Saturday, 16 March 2013
The Afternoon Movie: Swiss Family Robinson
This Saturday has been a lazy day, well I've done all my 'chores' that needed doing. Washing clothes, bedding, vacuuming and descaled the kettle so now its time for a film, or what used to be, The Afternoon Movie. Or some might call it The Afternoon Family Film.
Last week I taped one of the classics, the Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson starring John Mills from 1960. This film had/has everything. The perfect mix of adventure, animals, pirates and cross dressing. Adapted from the book (1812) of the same name by German writer, Johann David Wyss, tells the tale of a Swiss Family who are shipwrecked in the East Indes while sailing to Austrailia to start a new life.
The family, in the film, Mother, Father, sons; Fritz, Ernest and youngest Francis survive on the island along with many different animals. They build an amazing tree house and encounter pirates. The elder sons build a boat and sail around the island to explore it but end up saving Bertie, a cabin boy captured by the same pirates. After discovering he is actually a boy in disguise, they take her back to their camp/tree house and safety. At the end of the film there is a fantastic battle between the family (if you can believe) and the pirates.
In the novel there was another son, Jack but I think for the purpose of the film, his personality and Francis' was pushed together. Less people to cast maybe.
There has been plenty of adaptations, nothing recently though. I'm not sure if a modern retelling would work. The last adaptation was in 1998 and it was a TV series made in New Zealand and an US TV movie. But I'll always love the 1960's version.
I remember watching the film when I was very young. We had taped it over and over and used to watch it all the time, along with the likes of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, it was one of the most watched taped films we had. Luckily it was on the other week as I couldn't find it anywhere on youtube. Sometimes you just get the urge to watch 'that' film from all those years ago.