Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Swallows and Shamazons!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Barrow in Furness
    Posts
    725

    Default Swallows and Shamazons!

    There have over the years been lots of posts on SotP about S&A and lots of family paddlers seem to have enjoyed reading the book, watching the original film and topping it all off with a visit to Peel/Wildcat Island.

    A couple of years ago they started to make a new version - as I recall there was even a link on this site to a company looking to cast kids as actors and extras.

    This Friday with the kids out doing whatever Teen girls do (in between their Fathers giving them lifts to the next teen hotspot - their paddling days are over for the time being, but with luck and like so many of us I'm hopeful that with the seed planted at an early age they'll come back to the outdoors when they're ready) and Mrs C at work I decided to get all spendy and treat myself to a download of the new version of S&A.

    Good Lord (insert expletives of your choice)!!! What have they done!

    Most of the filming seems to have been done on Derwent Water and with Wildcat Island looking suspiciously like St. Herbert's, except for the odd long shot of Coniston where it appears that the Island has been CGI'd into the middle of the lake. Harry Enfield (the curmudgeonly, but kindly Mr Jackson) along with the rest of the cast put on their best Hovis country Yorkshire accents and make extensive use of traditional colloquialisms starting with"Bye" - gum, eck etc.

    In order that continuity isn't lost the village also appears to be in God's own country- I'm sure I saw a couple of Brontė sisters standing on the pier looking confused!

    Wildcat island seems to be an absolute geological miracle with limestone beaches and sandstone outcrops for the interior.

    Horror of horrors the Secret Harbour appears to be a couple of polystyrene rocks dumped in the water!

    And for those of us who can't resist a bit of school boy humour there is no Titty, none whatsoever, there is however a Tatty!

    Poetic license seems to have been stretched past breaking point!

    If you are planning on sharing the joys of S&A and Coniston Water don't make this film your starting point.
    Andy,
    (Cumbria)

  2. #2

    Default

    I never watch movies made of books that I love (and I love the Ransome books - always have - the Big Six being my absolute fave... ), because no matter how the picture is done it never ever measures up to the images of all the characters and locations I have created in my mind - especially when it involves places I have never actually seen, like the Broads and Coniston Water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cumbria, UK
    Posts
    684

    Default

    Of course, the book itself is set in an imaginary world.
    Although based on real places it is a blending of Coniston and Windermere with plenty of artistic licence taken.
    Wildcat Island, for example, is about 100 times the size of the "real" one. There are no other islands on Coniston.
    However, I agree that watching films of favourite books can be disappointing. I saw the "Last of the Mohicans" after reading the book. What rot! Luckily for me, the film caught fire half way through and I didn't have to suffer the end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
    Posts
    2,647

    Default

    Got to join in this, having become a sailor at the age of ten thanks to S&A and foolishly kind parents. My kids and grandkids all raised on the books, GD6 just on S&A to the extent that we have just acquired Mirrors 6 and 7, having sold the others on to be changed into Lasers, 420s Cherubs and at the moment 4 Toppers and a Laser Radial. The first film was pretty reasonable except either John was too young or Susan too old, but the Amazons were perfect. The BBC adaptation of the Coot Club / Big Six was just about tolerable. Sent Son 1 and GDs 3= to the latest one who said that as long as you kept the book out of mind, it was an exciting film. So I'm not going

    Daughter, GDs 1,2 and 3 made the trip from the north of Coniston to Peel Island, in two Mirrors and professed themselves entirely happy with the trip. We planed all the way back, so pretty epic. We also sailed, Daughter, GDs 1,2,and 3 from Wroxham to Horning having acquired a Topper to add to the fleet, and that too was approved as very like the book. So if reality matched the books pretty well, who the Hell are the pillocks who think they need improving??

    For those interested in the melding of fact and fiction, Captain Flint's Trunk is one persons' search for the locations, and makes an interesting read. Very cheap from Amazon.

    My family were contributors to the fund to prevent the Swallow filmed in the first one being bought for some museum to make a balls of rigging it (see Rodney Patterson's Flying Dutchman, Supercale....docious exhibited in front of a life sized photo at the Falmouth National Maritime Museum and still rigged wrongly) We bought it, it was wonderfully restored and now sails, I think currently on Windemere but occasionally on tour of sailing clubs. Rather to everyone's surprise, she turned out to be a converted Thames rowing boat, but true to the book centreboardless, and equipped with an eye below water line at the bow to enable her to be towed for filming. Fast in a straight line, not so good on the corners.

    Mini rants over.

    Impcanoe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Midlands, UK
    Posts
    1,772

    Default



    The book is always better, as characters/scenes are richer. I tend to use Audible for books, to recover lost time on the drive to/from work. Most recent book->movie was the Girl With All The Gifts, a different take on the current popularity in Zombies. Enjoyed the listen. Watched the movie, and although it was ok, there was too much missing in comparison to the book. So in a perverse sort of way a) the book WAS better, but b) I'd have enjoyed the movie more if I'd not listened to the book.

    So methinks its best to enjoy a book for the story it tells, and enjoy a movie for an independent couple of hours of entertainment.

  6. #6

    Default

    It's all just entertainment. Nothing real, either in the books or films.

    Books will always 'win' because they are seen as more intellectual, and also rely on the individuals imagination to visualise the scene, and we make it from our own experiences. A film is just one persons visualisation of a basic story.

    It's always great fun identifying locations and errors in films but in the end you are just watching a story.

    Quote Originally Posted by sk8r View Post
    I never watch movies made of books that I love (and I love the Ransome books - always have - the Big Six being my absolute fave... ), because no matter how the picture is done it never ever measures up to the images of all the characters and locations I have created in my mind - especially when it involves places I have never actually seen, like the Broads and Coniston Water.
    Yup!
    Chris


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
    Posts
    2,647

    Default

    I have no objection to any old plot for a film, and you take pot luck as to whether the characters fit ones imagination. What I do object to is keeping the name and the characters and changing and adding to the original. "Inspired by" or even "based on"at least escapes from the idea that it is intended to be a visualisation of a book. What ever, I will not be going to the latest S&A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Redhill, Surrey
    Posts
    394

    Default

    I've had this for a while & just got around to watching it this evening. I quite enjoyed it, but there are some huge howlers, as mentioned above, plus:

    - the 12-year-old Nancy having bleached blonde hair & brown eyebrows - in 1929!
    - the wildly anachronistic Cessna floatplane

    quite why they needed to add in the Russian stuff to the plot I don't know either

    re. Titty/Tatty - the character was renamed Kitty in the 1963 BBC version:

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/201...ty-in-bbc-film

  9. Default

    I agree that watching films of favourite books can be disappointing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    3,820

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by achat View Post
    I agree that watching films of favourite books can be disappointing.
    I think there are some exceptions to prove your rule
    Lord of the Rings......an astonishing trilogy of movies
    The Birds...........Hitchcock enhanced that short story.
    Like wise .......The Mist an improvement of Kings Tale
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
    Posts
    501

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    I think there are some exceptions to prove your rule
    Lord of the Rings......an astonishing trilogy of movies
    And yet The Hobbit was atrocious and reinforces the rule.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •