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Amazing Mr Blunden, The

In between The Railway Children and Wombling Free – in quality terms as well as chronologically – Lionel ‘POSH’ Jeffries directed this uneven but charming CFF-style tale of two children (Lynne ‘Mrs Peter Sellers IV’ Frederick and Garry ‘Jamie Dodger’ Miller) who turn up at titular landowner Lawrence ‘Persuaders’ Naismith’s stately pile and save two time-travelling 19th century kids from their nasty uncle James ‘Asylum’ Villiers. An early charmer from the David Hemmings-founded Hemdale Films, who before they struck paydirt with The Terminator gave rise to a slew of esoterica such as Tommy, The Blockhouse, River’s Edge and Race for the Yankee Zephyr. A fine roster of British character players fill out the cast, as ever – Diana Dors, Graham Crowden, Paul ‘timing’ Eddington, David ‘career?’ Lodge and Madeline Smith as a, er, “ballerina”. Plus the end credits follow the ‘Allo ‘Allo! template of ‘actors waving the audience a cheerful goodbye except for the baddies who remain resolutely in character and grumpy to the last’. All films should end this way. Especially Se7en.

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