John and Julie is written directed by William Fairchild. It stars Colin Gibson, Lesley Dudley, Noelle Middleton, Moira Lister, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Sid James and Megs Jenkins. Out of Beaconsfield Studios, film is shot in Eastman Color with music by Philip Green (trumpet solo's Eddie Calvert) and cinematography by Arthur Grant.
John (Gibson) and Julie (Dudley), two young children in 1953, set off on their own from Dorset to see The Queen's Coronation in London....
Utterly charming picture full of youthful bluster and eccentric adults. Film is very much of its time, it harks back to a time when kids were safe on the streets, people were only too glad to help and you could drink water from the local stream! In essence it's a road movie, one that is powered by two youngsters who by hook or by crook, want to see the Queen get crowned. Story shows how these two young kiddies use initiative and naivety to get to their destination, how they affect everyone who comes into contact with them, and finally how such an historical event brought about a joy and community spirit that is sadly all too lacking in today's modern British society. All of which is deftly flecked by Eddie Calvert's beautiful trumpet.
God bless her!
Is it contrived? And do you have to be a fan of the British Royals to get the most out of it? Not at all. Yes you need a modicum of disbelief suspension to accept that the kids could make it all that way without getting nabbed by the police, the latter of which hardly come off as sharp coppers here, but Fairchild is all about youthful determination and how young cherubs can often beguile us adults. Fairchild also knits it all together with ease, even managing to unobtrusively insert actual footage of the Coronation parade into the joyous climax. The child actors are thankfully, very likable, especially Dudley who is simply adorable, and the cast is a roll call of British film treasures. Stand outs are Sid James at his grumpy best as John's father, Hyde-White is classy and correct, Jenkins as usual delivers a memorable female touch and Lister scores high as a tart with a heart. Peter Sellers fans should note he has only a small role, that of a good old British Bobby.
Of its time for sure, but that is a good thing here. A true spirit lifting film and a beacon of unadulterated joy for the child in all of us. 8/10