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Directed by Ken Loach

United Kingdom 1979 105 mins.

Adapted from Leon Garfield’s novel of the same name, this whimsical yet terrifying children’s adventure strays from Loach’s usual realist subject matter while retaining the impactful spare visuals of his best-known films. Bartholomew (Stephen Hirst), a young haberdasher’s apprentice, is kidnapped by a thief known only as “Black Jack” (Jean Franval), who has managed to survive death by hanging. The two set off on a freewheeling journey through the countryside, only to meet a peculiar girl named Belle (Louise Cooper) with whom Bartholomew becomes infatuated. “That rare children’s film that cleaves not between old and young but between rich and poor.”—The Chicago Reader.