Last summer, author Arthur Ransome’s beloved children’s book, Swallows and Amazons, was released as a movie in the United Kingdom, and this summer, it’s coming to select theaters in the United States on July 21st. The film will also be available on Starz beginning in October.
Ransome wrote Swallows and Amazons in 1930, and it was a hit, with its innocence, joy in the pleasures of sailing, and above all, the Walker children’s sense of adventure. The book was so popular that Ransome went on to write eleven more, creating a series that is just as beloved today.
Swallows and Amazons follows the four Walker children: Susan, Roger, John, and Titty (whose name has been changed to Tatty in the film, sparking controversy). They visit England’s Lake District for the summer and sail to a small island in a dinghy named Swallow. The siblings love sailing so much they take the boat’s name for themselves, and they claim the island as theirs. However, they have one problem: they’ve been beaten by Peggy and Nancy Blackett, copilots of their own dinghy called Amazon, so the children battle it out for control of the island.
Samuel Goldwyn Films, along with Orion Pictures, have the North American rights to the Swallows and Amazons film. Peter Goldwyn, Goldwyn’s president, said “I believe it’s important to bring a good family film to the market, and that’s what I found in Swallows and Amazons… The film has a talented cast, and I know this will be a classic like the original book.”
Goldwyn is certainly right about the cast; it features actors such as Andrew Scott, best known for his role as Jim Moriarty in Sherlock, and Kelly MacDonald, who starred as Margaret Thompson in Boardwalk Empire and was the voice of Merida in Brave.
Goldwyn’s also right about the movie being a classic. In the United Kingdom, critics loved it. The Telegraph said “there’s a period-appropriate honesty to it…that sets it apart from any other family film you’ll see this summer.” Variety calls it a “very charming…entirely respectable adventure.” We think you’ll like it, too.