DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Hand in Hand
Hand in Hand
Sony Pictures // Unrated // October 5, 2010
List Price: $14.94 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Stuart Galbraith IV | posted October 24, 2010 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Simple yet effective, Hand in Hand (1960) is a British family film about religious tolerance, its message stated straightforwardly and with charm. Several familiar British actors appear but, rightly so, the film belongs to its appealing children, played with much sensitivity by Loretta Parry and Philip Needs. They give impressively natural performances but seem to have done little else and pretty much vanished a few years after this premiered.

This modest (probably less than $300,000), 50-year-old and black-and-white production would seem more likely a candidate for Sony's new video-on-demand program, but has been rescued from obscurity by another arm of that conglomerate, Affirm Films. In any case it's a pleasant film with something worth teaching children and adults alike. The 16:9 enhanced widescreen transfer is good; the disc has no extra features.


Surely the only film to boast endorsements from both Eleanor Roosevelt and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes!

The film traces the friendship of a two children, each around ten years of age: Michael O'Malley (Philip Needs) is Catholic while Rachel Mathias (Loretta Parry) is Jewish. They become fast friends after their teacher thinks Michael is making fun of Rachel when she takes a bad fall during a choir performance. Later, when some of Michael's friends tease her, he comes to her defense and quickly realize they like one another.

The differences of their respective faiths don't enter into their relationship - they have more important concerns, like caring for Michael's pet mouse, Hector - until one of Michael's friends quotes his racist father in stating, "The Jews killed Christ." Of course, the never-seen father hates Catholics, too. This distresses Michael.

More subtly, Michael and Rachel's parents take note of the children's differences. Michael's mother (Black Narcissus's Kathleen Byron) says of Rachel, "You wouldn't think she was Jewish, would you?" while Rachel's mother hopes her daughter will some day marry "a nice Jewish boy."

The film is told in flashback and generates some unnecessary suspense, with a desperate Michael confessing to Father Timothy (John Gregson) that he's "killed" his dear friend.

In flashbacks, Michael tells Father Timothy how he and Rachel took a blood oath, pricking each other's fingers with a pin, and later tested their friendship with Rachel insisting Michael visit her synagogue and, the following day, Michael insisting Rachel come to Mass.

Directed by Philip Leacock (The Little Kidnappers, and later a prolific director of American series television) Hand in Hand touts much substantial talent. Besides actress Byron, Sybil Thorndyke and Finlay Currie have small but memorable roles as understanding adults; Freddie Young did the cinematography and Stanley Black wrote the score. A woman named Helen Winston produced the film, but this does not seem to be the same Helen Winston who had small, mostly uncredited roles in American films of the 1950s, nor does she appear to have any other narrative feature film credits as a producer.

Needs and Parry have wonderfully expressive faces, average but appealing and sensitive. Though obviously reading scripted lines they come off as entirely natural. Each did a bit of British television after this; Parry is one of the children in the Disney-produced The Horse Without a Head (1963), a regrettably obscure film released theatrically overseas much like Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963) and featuring an intriguing cast (Jean-Pierre Aumont, Herbert Lom, Leo McKern, Pamela Franklin, etc.).

Video & Audio

Hand in Hand looks just fine - it's 1.66:1 OAR is retained in a crisp 16:9 enhanced transfer with good contrast and a pleasingly sharp image. The mono audio is likewise fine and English and English SDH subtitles are included. There are no Extra Features

Parting Thoughts

Modest but charming, Hand in Hand is a pleasant film with something positive to say, and it's something both children and their parents should enjoy. Highly Recommended.






Stuart Galbraith IV's audio commentary, for AnimEigo's Tora-san DVD boxed set, is on sale now.

Popular Reviews
1. Criminal Minds: Season 9
2. Batman The Complete TV Series Limited Edition Blu-ray
3. The Expendables 3
4. L'avventura: Criterion Collection
5. It Happened One Night - The Criterion Collection
6. Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series
7. The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind: Criterion Collection
8. Corky (Warner Archive Collection)
9. 22 Jump Street
10. The Jeffersons - The Complete Series: The Dee-Luxe Edition


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use