Review: ‘Sky West and Crooked’

It's a family affair with Hayley Mills starring, poppa John Mills doing his first directorial stint and his wife Mary (who writes professionally as Mary Hayley Bell), sharing the screenplay with John Prebble from her own story.

It’s a family affair with Hayley Mills starring, poppa John Mills doing his first directorial stint and his wife Mary (who writes professionally as Mary Hayley Bell), sharing the screenplay with John Prebble from her own story.

Hayley Mills portrays a village girl who is a misfit because of simplicity, the result of an accident which resulted in the death of her boy playmate and her own wounding.

The adults around the village tolerantly regard her as slightly idiotic, with her morbid obsession with death which causes her to be at her happiest when playing in the local graveyard and in burying dead pets in consecrated ground.

This naive yarn is rescued from bathos by the evident sincerity of both star and director and by a very convincing portrayal of village life, highlighted by some excellent photography by Arthur Ibbetson. John Mills has played safe in his first directing experiment and the result, while often stodgy, suggests that he knows his way around a directorial chair.

Sky West and Crooked

UK

Production

Rank. Director John Mills; Producer Jack Hanbury; Screenplay Mary Hayley Bell, John Prebble; Camera Arthur Ibbetson; Editor Gordon Hales; Music Malcolm Arnold; Art Director Carmen Dillon

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Hayley Mills Ian McShane Laurence Naismith Geoffrey Bayldon Annette Crosbie Norman Bird

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