The Moors' Boy
For some reason young Philip Ransome (Mark Lester) stopped speaking when he was young much to the upset of his mother (Sylvia Syms) and annoyance of his father (Gordon Jackson) who would prefer that Philip be sent to a special school rather than kept at home. But his mum refuses to give up on her son no matter how exasperating his silence is which leads to him spending most of his days roaming the nearby moors and woodland. It is there that he not only befriends an albino colt but a retired colonel (John Mills) takes an interest in Philip as they both share a love of nature. It is through that love that nearby farm girl (Fiona Fullerton) ends up joining them as together they set about raising a pet falcon. But every time it seems like the Colonel is making some headway something happens to knock Philip back in to his shell.
To those who watched "Run Wild, Run Free" back in 1969 and have fond memories of this drama about a mute child and the white horse he loved I say lucky you as this definitely has that feel of a nostalgic childhood memory about it comparable to some of the movies I watched in the late 70s and early 80s. But with my love of watching older movies I have only just comes across "Run Wild, Run Free" and it didn't have the impact which others talk about when mentioning the movie. For me director Richard C. Sarafian infuses this movie with an overly melodramatic styling which is out of place such as over the top music to create drama which isn't really there.
It is a shame because the cinematography in "Run Wild, Run Free" is fantastic and I am sure many who have spent their childhood on moors at Dartmoor, Devon will cherish the beauty which has been captured in this movie. And the wildlife cinematography especially of a bird in flight is absolutely glorious. In truth the performances from the adults are also good with John Mills providing that kindness which made him such a good actor whilst Sylvia Sym brings some layers to her character as we have the caring mother but one who has become restrictive.
What this all boils down to is that there is something quite charming about "Run Wild, Run Free", most of which is the cinematography. But this is one of those movies which have that nostalgic charm which makes it more appealing to those who saw it as children back in 1969 and shortly after.