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Cult Movie Essentials: The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972)

The Boy Who Turned Yellow was a TV movie production made by  the Children’s Film Foundation. It was the last film collaboration by the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and the last theatrical film directed by Michael Powell (49th Parallel, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Matter of Life and Death, Stairway to Heaven, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The Tales of Hoffmann and Peeping Tom.)

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In The Boy Who Turned Yellow we meet John (Mark Dightam) who has a dilemma – he has lost one of his pet mice, Alice, whilst on a school trip to the Tower of London. Upset back in class, he is sent home by his teacher for not paying attention during a lesson on electricity.

Later that day on the London Underground, the train and everyone in it suddenly turns bright, vivid yellow. John’s doctor (Esmond Knight) declares that the condition is harmless and should wear off soon, but that evening John hears noises from his television set and meets the eccentric yellow-coloured Nick (short for Electronic) (Robert Eddison).

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Nick and John return to the Tower of London in an attempt to find Alice, but they are menaced by Yeoman Warders and John is threatened with execution. When John is finally reunited with his pet, he awakes in class. Was his adventure actually all just a dream?

This was the last film of Brian Worth (Scrooge, The Man in the White Suit, An Inspector Calls) who appeared here as John’s Dad – Mr Saunders.

Keep an eye out in the credits:

Our thanks to The Governor of the Tower of London, the London Transport Executive and Studio Film Laboratories Ltd. … FOR TURNING THEMSELVES YELLOW.

 

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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