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Q: Looking for the title of a book and film from childhood ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Looking for the title of a book and film from childhood
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: wwarby-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 15 Sep 2006 00:21 PDT
Expires: 15 Oct 2006 00:21 PDT
Question ID: 765482
I read a book in primary school which I loved, and for years I've been
trying to remember the title so I can get hold of a copy. There was
also a movie version which I've seen. All I want is the title of the
book and the movie (if they aren't the same). The following is all the
detail I can remember:

- The main character was a boy of about 10 named Danny. At the
beginning of a story he is in an area of open woodland or perhaps a
field (in England I think) with about 3 friends, one of which is a
girl who I think was a little older (perhaps 13). They approach a
steep drop down to a river or stream, and on a ledge sticking out of
the rock face, they find a stranded cat which has fallen down there.
They try to rescue the cat and the main character Danny falls down to
the ledge and brakes his leg. The others run for help and a man
absails climbs down on a rope to rescue the boy. They keep the cat and
name it "Claus" after Santa Claus. That is the only scene I remember
with any clarity. I remember a scene vaguely where the boy leaves on a
train and his friends are waving goodbye on the platform, and I
remember that for much of the story Danny is in bed at home with his
leg in a cast.

- I have a hunch that the story was set at the time of World War II,
and that the children had been sent to the countryside for protection,
and that is why Danny was leaving on a train in one scene.

- The book was read to us in primary school by one of the parents who
was blind. She had a copy of the book in brail, and I assume she
didn't have it printed specially so it must have been
popular/mainstream enough to be printed in brail.

- The book was aimed at children, but not really young children.
Perhaps 8 and up was the target audience.

- I read it and saw the movie in primary school which would mean the
latest possible date for both 1989. My best estimate is that the book
is older than the movie, possibly 60's or 70's, and that the movie is
probably 80's or possibly 70's, but those are really just guesses
based on a faint memory.

- I think the movie was made with British speaking actors. I'm about
80% sure of this. I also think it was made for TV, and possibly
released on VHS.

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 15 Sep 2006 05:41 PDT
Dear Wwarby, 

The name of the hero, the location, the success of the book and the
fact that it has been made into a film lead me to a book, but this one
is a bit different. Tell me if this rings a bell:
- Danny lives in the English countryside with his father
- His father runs a petrol station
- He and his father devise a plan to lure pheasants and poach some of
them (in grounds belonging to the "bad guy" in the story).

Could it be part of the story?

Clarification of Question by wwarby-ga on 15 Sep 2006 10:36 PDT

That does sound vaguely familiar. I have to be honest and say I that
the only details I remember clearly are those in my description - I am
26 and I was probably no older than 7 when I read this book / saw the
movie. The petrol station doesn't ring any bells at all. The pheasant
poaching does spark something in my brain but I can't be sure that I'm
not mixing memories. Sorry if that clarification wasn't as useful as
it might have been, and thanks for your interest so far...

Clarification of Question by wwarby-ga on 15 Sep 2006 11:42 PDT

I've just looked into this a little more, and I'm pretty certain now
that you're talking about "Danny, Champion of the World" by Rhold
Dahl, which unfortunately isn't the book I'm looking for. I've been
looking for this book for years and I have confused the details Rhold
Dahl's novel with it before, but it definitely is not the same story
I'm thinking of (I read that one too and saw the movie when I was
young). Sorry!


Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 16 Sep 2006 08:49 PDT
Hi William,

I have searched hours for this movie/book with no luck. The closest I
came to is one that doesn't quite fit the description you provided.
However, could you perhaps be thinking of "Hope and Glory"?

If this isn't the movie you remember, is there anything else you can
provide, no matter how small, that may help in this search. Thanks.


Clarification of Question by wwarby-ga on 16 Sep 2006 12:48 PDT

Thanks very much for trying, but I'm afraid that's not it either -
I've seen Hope and Glory. The other one I tend to mix up with what I'm
searching for is "The Railway Children" which I also saw when I was
young and has a vaguely similar story.

I have been racking my brain for literally years trying to recover any
additional scraps of memory about this book - I'll try to embelish a
little, but I want to be careful not to introduce any red herrings
from confused memories.

I believe the main character breaking his leg was kind of central to
the story. There was at least one scene (but probably more) where the
boy was in bed in a house with his leg in a cast. I'm pretty sure the
cat named "Claus" was sitting with him. I think it was a kitten too,
but I'm not 100% on that (I'm not certain that the name was spelled
"Claus" either, but I think it was). I think I remember a scene where
the boy's friends (I think an older girl and a younger boy - they
might have been siblings come to think of it) come to visit him whilst
his leg in in a cast, and I think they sign their names on the cast.
The clearest part of the picture I have is that he falls onto this
ledge whilst trying to rescue a cat. I think they boy is playing with
his friends (or siblings) when they see the cat, which I think is on
the edge of the ravine and when the boy tries to rescue it, he falls
off the edge quite a long way down onto an outcrop of rock. Adults are
called to help and a man, possibly his dad climbs down on a rope to
lift the boy to safety. Sorry, I know there isn't much new in there
but it's the best I can do.

The film was a family, feel-good type film, probably made-for-tv. I
don't think I can altogether rule out the possibility that I might be
wrong about the name of the boy. I'm guessing with the lack of detail
that my best chance is somebody who knows the story and recognises it.
I have spent countless hours hunting around online with all the
details I can remember and come up empty handed. Stupid thing is, I'll
probably be disappointed if I ever do track it down and read it again,
but feel oddly compelled to keep trying.

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 17 Sep 2006 07:42 PDT
Hi William,

An unlikely possibility (no broken leg that I can find) -

Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian
First published in 1981.
Winner of the "Guardian Children's Fiction Award".  
Willie Beech goes to stay with Mr Thomas Oakley during WW 2. 
There's a cat illustrated on this cover.
UK television adaptation. (1998). Winner of "Most Poplular TV Program" award.
Picture of train on DVD cover.
Inspirational - tearjerker - feel good.

1983 paperback edition photo:

You could try browsing through the following list to see if anything rings a bell.

List of Fictional Cats
# 1 Legendary, mythological and fairytale cats
# 2 Cats and felines in literature
# 3 Cats and felines in plays
# 4 Cats and felines in film
# 5 Cats and felines in television

Regards and good luck,

Clarification of Question by wwarby-ga on 17 Sep 2006 09:42 PDT

Thanks very much for trying but I'm pretty certain that's not it
either. My mother has "Goodnight Mr. Tom" on DVD and although I
haven't seen it, I've told her the details of the story I remember and
she said they don't match. I had a good look through the list you
suggested on Wikipedia and went on to spent an hour or so using both
Wikipedia and Google to search Wikipedia for various keywords I
remember and drew a blank. I'm starting to experiment with variations
on the spelling of "Claus" ("Klaus", "Clauss", "Claws" etc.) just in

In an effort to rule out any details I might have confused from other
movies discussed that I saw at about the same age, I have just ordered
a copies of "Hope and Glory", "Danny, Champion of the World" and "The
Railway Children". If any of these give me any more clues as to the
story I'm looking for, I will be sure to post back.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded so far - I really
appreciate the interest.

Clarification of Question by wwarby-ga on 17 Sep 2006 09:48 PDT
I just upped the list price for my question to $50. Clearly some
people have already gone to considerable effort to help me find this
book/film and although I haven't had any success yet, the information
is worth a lot to me and at $50 it'll still be a bargain.
Subject: Re: Looking for the title of a book and film from childhood
Answered By: rainbow-ga on 17 Sep 2006 12:45 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi William,

I believe I have found the book/movie you are looking for. The title
is "Treasures of the Snow".

From a user on the Internet Movie Database:

"TREASURES OF THE SNOW (1980) is a story of children who live in a
Swiss countryside. The film starts in "media res", we see children
arriving at a small train station and a 14 year- old boy reflecting on
his guilt, nervous and striking not to be noticed. Soon comes a much
earlier moment and the whole film explains the beginning. Dani
(Timothy Fleetwood) and Lucien (Paul Dean) are friends. Once, when
they are in a forest, Lucien teases Dani by taking his sweet little
kitten and putting it in a rock hole. Desperate Dani tries to save the
kitten and accidentally falls from a rocky mountain. That is the
beginning of their tragedy. Dani's leg is broken so seriously that
there is no entire cure for him, Lucien is "cursed" and considered an
"evil maker" by many villagers, particularly by Dani's sister Annette
(Carey Born) and his class mates ... he does not know how to live and
be happy. But destiny does not punish him as severely as most people
do. He once meets a man who teaches him the art of craftsman. He
begins to sculpt animals of wood and soon his works are appreciated by
many people. However, seeing Dani limp and having his guilt all the
time before his eyes does not allow him to live. The bad atmosphere is
intensified by Dani's sister who finds every chance to take revenge on
Lucien. In this desperate situation, there comes a moment of
forgiveness, a moment of redress, a moment which lightens their lives
without exception..."

Main details of the movie:
Treasures of the Snow (1980)

The book is available at Amazon:

The movie is also available in VHS format:

Search strategy:
After trying various combinations of search terms (using Google), the
one that led me to The Internet Movie Critic - Find That Film! was:
book movie "falls and breaks his leg"

Here I found others looking for a similar movie:
See #1564, #1182 and #2491.

I then searched Google with the following terms:
movie book "wooden animals"
and found the book. I needed to verify the cat's name, so I used the
"Search inside this book" facility at Amazon and searched for kitten
and various spellings of "Claus". The name of the kitten is "Klaus".

I then located the movie on the Internet Movie Database website.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions regarding my answer,
or believe this is not the book and movie you remember, please don?t
hesitate to ask for further assistance before rating.

Best regards,
wwarby-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Rainbow, you are a gentleman. I can't thank you enough for your fine
efforts. this is without a doubt the correct title - I recognise the
boy on the cover of the video. You have put to rest a search that has
lasted me several years and cost me several nights of straining to
remember any small detail. I was beginning to wonder if I had some
major parts of the story mixed up but it seems I was right about most
of the detail, apart from the spellings of the names.

Incidentally, I managed to find several retailers of a DVD version in
the UK - interestingly are all Christian publication websites -
presumably the story has a Christian theme which I don't remember at
all. Anyway, I've just ordered the DVD and in a minute I'm going to
order the book. Again, thank you very much for lending me your superb
detective skills.

Best Regards,


Subject: Re: Looking for the title of a book and film from childhood
From: rainbow-ga on 17 Sep 2006 13:43 PDT
Thank you very much for the comments, rating and generous tip. I'm
glad I was able to help you find the name of this movie.

Best regards,
Rainbow <<<not a gentleman ;-)

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