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.
Sten Grendon, Simon West, Suzanna Hamilton and Sophie Neville as the Swallows making Ronald Fraser walk the plank. Where are the Amazons?
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.
There are often screenings at cinemas in Cumbria:
Royalty Cinema Bowness-on-Windermere, the Roxy Cinema Ulverston and the Alhambra in Keswick where we held a Q&A
Zeffirellis Ambleside with Sophie Neville Q&A) http://bit.ly/X8BYFU
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal with a Q&A by Sophie Neville attracted an audience of 250 people
All black and white photographs on this page are copyright StudioCanal. To see more stills and merchandise available please click here.