The Yellow Balloon

The Yellow Balloon

J Lee Thompson (1952)

PG Certificate


Our Score
A typical example of the many dour dramas churned out by postwar British cinema. Exploiting the period's austere atmosphere and run-down landscapes, it owes much to such Hollywood "child in peril" pictures as The Window. In his second film as writer/director, J Lee Thompson would have done better to focus on the relationship between timid pre-teen Andrew Ray and fugitive killer William Sylvester, but he can't resist throwing in a social message and a family crisis that slows the action and dilutes the suspense. Kenneth More flops as the doting dad, but Kathleen Ryan makes a monstrously shrewish mother.


A boy dies while playing in the ruins of a London neighbourhood destroyed during the blitz. His friend, who was with him at the time and blames himself, is blackmailed by a murderer on the run, and is forced to steal from his parents to fund the fugitive's escape or be accused of causing his friend's death. Crime drama, starring Andrew Ray and Kathleen Ryan.

Cast & Crew

Frankie Palmer Andrew Ray
Emily Palmer Kathleen Ryan
Ted Palmer Kenneth More
PC Chapman Bernard Lee
Ron Williams Stephen Fenemore
Len Turner William Sylvester
Jessie Stokes Marjorie Rhodes
Charlie Sid James
Director J Lee Thompson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Assoc. British Pathe LtdAvailable on: DVD