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Hunted in Holland (1960)

Courtesy of ITV Global Entertainment Ltd

Main image of Hunted in Holland (1960)
35mm, 61 minutes, colour
DirectorDerek Williams
©Children's Film Foundation
Production CompanyWessex Film Productions
ProducerIan Dalrymple
Screenplay (uncredited)Ian Dalrymple
 Derek Williams
MusicMuir Mathieson

Cast: Sean Scully (Tim); Walter Randall (the guide); Thom Kelling (Van Helder); Jacques Verbrugge (Piet Van Helder); Sandra Spurr (Aanike Van Helder)

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Tim's holiday trip to Holland to meet his Dutch penfriend Piet turns into an adventure involving international diamond smugglers.

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While regarded as a quintessentially British institution, the Children's Film Foundation also had a long-established international outlook. By the end of the 1960s, the CFF had shot films on location not only in Holland (with this film) but also Australia, Gibraltar, Malta, Kenya, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. They had also adapted and redubbed films from France, Yugoslavia, East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. CFF productions promoted British life overseas, showing in 30 countries - unlike in the UK (at least before the 1980s), films were broadcast on television in those countries without children's cinema clubs.

Although Hunted in Holland begins on the streets of central London, with a quirky, rather Ealing-style robbery by a thief dragged up as an old lady, the action quickly decamps to Holland, via Harwich docks. The Dutch location filming takes in central Amsterdam, Alkmaar's cheese market and Rotterdam's docks. The travelogue elements - presented here in colour still rare in 1960 - include canals, windmills, bicycles and even some Dutch folk guitar. These are used to dress a by now rather routine CFF 'cops and robbers' plotline, the classic formulaic template that had served since the CFF's inception but which would require revision within a few years. The bad guys may carry guns, but they can still be seen off by plucky kids armed with nothing more than tomatoes or large cheeses.

Alistair McGown

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Video Clips
1. Stolen treasure (4:12)
2. Chase among the cheeses (3:40)
3. Cornered in the greenhouses (3:24)
Runaway Railway (1965)
Dalrymple, Ian (1903-1989)
Williams, Derek (1929-)
CFF: An Introduction