Set in the rolling hills of Lancashire, England, Whistle Down the Wind contrasts the basic innocent faith of young children with the harsher worldly beliefs of adults when several children mistaken a man living in their countryside barn for Jesus Christ. It's a good film to watch during the Christmas season, when we celebrate the real Incarnation—even as we consider the imagined incarnation in this classic film, made in 1961.

The principal child actors Hayley Mills, Diane Holgate and Alan Barnes have chosen to keep their rescued kittens in secret places in their family barn so their father won't see them.

When the eldest girl Kathy Bostock (Mills) asks a man she finds lying down in the hay who he is, his surprised response to her presence and question is "Jesus Christ!" Taken aback that she has really met God in the flesh, the young girl later chooses to share her discovery with her little sister Nan (Holgate). After their younger brother Charles (Barnes) learns their secret, he tells one friend who proceeds to tell nearly all of the children in the surrounding area.

At one point, the children generally acknowledge what happened to Jesus the last time he visited people in human form and vow to protect him from the adults they feel sure will turn him over to the authorities. The children are unaware that a murderer is on the loose and never truly believe that Jesus (Alan Bates) might be anyone other than who he says he is—except perhaps when one of the children entrusts a small pet to him and the little creature dies.

Numerous moments occur which recall events in the New Testament, as when the children bring some of their most treasured possessions to Jesus as gifts, and when a schoolyard bully demands that a boy ...

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Whistle Down the Wind
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
Not Rated (for language)
Directed By
Bryan Forbes
Run Time
1 hour 39 minutes
Alan Bates, Bernard Lee, Hayley Mills
Theatre Release
August 06, 1961 by Beaver Films Limited of England
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