sat 25/05/2024

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Collection - Weird Adventures | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Collection - Weird Adventures

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Collection - Weird Adventures

Powell and Pressburger’s captivating final film, a Doctor Who-related curio and an oddity from the director of ‘Went the Day Well?’

The day the world turned yellow: John and friend let the train take the strain in 'The Boy Who Turned Yellow'

Losing your pet mouse would be distressing enough. But misplacing the white rodent on a school trip to the Tower of London is beyond careless. It’s downright irresponsible. But that’s routine compared with turning yellow and then encountering a man who travels via the electric current he feeds from. Obviously, the errant school kid ends up set for a beheading in the Tower.

All of which happens to John in The Boy Who Turned Yellow, a 1972 Children’s Film Foundation (CFF) production that’s bizarre, even by their eccentric standards.

DVD Weird Adventures Children’s Film Foundation Collection The captivating Boy Who Turned Yellow is one of the three CFF films included on the BFI’s third essential collection of the organisation’s films. Founded in 1951 and tasked with making short films expressly for children, the CFF had limited budgets but wasn’t cramped by such constraints. Ingenuity and imagination ruled. More than an incubator for future stars (Linda Robson and Phil Collins were amongst the CFF's wee actors) and pit-stop for old stagers, it also gave employment to some of British cinema’s most eminent names. Hence pressing a past-their-sell-by-date Powell and Pressburger into service. Made 13 years after their last collaboration, The Boy Who Turned Yellow is not a Black Narcissus or The Red Shoes, but it is astonishing.

John’s adventure is accompanied by two other gems. The Monster of Highgate Ponds (1961) is directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, who was behind 1942’s Went the Day Well? The time-travel caper A Hitch in Time (1978) stars Patrick Troughton recycling his Doctor Who persona. The story was by T E B Clarke (like Cavalcanti, another Ealing veteran), the writer of The Lavender Hill Mob. Even without the booklet’s fascinating essays from people involved, this is a must.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch an extract from The Boy Who Turned Yellow


‘The Boy Who Turned Yellow’ is bizarre, even by the Children’s Film Foundation’s eccentric standards


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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