'Juno Selects: Child's Play'
(Christopher Beeny, Ernest Scott, Patrick Wells, Mona Washbourne, Peter Martyn, et al / DVD / NR / (1954) 2019 / MVD Visual)
Overview: What happens when a bunch of precocious kids get their hands on an atomic chemistry set? They manage to split the atom and thereby create a new form of popcorn, of course!
DVD Verdict: I have to say that as much as I never knew this movie even existed, I am so, just so glad that it arrived here for review and has been added to my personal collection.
Released on DVD for the first time from Juno Selects via those wonderful people from MVD Visual, 'Child's Play' (which, for the record, is most definitely not the one featuring Chucky … or a murderous, bloody-dripping large knife either!), but a thought provoking satire about atomic research and the Official Secrets Act that came to be.
For the most part, 'Child's Play' (1954) is mostly about a gang of kids in a small English village who invent atomic popcorn! Sure, as you would fully expect, it has a silly and sometimes confusing air to it, told as it is by the leader of the gang, Christopher Beeny.
There's definitely also a rough attempt here to emulate Hal Roach's 'Our Gang' series in post-war Britain which can only be a good thing, in my humble opinion.
However, despite some silly moments and a fine, mildly daft performance by Mona Washbourne as the children's collaborator and saleswoman, 'Child's Play' is, without a shadow of a doubt, a wondrous flashback and innocent gem that fully deserves to be seen by today's much wider viewing audience.
Directed by Margaret Thomson, a lady who began her career directing informational shorts for the Department of Agriculture, and who later became a specialist in writing and directing children's movies, 'Child's Play' is a classic film of the day (in black and white, of course) and allows the story to breathe further in scope by adding a suspicious local detective in this family-friendly adventure! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.