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I home-educate my oldest son and had been studying world war two and evacuation, so wanted a movie to link with this. I bought "Carries War" from Amazon for £4.49 with free delivery it arrived within a few days and my son has watched it several times and has really enjoyed it. It does great justice to the original novel. This film is a wonderfully heart-warming tale of evacuation and childhood imagination.
The movie is a dramatisation of the novel with the same name by Nina Bawden The main characters include two evacuee children, fourteen year old Carrie and her younger brother Nick from London whose father is in the navy. Their mother had them evacuated to protect them from the London bombings. The start of the movie is the children and their mother rushing to the station and their goodbye.
When they arrive in the welsh countryside you are introduced to a third evacuee Albert Sandwich, who becomes another principle character. Carrie and Nick are taken in by Mr Evans and his "sister" her who the children refer to as "Auntie Lou". Auntie Lou and Mr Evans are not really siblings, Mr Evans and his deceased wife raised Auntie Lou. Mr Evan is a strict god fearing shopkeeper who you discover that behind his tough exterior he really is a loving man. When the children return to London he buys them both very precious and heartfelt gifts. Auntie Lou is a meek and mild creature used to giving in to Mr. Evans needs and requests.
The children also meet Mrs Gotobed, Mr Evans sister and her live in housekeeper Hephzibah and her son Mr Johnny who has learning difficulties. Albert has been placed with Hephzibah and Mrs Gotobed. Hephzibah is referred to as a white witch and has a wonderfully friendly and bubbly demeanour. Mrs Gotobed is an eccentric widow who is dying, and who has decided to wear all the twenty nine ball gowns her deceased husband bought for her before she died. She teaches the children to dance and enjoy themselves.
Hephzibah tells the children tales, one of which is the story of the cursed skull, and according to the story if the skull is removed from Mrs. Gotobed house the soul and house would be destroyed. Mrs Gotobed had also told Hepsibah that when she died that both her and Mr. Johnny would be allowed to stay on in the house, but when Mrs Gotobed died no will could be found and Mr Evans inherited everything, he refused to concede to his dead sisters wishes. At the same time Carrie and Nicks mother had wrote to them and wanted them with her in Scotland. Auntie Lou also ran away and married an American GI. Carrie was so angry about Mr. Evans refusing to allow Hepsibah and Mr. Johnny to stay, she had passed on the message Mrs. Gotobed had told her to Mr Evans which told Mr. Evans that it was not that she had forgotten him it was just that sometime you owe more to others . However Mr. Evans was adamant that the house would be his. Carrie was upset and angry and throws the skull out of the library window.
Mr Evans took the children to the train station for them to return home and when the train departs they pass Mrs Gotobeds house and it is ablaze, Carrie believes she is to blame and therefore does not write to them believing them all to be dead.
Thirty years later Carrie returns with her children, having split with her husband, and is transported back to childhood. She finds Hephzibah and Mr. Johnny alive and well, and it turns out that Mr. Evans had allowed Hepsibah and Mr. Johnny to stay on at the house, but had later died. Albert also returns to visit.
You are left to decide for yourself what happens next.
Overall a very pleasant family movie, another wonderful BBC drama that in my opinion is extremely successful. The actors portrayed their characters magnificently addressing all the emotions superbly, from separation to excitement and fear, new friendships and challenges are all admirably portrayed. The film itself is successful in transporting you back to the forties, and you get pulled into the story.
The film shows that imagination is a powerful and amazing thing that can save you as well as terrify you.
My favourite character has to be Hepsibah played by Pauline Quirke, an amazing actress in her own right, she has been perfectly cast, and you feel the warmth and generosity of Hepsibah the instant you are introduced to the character. There is wonderful contrast in characters yet without any one of them I believe the story would fail. Each character delivers a special something to the story however small, and that makes this film hugely appealing. This film is definitely worth watching.
Carrie- Keeley Fawcett
Mr Evans- Alun Armstrong
Mrs Gotobed - Geraldine McEwan
Hephzibah- Pauline Quirke.
Nick - Jack Stanley
Mr Johnny- Jamie Beddard
Directed by: Coky Giedroyc
Written by: Nina Bawden (original novel)
Adapted for TV by: Michael Crompton
Produced by: Bill Boyes
Music composed by: Nick Bicat
Executive producers: Matthew Robinson and Simon Curtis
The film is a by the BBC. This is the 2003 adaptation of the novel; the DVD was released in January 2004. There is a previous adaptation filmed in 1974. They have even had a west end musical produced in 2010. The film is ninety minutes long. The film is rated Universal which makes it suitable for all, it states that the film contains one use of mild language; however I didn't notice it. I have been unable to find this film in blu-ray.