bride Anabella (Madeline Smith), and they need Lucy and Jamie to help them thwart the evil woman's plan.

    The Amazing Mr. Blunden is best seen when young, when paradoxical plot problems are of little consequence. As a kid, I found the film charming and thoroughly entertaining. Nowadays, I can see that the storyline is far from perfect. For example, Sara and Georgie are found buried in the graveyard, having died as children in 1818, yet Sara is the great-great grandmother of Lucy and Jamie. How could this possibly be? Also, the potion that sends Sara and Georgie into the future sends Lucy and Jamie into the past, with no explanation as to why. However, even with these time-twisting issues, the film is a lot of fun, with memorable performances from all involved and confident direction by Lionel Jeffries.

    7/10, with an extra point added for gorgeous, buxom Hammer babe Madeline Smith.
  • avatar

    Mightsinger

    I first saw this film at the cinema in 1972, and thought at the time it was the best film I'd ever seen - in fact I watched it twice that day! Now, all these years later it's still one of my all-time favorites.

    Directed by Lionel Jeffries as a follow-up to his very successful 'Railway Children' movie 2 years' before, it's also a charming period piece set in the Edwardian era, but this time with very a clever plot concerning time travel and ghosts.

    His direction is first-class, despite obvious budget restrictions, and it seems a pity this movie wasn't so well-received at the box-office as his previous film, as I think it's even better. Once again the casting and performances are perfect too.

    There is excellent brooding atmosphere about the derelict mansion the family are mysteriously hired to caretake by the Amazing Mr Blunden... he has placed them there in order to right a terrible wrong of 100 years' past. The suspense builds up to an exciting climax with the terrible fire of 100 years before played out again - and we are left to wonder if history really has been changed this time.

    The music score is fantastic too - one of the best ever in my view, and one of the film's many highlights is the unforgettable performance of Diana Dors as the awful and scary hag-like housekeeper Mrs Wickens.

    This is simply an excellent family film that leaves a lasting impression. I showed it to my son when he was 7, and he was absolutely captivated by it - just as I had been in the cinema all those years ago. He actually calls it 'The Ghost Children' - a title that I feel would have served the film better, and perhaps would have maybe drawn attention more to its supernatural elements.
  • avatar

    Nto

    I was vastly underwhelmed by "The Amazing Mr. Blunden," which I purchased for a hefty price after reading several positive reviews here. The film started off poorly and got progressively worse as the 95-minute ordeal dragged by. The script was shallow with characters we don't care about, special effects were amateurish, and even the editing was choppy (with many noticeable splices). Worst of all, the acting was painfully unconvincing, particularly by Diana Dors as Mrs. Wickens, the sadistic housekeeper. Exceptions would be Laurence Naismith, who was quite effective in the title role, and all four of the children, who were acceptable for their ages. The only reason I can see for purchasing this ill-conceived product is the sweet loveliness of teenager Lynne Frederick. She never fails to light up the screen.
  • avatar

    Coiril

    This movie takes me back to my childhood, remembering how I used to sit in front of the tv and watch it.

    I recently watched it in dvd and I live it just as much as I did then.

    It's a child's ghost story, and all ages will love this movie. Shame they don't make movies like this now.
  • avatar

    Ffan

    As intriguing as Gothic ghost can be, this one ranks a "boo!" from me, slow moving and often static, with a ton of obnoxious characters who do nothing but bray. I give Diana Dors credit for becoming shrill and obnoxious from all those sexy vixens she played a decade before. But she's so nasty here that the most vile of Dickens characters are sympathetic in comparison. I didn't buy for a second the story premise of Lawrence Naismith bringing a poor widow and her two children to be caretakers for a remote country mansion. I had seen "The Railway Children" as a kid so hearing that this was a sort of followup (with hints of "Heidi") made this a real curiosity. But having gotten this in a .99 cent bin, I have no qualms about releasing this from my collection. Mystery is fine and surprises make them interesting as long as the twists are acceptable. Had there been less shrill screeching of oh so cute ghostly kiddies and nasty housekeepers and other servants, I might have given this more attention. I truly couldn't wait for this to bid me "the end".
  • avatar

    Tcaruieb

    This film is an old favourite of my girlfriend's. When we watched it together recently, I was watching it for the first time.

    The film concerns time-travel and it struck me that the ending of the film contravenes the Grandfather Paradox. This theorem states that I cannot go back in time and kill my grandfather because that would result in me never having been born. Or if I did, then surely I would cease to exist at the moment I killed him.

    SPOILER

    In this film Jamie and Lucy go back in time to save three children from dying in a fire: Sarah, Tom and Sarah's younger brother, George.

    This they do, but then we learn that Sarah and Tom are Jamie and Lucy's great great grandparents. This cannot be true, as Jamie and Lucy cannot exist on the timeline established before they go back in time because their great great grandparents died in the fire!

    END OF SPOILER

    It's a pedantic point and one that I only thought of after talking about the film afterwards. Still, it goes to show how intricate time-travel related stories are.
  • avatar

    SiIеnt

    I first saw this film at the cinema when I was 9 years old when it was originally released (which gives you a clue as to how old I am now). I have never forgotten this film and while "The Railway Children" has justly taken its place in British cinema as a classic family film, this film deserves some love too. Everyone associated with this film is at the top of their game. Behind the camera, Lionel Jefferies provides a great script (adapted from Antonia Barber's original book "The Ghosts") and great direction too. Great atmosphere is provided courtesy of Wilfred Shingleton's production design, Gerry Fisher's excellent photography and one of Hollywood regular Elmer Bernstein's greatest scores (for what was a small British film - who'd have guessed?).

    In front of the camera, the talent is equally impressive and it is sign of Lionel Jefferies unrecognised talent as a director that he draws some great performances from his cast, some of whom have never been better than they are here. Diana Dors shows a rare talent as a character actress and there are also good performances from David Lodge, James Villiers, Madeline Smith, Deddie Davies, Laurence Naismith, Graham Crowden, Garry Miller, Dorothy Alison and Rosalyn Landor.

    And for the ill-fated Lynne Frederick who has given a number of poor performances in bit parts over the years before her death and who was unfortunately better known for her chaotic personal life and the unpleasant aftermath to her marriage to Peter Sellers, her appearance here is a revelation. I disagree with one of the previous posts that says that she is slightly too old for the role. To me she seems absolutely right and if she is too old, then so too are Jenny Agutter and Sally Thomsett in "The Railway Children". It is a tragedy that Lynne Frederick did not go on to fulfil the promise that she showed in this film and if she really was a mediocre actress, then Lionel Jefferies deserves even more credit for drawing such a great performance from her for this film as she is excellent here (especially during the scenes in which Langley Park burns at the end). It's a shame what happened to her in real life but instead of remembering her as the bloated alcoholic drug-addicted wreck that she became, I prefer to remember the Lynne Frederick forever immortalised on film here - a beautiful young woman who had so much promise.

    By the way, when is someone going to release Elmer Bernstein's wonderful score to this film on CD?
  • avatar

    olgasmile

    This movie is just the sort of feature at which Britain used to excel.

    It features kids, a very troubled hero, a baddie, ghosts, and time. Although beginning in a contemporary setting, the story harks back to a tragedy some hundred years before, whereby ghosts reach out and communicate with living people in the present.

    There's just the right mix of drama, tension, comedy and pathos to keep the plot stirring and the viewer interested. An excellent and slightly eclectic mix of British character actors give typically believable and understated turns. Of particular interest is former voluptuous sex-queen Diana Dors as a mean-spirited old house-keeper. Quite a volte-face, yet it's one she manages with great aplomb.

    The sets are entirely believable. And so they should be; Britain is still planted wall to wall with stately homes and antiquated locations. All the technical issues are up to snuff and there's a simple but decent script that adults can enjoy and which kids can still follow.

    I have to confess that I have a weak spot for this kind of mystery drama tinged with wry comedy. It's very much in the Dickens mould.

    Mr Blunden is good, family entertainment. Although there are some scary moments, the presence of kids and a happy reconciliation at the end should not beget any bad dreams.

    Highly recommended.
  • avatar

    Umdwyn

    Lionel Jeffries, while being a character actor in his primary years, proved himself a great director as well with films such as the delightful Railway Children and this gem. The Amazing Mr Blunden really is a very overlooked period ghost story, and while I know lots of people who love it, I honestly think it is one of Jeffries's more overlooked films. While charming in places, it offers all the right chills and thrills. The period detail is absolutely splendid, the house itself was majestic and the costumes were beautiful. The story may be a little strange in places, when I first saw this film I wasn't so sure about the ending, but it is well told and moves along briskly. The direction is tight, the editing is crisp, the script is intelligent and literate and the pace is assured. The music score was also great, beautiful yet eerie. The performances were spot on, while I was most impressed with all the children, the standouts were really in the adults. James Villiers is good as the uncle, while Laurence Naismith gives a ripe and charming performance in the title role. The best performance and probably the most memorable thing of the film was Dianna Dors as Mrs Wickens the Housekeeper, warts and all she is every child's worst nightmare, she terrified me when I was a kid and still gives me the shivers. In conclusion, wonderful overlooked film. 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • avatar

    Onnell

    (55%) A better than most period set family horror that gets by because it well made, watchable, and above all else: simple entertainment. The plot may be messy and a bit clumsy, but the charm that runs through makes for a worthwhile sit. Anyone who is familiar with modern Hammer hit "The woman in black" will notice a slight similar feel and look to the mansion house, though this wouldn't scare a baby. The premise is a decent stab at an old spooky house ghost story; although things do get a little too silly at times (the time travelling ghost potion). It's best to think of this as a holiday, wet and windy afternoon type of film, and in that regards this is a good little watch.
  • avatar

    LivingCross

    A fondly remembered film from my youth and one I've re-visited more than once since, it still charms me today. A delightful and thrilling fantasy, it plays almost as well to adults as to its no doubt target audience of children.

    The Dickensian-styled story is well-wrought with a nice blend of mystery, enchantment and adventure throughout. Sympathetically and winningly directed by British character actor Lionel Jeffries who gives himself a brief expository scene too, it's a perfect example of family entertainment.

    All the principal characters are well-played, especially Laurence Naismith as the twinkle eyed title character, out to right wrongs from a hundred years before and Diana Dors as an over-the-top scheming harridan figure whose plans the amazing Mr B thwarts with the help of two young children from the future. All the child-actors act very well and for the most part avoid the usual wooden-ness in similar portrayals.

    I won't give away any of the ingenious plot but it all resolves and revolves around a race to save a young heir and his sister from being murdered in a deliberately-set house fire in a plot devised by Dors and acted upon by her simpleton husband. In fact the film just tails off a little after its fiery climax, although it redeems itself with a happy ending and an unusual but warm-hearted end-credit sequence wholly in keeping with what has gone before. There's a fine understated score by Elmer Berstein too.

    It probably helps that this film evokes my happy child-hood but watching it again forty years on, I'm pleased to say I enjoyed it just as much as I did in a Glasgow flea-pit in 1973.
  • avatar

    Cerana

    THE AMAZING MR. BLUNDEN is a delightful old-fashioned ghost story in the best traditional sense. Directed to the hilt by actor Lionel Jeffries, who clearly has a thorough understanding of his genre, this is timeless stuff, a children's film filled with the kind of atmosphere and engaging storyline that you won't find in most of today's soulless fare.

    The story is entirely predictable for this particular sub-genre; two kids move to a remote and dilapidated country mansion, which they soon discover is inhabited by the ghosts of two children who mysteriously died in a fire in the past. What follows is a traditional time-slip tale along the lines of TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN, packed with familiar character actors a sense of quality.

    As director, Jeffries has an eye for a decent performance, and thus the film is inhabited by quality acting. Lynne Frederick and Garry Miller are excellent as the protagonist twosome caught up in the supernatural events, and the likes of Graham Crowden, David Lodge, Madeline Smith, Diana Dors and of course Laurence Naismith excel in various supporting parts.

    The narrative is action-packed, filled with incident and never less than engaging, and the story as a whole is filled with atmosphere and a kind of timeless joy which makes it highly entertaining to watch. Sad to say they don't make films like this anymore, which for me is a real pity.
  • avatar

    Risinal

    The Amazing Mr. Blunden is directed by Lionel Jeffries who also adapts the screenplay from Antonia Barber's novel The Ghosts. It stars Lynne Frederick, Garry Miller, Rosalyn Landor, Marc Granger, Laurence Naismith, Diana Dors, Madeline Smith and James Villiers. Music is scored by Elmer Bernstein and cinematography by Gerry Fisher.

    1918, London, England, and Mrs. Allen and her three children are visited on Christmas Eve by mysterious old solicitor Mr. Blunden. He offers them a way out of their impoverished surroundings in Camden Town. There's a housekeeping opportunity at a derelict country mansion called Langley Park, the place having been gutted by a major fire previously. There's a reason for the two eldest Allen children, Lucy and Jamie, being there, their help is needed....by child ghosts from 1818!

    It has one of the worst posters ever made for a movie, a poster that hints at some guy called Blunden being some superman type magician! Which when coupled with the title of the film really sets up a bum steer for new viewers. To those in the know, the nostalgic Brits like myself, it's a lovely ghost/fantasy story about cross time redemption, resplendent in period flavours whilst operating from an intelligent script. The complex story is delicately crafted by director Jeffries (The Railway Children), this is never about scares, it's a Dickensian type drama that features ghosts of children clutching in the future for help in the past. Relationships are well formed, villains (Dors unrecognisable and immensely vile like) are afforded time to not be of the pantomime kind, and it all builds to a dramatic last quarter where sitting on the edge of your seat is a requisite. And then comes a moment to put warmth into the coldest of hearts.

    A beautiful movie, directed and acted with appropriate skill from all involved. If you're looking for a family friendly period ghost story, this is for you. 8/10