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directed by Ernest Morris
UK 1964

 

When the Famous Five are asked to look after Wilfred, a lonely orphan with a magical ability to communicate with animals, they have no idea of what exciting adventures lie in store. Wilfred is determined to investigate rumours of dastardly deeds at a supposed animal 'sanctuary' on the mysterious Whispering Island with four-footed Famous Five member, Timmy the Dog. The rest of the gang are not far behind, but will they be in time to save the day?

In this second splendid Famous Five cliffhanger adventure from the Children's Film Foundation, villainous gamekeepers, perilous cliffs, secret passages, hidden treasure, buns and cocoa await the Kirrin cousins as they join forces with animal- loving Wilfred to explore the mysteries of eerie Whispering Island. Never shown on television, or previously released on video or DVD, this is essential for Blyton aficionados.

Excerpt of review from BFI located HERE

Theatrical Release: May 1964 (UK)

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DVD Review: BFI - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution

BFI

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essay by Enid Blyton expert, Norman Wright, character biographies and more

DVD Release Date: September 13th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 6

 

Comments

Like "Five on a Treasure Island", "Five Have a Mystery to Solve" is an adaptation of Enid Blyton's Famous Five series of books, which features four young cousins and their pet dog solving mysteries. Although the cast and director have changed since the previous set of serial short seven years prior, the basic structure is the same. This time the story is told over 6 fifteen minute segments that can be viewed individually or watched back-to-back, and tells the story of the team as they investigate a lost treasure on a mysterious island populated by an elderly WWI vet and his two ne'er-do-well assistants. The danger is a little more real in this installment, with the children's lives in peril on multiple occasions. Still, I'm fully confident that older children can handle this without too much trouble. Like the previous edition, this is great fun and just as enjoyable for both kids and kids at heart.

The picture here is even stronger than the one fond in "Five on a Treasure Island". Both clarity and contrast rank amongst the high end of what non-anamorphic standard definition can deliver. The only problem with the transfer, and it really isn't a major one, is that a vertical line or two pop up on occasion in the second episode. Otherwise damage is nearly non-existent and the films look simply pristine.

 

The film is mastered in a Dolby mono track that while it won't knock your boots off, more than adequately does the job. Dialogue is clear and background noises sound fairly crisp as well. There are no discernible unwanted background noises (hisses, pops, etc.) and the disc sports optional English subtitles. What's more, it's region free.

The only extra that comes with the set is a booklet that features essays on the serial, Blyton, the Children's Film Foundation, and character biographies.

Both this and "Five on a Treasure Island" are the latest in a long line of wonderful discoveries that I've had thanks to the work of the BFI. The serial is tremendously entertaining and, as I previously said, perfect for young children that can appreciate the beauty of black and white film. This is very highly recommended and if you have a young adventure loving child, then this is an essential disc to own.

  - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI

Region 0 - PAL

 

 




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