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Hayley Mills  

 

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

Allied Film Makers, 1961.  Directed by Bryan Forbes.  Camera:  Arthur Ibbetson.  With Hayley Mills, Bernard Lee, Alan Bates, Diane Holgate, Alan Barnes, Norman Bird, Diana Clare, Patricia Heneghan, Elsie Wagstaff, John Arnatt, Hamilton Dyce, Howard Douglas, Roy Holder, Gerald Sim, Ronald Hines, Michael Lees, Michael Raghan, Barry Dean, May Barton, Christine Ashworth, John Boden, Doreena Clark, Keith Clement, Pamela Lonsdale.

On a lonely farm in Lancashire, the three Bostock childrenó15-year-old Kathy, 10-year-old Nan, and 6-year-old Charlesórescue three kittens from drowning and hide them in their barn.  When Charles wonders who will care for the animals, a Salvation Army woman tells him that Jesus will look after them.

That night Kathy sneaks into the barn to see if the kittens are safe and stumbles upon a haggard, bearded man.  When she asks him who he is, the stranger mutters "Jesus Christ" and collapses.  The stunned child takes the man's words literally and races home to tell her sister.

In the morning the children bring bread and wine to the man, unaware that he is actually a murderer on the run.  Though the wondrous news of the Saviour's return reaches all the other children in the village, the secret is kept from the adults lest they take him away.  At Charles's birthday party, Nan inadvertently betrays the man's presence to her Aunt Dorothy, and the police are quickly called.  Fearful of hurting an innocent child, the murderer surrenders without a struggle and is quietly led away, as children from all over the countryside watch.

American Film Institute Catalog