“They’re pirates!” Sophie Neville as Titty
The Telegraph listed ‘Swallows & Amazons’ as Film of the Week when it was broadcast on ITV3 in the UK recently. It was also shown on GEM television in Australia last Friday. Sophie has been answering questions about making the film ‘Swallows & Amazons’ at the Curious Arts Festival. If you have one, please use the comments box below.
On 26th July Sophie Neville, spoke to Dan Damon on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning programme ‘Broadcasting House’ about the enduring success of the film. To read more, please click here.
Sophie Neville at the Curious Arts Festival
33 thoughts on “Do you have any questions about the making of ‘Swallows & Amazons’”
Were the scenes filmed in running order, or not?
No, they made an attempt to start doing so, as with all film schedules, but it proved impossible to follow the storyline. The director thought it would be easiest for us children if the film was shot in story order but we had all read the book and it didn’t worry us.
Interestingly, Kit, auditioned for the part of Nancy because she was a keen sailor. She had no desire to become an actress.
Where was the set for the Charcoal burners built?
In the Grizedale Forest – you can still find the remains of the stone fireplace built inside Old Billly’s wigwam. Check out my earlier blog post with photos sent in by a present day charcoal burner.
Wow, I must try to find it.
I’ve been able to post some photos sent by someone who still burns charcoal.
I will look at your posted photo’s they might give a clue whereabouts in Grizedale… it’s quite big.
Yes it’s a huge forest. You could track down the charcoal burner who sent me the photos.
Hi Sophie ,do you still see any of the cast
Yes, I see quite a bit of Suzanna Hamilton, saw Simon West this time last year and also see Sten. Sadly I haven’t seen the Amazons since 1974.
Always like this film ,its one of those feel good movies of all time
So glad! We felt rather chilly most of the time we were making it.
Well thanks Sophie for this. It added a whole new dimension to the film.
I’ll be doing some research and try to get to the charcoal burners set hopefully in around October. It’s the one location I have not been to.
Have you found Niagara and the lily pond near Skelwith Fold used for Octopus Lagoon?
Ooh, youv’e caught me out, I had assumed Allen Tarn was used for Octopus Lagoon, and Niagara no. (Hangs head in shame)
Look for the lily pond above Skelwith Fold car park. It was very smelly but nice and dark. Niagara must be near by, perhaps the other side of the road. The sequence of us looking for the Charcoal Burners was shot above Derwentwater.
Brilliant, that’s three places to visit. 🙂
I noticed some cuts were made in the film today, why would that be?
Ah, it is so good to see the newly restored 40th anniversary DVD or Bluray. You see the shots presumably removed by TV censors.
They cut one shot of the Amazons’ arrow flying low over our heads. I’m only surprised the film was originally given a U cert.
They also cut the scene when Roger is waiting on the Rio jetty. I have no idea why. He blanks the native rather well. Perhaps they needed to cut down the length of the movie a bit to accommodate adverts. Can you think of other shots that were cut? I wasn’t concentrating on the broadcast today as I was answering questions.
This was a real trip down memory lane today. Channel hopping by chance onto the film and a few clicks on the internet to find out more. Whilst perusing your site, I found the picture from lunch at the final auditions for Coot Club. I was actually at that audition (though unsuccessful) and this totally brought back the memories of applying to a random ad in the local paper and having a great deal of fun in the process. I also distinctly remember meeting you and being very impressed that a member of the cast of the original film was there – though with no understanding of what had brought you there! Happy times.
Wow, that’s amazing. Which part were you auditioning for in Norwich?
It was a while back but I remember going out for the Death and Glory boys. I had always been a fan of the series and sailed over most of the Broads in my grandparent’s boat. It is strange how I had not thought of that moment until today but I can strongly remember a scene pretending to be in a classroom and a sort of screen test protesting to the Hullabaloos. Oh, and lunch. I remember sitting eating burgers on the bank overlooking the car park. Also, with a couple of other unsuccessful boys checking out the character height chart that was on one of the walls. I remember cursing my first ever growth spurt that put me right between heights.
Ah, you might have been too tall. Do you still live in Norfolk?
Very kind of you to say so. I just enjoyed being part of the process. I’m happy enough to admit I was a far better sailor than actor 🙂 Sadly, my family moved away from Norfolk over that Summer, so I didn’t hear any more about it after that. I very much enjoyed the series, however. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Revelation Film have brought our a newly restored 30th anniversary DVD of ‘Coot Club’. You can find details on my Swallows and Amazons page if you scroll down a bit. You’ll recognise some of the locations.
I will have to look out for that. I miss my sailing days on the Broads. Scary to think that it was 30 years ago. Are you involved in the new adaptation at all?
I’ve been invited up to visit the filming on location on Wednesday.
Wow! That will be interesting. Wonder how it will compare? Something about the 70s captured a lot of the feel of the Ransome books, so will be interesting to see how it turns out. All the best.
I have no particular questions but I have always loved the film and, since I’ve acquired it, your book. Along with your blogs it gives a fascinating insight into how films are, or at least were in the 1970s, made and I wouldn’t be without it.