The Babby

There is not necessarily any educational value here, but I felt like sharing it. It will probably give you immense pleasure.

THE KIDNAPPERS (1953) is set in Nova Scotia but the two little kids are Scottish. Jon Whiteley went on to do MOONFLEET with Fritz Lang, while Vincent Winter is in GREYFRIARS BOBBY and went on to become a production manager and assistant director, working on such films as THE STUD, SUPERMAN and THE DARK CRYSTAL. The babby is Anthony Michael Heathcoat, in drag. The babby didn’t win a special Oscar, despite giving a trans performance equal to Jared Leto’s, but the other two did.

Screenwriter Neil Paterson also wrote MAN ON A TIGHTROPE, a little-thought-of Kazan picture from his anti-communist phase, and adapted ROOM AT THE TOP. These credits were enough to make him a big wheel in the nascent “Scottish film industry” so he would always be asked to sit on committees, which invariably descended into shouting matches due to his ferocious temper and stubbornness.

And that’s all I have to say. The clip’s charm needs no explication.

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8 Responses to “The Babby”

  1. What a delight

  2. Immense pleasure, indeed. Jon Whiteley is probably my favourite child actor ever for the gravity with which he always approached the task, but his two co-stars here are equally impressive.

  3. Monastic solemnity!

  4. David Boxwell Says:

    Whiteley worked twice with Dirk Bogarde (HUNTED and THE SPANISH GARDNER), very effectively, and has some choice words about him in John Coldstream’s biography of DG.

  5. Oh, I must get ahold of that. Bogarde was a piece of work. And I don’t imagine him having much of a paternal side. Or a brotherly side. Or anything that would be helpful for their relationship, really.

  6. judydean Says:

    It’s a great biography. Mr Wingrove and I went to hear the author speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival a few years back. Bogarde’s collected letters are also a very good read.

  7. David Boxwell Says:

    The gist is that JW saw the nice Dirk when they first worked together on Hunted; 4 years later, JW saw only the very bad Dirk, who felt threatened by the boy as the center of everyone’s attention.

  8. That makes sense. Also makes sense that JW would be smart enough to interpret what it was about. I’ll still have to read the book.

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