First released in Oct 2000 - this is basically family-orented ghost story where a youngster discovers that where he is living might be inhabited by more than the new family he now has in his life.
James Greville (a young orphan) has been in and out of children's homes most of his life when his great uncle (played by George Cole) finds him and allows him to live with him at his large property Greville Lodge. As James walks around the large buildings and out-houses the young James uncovers many locked doors. It is not long before some supernatural secrets of the past start to reveal themselves.
OK, this one is a family film and a million miles away from George as Arthur Daley, but I have to say, I quite like this film. George Cole comes across as quite scary and sinister at some points and I have to say, if you haven't seen it, it is well worth a watch.
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Daley & McCann are, as good as, holding hands, on the exercise yard, in the scrubs.
I recall this being shown on the CARLTON CINEMA channel over Christmas of 2000 and more recently it has cropped up on Channel 5 a few times on a Sunday afternoon. I found it to be very much like the Children of Green Knowe.
I just watch it. It really drew me in considering that I think the film looks very dated for the time of its release. I managed to buy the DVD to watch it.
The first 5 minutes, I chuckled. There's a scene of the lead character, the teenager in the 'children's home' getting told he's moving to be with this uncle.
The scene looks a library in a school or something. I see where they're going with that scene. I was in high school that time during the movie release, it was really boring but this scene, makes me very into that lead characters place to be taken to the next scenes.
... and that girl in the scene. I've been to college with women like her. She'll be around 'Oh, you're sooo cool, what's going on here? I'm excited for you!' and never see her again... she's maybe gone to have a smoke and etc, like many other teenage women I meet. That gives the lead character something to think about as he lives with his uncle.
I think that's the whole point of it. It could have been based at any school or college in any city around the country for the viewer like myself to be familiar with the character. Anyways...
I quickly had taken another at the title screen and I couldn't help but to chuckle some more. The title looks like it's getting close to the Harry Potter logo. I see the movie is meant to be extremely fun considering it is a mystery and there wasn't CGI at the time but considering it's a mystery, they make it look fun.
Further in until George Cole's appearance, I chuckled a bit more because it felt like, seeing that movie follows the lead character, it felt like I got dragged in to see family. I remember I used to get rowdy when my parents used to take me places I never wanted and I wanted to see what the 'street' kids were up too, so it felt like that but keeping in mind that George is in it. I see how he used the type-cast he got from Minder to keep me interested to get me entertained but I think that's the point. George Cole's background from the start does lighten the mood until the movie gets serious.
Despite myself chuckling alot from the intro, the movie does get serious and quickly moves away from the chuckles I had from the first 5 minutes, and it does show George Cole giving his serious down-to-earth side that we normally wouldn't see. As the film goes on between various scenes and between character as I watch the movie, it does make me think about why 'I'm staying with Uncle' until the conclusion of the movie.
... and I would see why it's a family film, considering that time of the release, there loads of street youths who were running around to think the drama was on the street, considering what was out there and knowing what's there. Cnsidering it's England, where there's still wealthy country houses to explore and to look after and the 'uncle who knows the street better and who often hires a minder from time to time' with that type of background, needs to look after his family eventfully. I mean obviously George Cole never wanted to continue being seen as the comedy type-cast after the years and success from Minder and clearly everyone knew he had to move on, so I suppose here one of the major roles he got.
I usually miss out on television, hence why I bought it on DVD but yeah, thinking about it now because it's a TV Movie, even back then when it was created, they used to blast reruns of classic shows from the 80s on televisions during the late 90s, like Grange Hill for example, so I suppose that why they went for that dated look for the show to get folks to think it was dated. The story itself is quiet dated but I'm guessing parents (like the ones who were into Minder) would have got their kids to watch it with them. The kids and teens wouldn't look into the publication date of the film and would have caught on watching this film. I think it's rather clever actually and I supposed I would see how that would have worked well together.
jno, yeah the location itself, because of the developments around London and how they modernised it, the building itself doesn't feel modernizated close to the 19th century but I think it helps with the look of the movie and alot. I mean, of course, I'm aware just like everyone here, there's loads of places like that in the midlands and Northern England which are great for filming for movies like this. It does amaze me that it was made during the year 2000 compared to everything else that was being filmed at the time.
The building itself felt like a quest for the lead character, with books and paperwork, for the lead character to feel like he's part of the mystery that he's into. Loads of teenagers want that kind of adventure considering something like Knightmare was popular back in the 80s, being re-run on the televisions during the 90s. I remember watching that back in the 90s because it was still popular. Same grainy feel like in this movie also. I'm seeing how it fits.
I still wouldn't expect George Cole in a mystery with fantasy elements which appear in this movie.