Movie Review – ‘Candleshoe’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

My parents and I checked out another movie on Disney+ last Friday. This happened to be ‘Candleshoe’, a 1977 family film starring Jodie Foster, David Niven, Helen Hayes and Leo McKern. Apparently the movie was a based upon a book by Michael Innes called ‘Christmas at Candleshoe’. 😐

I’ve seen Jodie Foster before in a film called ‘Flightplan’ which was released in 2005. She’s perhaps well-known for being in the 1991 psychological horror film called ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ with Anthony Hopkins. It was pretty surreal to see a young-looking Jodie Foster in a Disney film like this. 🙂

I didn’t know what to expect with ‘Candleshoe’ when my parents and I first saw it. I imagined we would enjoy it, especially with a Disney live-action atmosphere about it. By the end of the film, we found ourselves thoroughly entertained, especially with the comedy drama featured throughout it. 🙂

There’s also a coming-of-age story about the film, especially concerning Jodie Foster’s character. The film has Jodie playing a hooligan American orphan from L.A. who gets roped into a treasure hunt on a noble’s English estate. The contrast of an American girl in an English setting was surreal to watch. 🙂

Leo McKern plays Harry Bundage, the con-artist who believes that the lost treasure of a pirate captain named Joshua St. Edmund is hidden at the large country estate called Candleshoe. He enlists Jodie Foster as Casey Brown to pose as Lady Gwendolyn St. Edmund’s granddaughter for the heist. 😐

Helen Hayes plays Lady St. Edmund in the film. This happens to be one of Helen Hayes’ last film roles before she retired from acting, I think. I enjoyed how Helen Hayes played the Lady St. Edmund role. She is taken in by Casey’s duplicity when she’s posing as her potential granddaughter in the movie. 😐

David Niven plays Priory, Lady St. Edmund’s butler in the film. I’ve seen David Niven before in films like ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ and 1978’s ‘Death on the Nile’ with Peter Ustinov. As far as I’m concerned, David Niven is the best part of the film. He gets to play a variety of characters to fool her ladyship. 😀

This includes being a gardener, a chauffeur and a colonel whilst he’s being a butler in the film. Priory is playing these roles in order to not distress Lady St. Edmund about the fact that the house has lost its servants due to the Candleshoe estate being low in debt. The other grandchildren help out also. 🙂

More on the ‘other grandchildren’ later! Incidentally, I think David Niven would make a great Alfred in a ‘Batman’ film series. He does well playing Priory the butler in ‘Candleshoe’. I honestly think David Niven could’ve done a fantastic Alfred if he were asked to star in a ‘Batman’ 1970s film series.

The movie’s climax even has a sort-of 1960s ‘Batman’ TV show-like action sequence in it. This is especially when the kids and Priory are battling the villains led by Bundage who try to steal the treasure. There aren’t any ‘POWS’, ‘WHAMS’ and ‘BAMS’ in the fight, but it felt like they were there.

Going back to the ‘other grandchildren’ in the film, there’s Veronica Quilligan as CIuny, Ian Sharrock as Peter, Sarah Tamakuni as Anna and David Samuels as Bobby. It takes a while for Casey to connect with the four English grandchildren in the film, but I really like she does connect to them eventually.

The film also features Vivian Pickles as Clara Grimsworthy, Harry Bundage’s cousin who used to be a former cleaning lady at Candleshoe. There’s also Mildred Shay as Mrs. McCress and Michael Balfour as Mr. McCress, Casey’s foster parents who are willing to get rid of her pretty early on in this movie.

Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire was used as the fictional estate of Candleshoe. It was used in many other film and TV productions including 1978’s ‘Death on the Nile’, 1980’s ‘The Mirror Crack’d’ and an episode of ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. The Severn Valley Railway was also used in the film. 🙂

I like the train sequences in the film. 😀 ‘Candleshoe’ has been a pretty enjoyable live-action Disney film to watch on Disney+. I enjoyed the performances of Jodie Foster and David Niven in the film and it has a good coming-of-age tale. My Dad would like to see this film again whenever we get a chance.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Movie Review – ‘Candleshoe’

  1. zack613

    Jodie Foster actually worked for Disney quite a bit as a child. She made four films for Disney. Napoleon and Samantha, One Little Indian, Freaky Friday and Candleshoe. The best was probably Freaky Friday. All that while make much more adult pictures like Taxi Driver! She was also on the Wonderful World of Disney two-parter Menace on the Mountain but, I don’t remember seeing that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Zack

      Thanks for letting me know about the other Disney films Jodie Foster’s done. There are only two films available on Disney+ at the moment which are ‘Freaky Friday’ and ‘Candleshoe’. My parents and I might watch ‘Freaky Friday’ soon. Watch this space.

      Many thanks for your comments,

      Tim. 🙂



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