Bill Rohan, a young boy living on the outskirts of London, experiences the exhilaration of World War II, as seen through the eyes of director John Boorman (who also wrote and produced this autobiographical film). During this period, Bill learns about sex, death, love, hypocrisy, and the faults of adults as he prowls the ruins of bombed houses on Rosehill Avenue. His childlike father is off chasing patriotic dreams of glory from behind a military clerk’s typewriter; his teenage sister runs wild; his mother can’t cope; and everything in the end will eventually turn out all right. —IMDb
Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey, England, the son of Ivy (née Chapman) and George Boorman. He was educated at the Salesian School in Chertsey, Surrey, even though his family was not Roman Catholic.
Boorman first began by working as a drycleaner and journalist in the late 1950s and then he moved into TV documentary filmmaking, eventually becoming the head of the BBC’s Bristol-based Documentary Unit in 1962.
Capturing the interest of producer David Deutsch, he was offered the chance to direct a film aimed at repeating the success of A Hard Day’s Night (directed by Richard Lester in 1964): Catch Us If You Can (1965) is about competing pop group Dave Clark Five. While not as successful commercially as Lester’s film, it smoothed Boorman’s way into the film industry. Boorman was drawn to Hollywood for the opportunity to make larger-scale cinema and in Point Blank (1967), a powerful interpretation of a Richard Stark novel, brought a stranger’s vision… read more
Films like this, that look at the horrors of war, from the POV of a child are truly the most riveting of them all. What makes this film stand out from the others is that at the Golden Globes in 1987, this beat more popular films like Moonstruck, Broadcast News, Baby Boom, and Dirty Dancing to win Best Comedy/Musical, and you want to know something? They got it right that year. It was the best.
A charming tale...and that scene at the end where the schoolchildren are celebrating the bombing of their school is hilarious, reinforcing how children try to cope with such horrible catastrophes as war.