The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Watch The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

  • NR
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 5.9  (545)

In 1989, a film adaptation of the classic children's book "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" by Joan Aiken was released, directed by Stuart Orme. The movie starred Stephanie Beacham, Mel Smith, and Emily Hudson in the lead roles. The film is set in an alternate version of 19th century England where wolves roam the countryside due to the lack of human presence in rural areas. The story revolves around two young girls, Bonnie and Sylvia, who are cousins and best friends. Bonnie is left in the care of her cruel governess, Mrs. Slighcarp, while Sylvia goes to London to live with her parents. Mrs. Slighcarp, who is in cahoots with an accomplice, Mr. Grimshaw, devises a scheme to take over Bonnie's family fortune by sending her to a harsh boarding school and stealing all of her correspondence from Sylvia.

As Bonnie is left alone with Mrs. Slighcarp and Mr. Grimshaw, she begins to suspect that something is not quite right. The two adults seem to be hiding something and Bonnie is determined to find out what it is. Her suspicions are confirmed when she overhears a conversation between the two villains revealing their plan to sell Bonnie to a group of "wolves" who have been trained to attack and kill humans. Fearing for her life, Bonnie enlists the help of the housekeeper, Ellen, who agrees to help Bonnie escape and find her way to London to be reunited with Sylvia.

The rest of the film follows the girls on their journey to London, through various mishaps and adventures, as they try to outsmart Mrs. Slighcarp and her accomplice, Mr. Grimshaw, and make it to safety. They face danger at every turn, including being kidnapped by a gang of highway robbers and chased by the "wolves" in the woods. Through it all, Bonnie and Sylvia rely on their wits and rely on the kindness of strangers they meet along the way.

Stephanie Beacham stars as Mrs. Slighcarp, the cruel and cold-hearted governess who is determined to get her hands on Bonnie's family fortune. Beacham's performance is delightfully chilling, as she revels in her villainous role. Mel Smith plays Mr. Grimshaw, Slighcarp's accomplice, who adds just the right amount of comic relief to the film. Emily Hudson shines as Bonnie, the spunky and intelligent young heroine who must use her wits to outsmart her enemies and protect herself and those she loves.

The film is beautifully shot, with stunning landscapes and period costumes that capture the essence of the time period. The use of real wolves and trained dog actors also adds an element of danger and excitement to the film. The score is haunting and memorable, perfectly capturing the mood of the film.

As an adaptation of the beloved children's book, the film does justice to the source material. It captures the spirit of the book's adventurous tone and the bravery of the two young heroines. The characters are well-developed, with Bonnie and Sylvia's friendship at the heart of the story. The theme of trust and loyalty between friends is also beautifully portrayed.

Overall, "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" is a gripping and entertaining adventure film that will appeal to both children and adults alike. It is a classic story of good versus evil, with a pair of plucky heroines at its core. Fans of the book will not be disappointed, and those who are new to the story will be captivated by the gripping plot and stunning visuals.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Where to Watch The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (545)