Over the next few days I am going to be giving Q&A sessions at cinemas screening StudioCanal’s newly restored version of Richard Pilbrow’s movie ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (U) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release in 1974.
If you can come, please do bring a question. I am always very interested in those asked by the children. They can be quite difficult to answer:
‘What did it feel like to be alone on the island?’
‘Where you really able to keep the parrot?’
‘How long did it take to film?’ is another question I am often asked. The answer is quite complicated.
Then I ask, ‘Would you like to know about the mistake I made?’
I started singing, ‘Adieu and Farewell’, when the sea shanty Spanish Ladies is always sung: ‘Farewell and Adieu…
- Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies,
- Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
- For we’re under orders
- For to sail to old England,
- And we may ne’er see you fair ladies again.
- We’ll rant and we’ll roar, like true British sailors,
- We’ll range and we’ll roam all on the salt seas;
- Until we strike soundings
- In the Channel of old England,
- From Ushant to Scilly ’tis thirty-five leagues.
I noticed that one inconsistency made by the design team was that the swallow flew down our flag whereas it always flies up Swallow’s burgee in Arthur Ransome book illustrations. I count it as a subtle differentiation that I reproduce whenever I draw the crossed flags myself.
When I was writing ‘The Making of Swallows & Amazons’ I noticed that, while the title of the book is ‘Swallows and Amazons’, the graphic designer working on the film always used an ampersand, making it SWALLOWS & AMAZONS in the 1974 film.
There is another odd thing right at the end of the film, as the credits roll. See if you can spot what it is.
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