Looking For the Title of a Book and Film From Childhood

I read a book in primary school which I loved, and for years I've been

trying to remember the title so I can get hold of a copy. There was

also a movie version which I've seen. All I want is the title of the

book and the movie (if they aren't the same). The following is all the

detail I can remember:

– The main character was a boy of about 10 named Danny. At the

beginning of a story he is in an area of open woodland or perhaps a

field (in England I think) with about 3 friends, one of which is a

girl who I think was a little older (perhaps 13). They approach a

steep drop down to a river or stream, and on a ledge sticking out of

the rock face, they find a stranded cat which has fallen down there.

They try to rescue the cat and the main character Danny falls down to

the ledge and brakes his leg. The others run for help and a man

absails climbs down on a rope to rescue the boy. They keep the cat and

name it "Claus" after Santa Claus. That is the only scene I remember

with any clarity. I remember a scene vaguely where the boy leaves on a

train and his friends are waving goodbye on the platform, and I

remember that for much of the story Danny is in bed at home with his

leg in a cast.

– I have a hunch that the story was set at the time of World War II,

and that the children had been sent to the countryside for protection,

and that is why Danny was leaving on a train in one scene.

– The book was read to us in primary school by one of the parents who

was blind. She had a copy of the book in brail, and I assume she

didn't have it printed specially so it must have been

popular/mainstream enough to be printed in brail.

– The book was aimed at children, but not really young children.

Perhaps 8 and up was the target audience.

– I read it and saw the movie in primary school which would mean the

latest possible date for both 1989. My best estimate is that the book

is older than the movie, possibly 60's or 70's, and that the movie is

probably 80's or possibly 70's, but those are really just guesses

based on a faint memory.

– I think the movie was made with British speaking actors. I'm about

80% sure of this. I also think it was made for TV, and possibly

released on VHS.

Request for Question Clarification bypoliticalguru-ga

Dear Wwarby,

The name of the hero, the location, the success of the book and the

fact that it has been made into a film lead me to a book, but this one

is a bit different. Tell me if this rings a bell:

– Danny lives in the English countryside with his father

– His father runs a petrol station

– He and his father devise a plan to lure pheasants and poach some of

them (in grounds belonging to the "bad guy" in the story).

Could it be part of the story?

Clarification of Question bywwarby-ga

politicalguru,

That does sound vaguely familiar. I have to be honest and say I that

the only details I remember clearly are those in my description – I am

26 and I was probably no older than 7 when I read this book / saw the

movie. The petrol station doesn't ring any bells at all. The pheasant

poaching does spark something in my brain but I can't be sure that I'm

not mixing memories. Sorry if that clarification wasn't as useful as

it might have been, and thanks for your interest so far…

Clarification of Question bywwarby-ga

politicalguru,

I've just looked into this a little more, and I'm pretty certain now

that you're talking about "Danny, Champion of the World" by Rhold

Dahl, which unfortunately isn't the book I'm looking for. I've been

looking for this book for years and I have confused the details Rhold

Dahl's novel with it before, but it definitely is not the same story

I'm thinking of (I read that one too and saw the movie when I was

young). Sorry!

-William

Request for Question Clarification byrainbow-ga

Hi William,

I have searched hours for this movie/book with no luck. The closest I

came to is one that doesn't quite fit the description you provided.

However, could you perhaps be thinking of "Hope and Glory"?

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0093209/maindetails

If this isn't the movie you remember, is there anything else you can

provide, no matter how small, that may help in this search. Thanks.

Rainbow~

Clarification of Question bywwarby-ga

rainbow,

Thanks very much for trying, but I'm afraid that's not it either –

I've seen Hope and Glory. The other one I tend to mix up with what I'm

searching for is "The Railway Children" which I also saw when I was

young and has a vaguely similar story.

I have been racking my brain for literally years trying to recover any

additional scraps of memory about this book – I'll try to embelish a

little, but I want to be careful not to introduce any red herrings

from confused memories.

I believe the main character breaking his leg was kind of central to

the story. There was at least one scene (but probably more) where the

boy was in bed in a house with his leg in a cast. I'm pretty sure the

cat named "Claus" was sitting with him. I think it was a kitten too,

but I'm not 100% on that (I'm not certain that the name was spelled

"Claus" either, but I think it was). I think I remember a scene where

the boy's friends (I think an older girl and a younger boy – they

might have been siblings come to think of it) come to visit him whilst

his leg in in a cast, and I think they sign their names on the cast.

The clearest part of the picture I have is that he falls onto this

ledge whilst trying to rescue a cat. I think they boy is playing with

his friends (or siblings) when they see the cat, which I think is on

the edge of the ravine and when the boy tries to rescue it, he falls

off the edge quite a long way down onto an outcrop of rock. Adults are

called to help and a man, possibly his dad climbs down on a rope to

lift the boy to safety. Sorry, I know there isn't much new in there

but it's the best I can do.

The film was a family, feel-good type film, probably made-for-tv. I

don't think I can altogether rule out the possibility that I might be

wrong about the name of the boy. I'm guessing with the lack of detail

that my best chance is somebody who knows the story and recognises it.

I have spent countless hours hunting around online with all the

details I can remember and come up empty handed. Stupid thing is, I'll

probably be disappointed if I ever do track it down and read it again,

but feel oddly compelled to keep trying.

Request for Question Clarification byhummer-ga

Hi William,

An unlikely possibility (no broken leg that I can find) –

Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

First published in 1981.

Winner of the "Guardian Children's Fiction Award".

Willie Beech goes to stay with Mr Thomas Oakley during WW 2.

There's a cat illustrated on this cover.

UK television adaptation. (1998). Winner of "Most Poplular TV Program" award.

Picture of train on DVD cover.

Inspirational – tearjerker – feel good.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodnight-Mister-Tom-Puffin-Books/dp/0140315411

1983 paperback edition photo:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=733803351

You could try browsing through the following list to see if anything rings a bell.

List of Fictional Cats

# 1 Legendary, mythological and fairytale cats

# 2 Cats and felines in literature

# 3 Cats and felines in plays

# 4 Cats and felines in film

# 5 Cats and felines in television

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_cats

Regards and good luck,

hummer

Clarification of Question bywwarby-ga

hummer,

Thanks very much for trying but I'm pretty certain that's not it

either. My mother has "Goodnight Mr. Tom" on DVD and although I

haven't seen it, I've told her the details of the story I remember and

she said they don't match. I had a good look through the list you

suggested on Wikipedia and went on to spent an hour or so using both

Wikipedia and Google to search Wikipedia for various keywords I

remember and drew a blank. I'm starting to experiment with variations

on the spelling of "Claus" ("Klaus", "Clauss", "Claws" etc.) just in

case.

In an effort to rule out any details I might have confused from other

movies discussed that I saw at about the same age, I have just ordered

a copies of "Hope and Glory", "Danny, Champion of the World" and "The

Railway Children". If any of these give me any more clues as to the

story I'm looking for, I will be sure to post back.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded so far – I really

appreciate the interest.

Clarification of Question bywwarby-ga

I just upped the list price for my question to $50. Clearly some

people have already gone to considerable effort to help me find this

book/film and although I haven't had any success yet, the information

is worth a lot to me and at $50 it'll still be a bargain.



One thought on “Looking For the Title of a Book and Film From Childhood

  1. Hi William,

    I believe I have found the book/movie you are looking for. The title

    is "Treasures of the Snow".

    From a user on the Internet Movie Database:

    "TREASURES OF THE SNOW (1980) is a story of children who live in a

    Swiss countryside. The film starts in "media res", we see children

    arriving at a small train station and a 14 year- old boy reflecting on

    his guilt, nervous and striking not to be noticed. Soon comes a much

    earlier moment and the whole film explains the beginning. Dani

    (Timothy Fleetwood) and Lucien (Paul Dean) are friends. Once, when

    they are in a forest, Lucien teases Dani by taking his sweet little

    kitten and putting it in a rock hole. Desperate Dani tries to save the

    kitten and accidentally falls from a rocky mountain. That is the

    beginning of their tragedy. Dani's leg is broken so seriously that

    there is no entire cure for him, Lucien is "cursed" and considered an

    "evil maker" by many villagers, particularly by Dani's sister Annette

    (Carey Born) and his class mates … he does not know how to live and

    be happy. But destiny does not punish him as severely as most people

    do. He once meets a man who teaches him the art of craftsman. He

    begins to sculpt animals of wood and soon his works are appreciated by

    many people. However, seeing Dani limp and having his guilt all the

    time before his eyes does not allow him to live. The bad atmosphere is

    intensified by Dani's sister who finds every chance to take revenge on

    Lucien. In this desperate situation, there comes a moment of

    forgiveness, a moment of redress, a moment which lightens their lives

    without exception…"

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0129454/usercomments

    Main details of the movie:

    Treasures of the Snow (1980)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0129454/maindetails

    The book is available at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Snow-Patricia-John-Books/dp/0802465757

    The movie is also available in VHS format:

    http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Snow-Daystar-Productions/dp/1885955006/sr=8-3/qid=1158521443/ref=sr_1_3/002-6825176-5802413?ie=UTF8&s=video

    Search strategy:

    After trying various combinations of search terms (using Google), the

    one that led me to The Internet Movie Critic – Find That Film! was:

    book movie "falls and breaks his leg"

    Here I found others looking for a similar movie:

    See #1564, #1182 and #2491.

    http://www.datafriend.com/timc/find.html

    I then searched Google with the following terms: site:.amazon.com

    movie book "wooden animals"

    and found the book. I needed to verify the cat's name, so I used the

    "Search inside this book" facility at Amazon and searched for kitten

    and various spellings of "Claus". The name of the kitten is "Klaus".

    I then located the movie on the Internet Movie Database website.

    I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions regarding my answer,

    or believe this is not the book and movie you remember, please don?t

    hesitate to ask for further assistance before rating.

    Best regards,

    Rainbow

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