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Hand in Hand (1961)

Kathleen Byron , Finlay Currie , Philip Leacock  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Hand in Hand + The Red Balloon (The Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathleen Byron, Finlay Currie, Arnold Diamond, Eric Francis, Denis Gilmore
  • Directors: Philip Leacock
  • Writers: Diana Morgan, Sidney Harmon
  • Producers: Andrew Mitchell, Helen Winston
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003X82CX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,927 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hand in Hand" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Rachel Mathias, a seven-year-old Jewish girl makes fast friends with her schoolmate Michael O’Malley, an Irish Catholic, they quickly become best pals and confidantes. Sharing a friendship so deep, they vow to become friends “forever and ever - and can’t be parted for never and never”. But their relationship is threatened when their intolerant community makes Rachel and Michael aware of their religious differences. Can their friendship withstand the outside pressure? Is it so strong that it can survive anything? A story about prejudice as seen through the eyes of innocent children, Hand in Hand is a Golden Globe award-winning film for the entire family.

A classic, Golden Globe award-winning black-and-white film from 1960, Hand in Hand is a movie about friendship, religion, prejudice, and tolerance. Seven-year-olds Michael and Rachel are best friends who do everything together and who have vowed to remain friends "forever and ever and can't be parted for never and never." Unfortunately, the society that Michael and Rachel live in is one of religious intolerance. The fact that Michael is Irish Catholic and Rachel is Jewish is a point of conflict for just about everyone in the community. When the two young children are made aware of their ideological differences, it begins to tear apart their friendship, and they decide to test whose God is stronger. What they discover is that at the core, their religions really aren't that different from one another: both worship a God of love, not vengeance. This film is at once a charming and sobering look at America's past: a time when children commonly wandered about for days at a time with no fear of unknown adults, but also an era when people were shunned and discriminated against for their religious beliefs, and when women were thought to be inferior to men. For a 50-year-old film, this DVD version has a remarkably good picture and sound and is presented in widescreen format with optional English subtitles. There is much to be learned from this classic film, but also much to explain to younger viewers who may find it rather difficult to relate to. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Loved Children's Film For All Ages September 27, 2010
By Tee
HAND IN HAND is a charming, moving little British drama from 1960 that enjoyed it's greatest popularity in America several years later for it's multiple runs on THE CBS CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL during the late 60's and 70's. Few kids who saw it during this era ever forgot the movie even if they forgot the film's name, it's one of the most involving dramas ever made for children.

This movie is about Michael, a young Catholic boy, and Rachel, a young Jewish girl, who become the best of friends but whose closeness is threatened by the intolerence of some of the people in their world. A major breach comes when Michael hears that the Jewish people "killed Christ" and both come to believe God Himself is against their friendship but their bond is strong and ultimately each of them dares to visit the other's house of worship. The duo's adventures include a comic road trip in pursuit of Queen Elizabeth and a harrowing rubber raft ride.

The child stars Loretta Parry and Philip Needs are excellent and there's a wonderful cameo by Dame Sybil Thorndyke as a wealthy matron who befriends them. This lovely little film is highly recommended for all ages.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY!!!! September 1, 2010
By Pattie
I have been waiting years for the DVD release. I'm so glad it's finally here! My sisters and I used to watch this every year on the Kukla Fran and Ollie show. I love this movie. It's heartfelt, warm and endearing. I think even kids now-a-days will be able to relate. This is just a wonderful movie about friendship. You laugh, you cry. I can't wait for it's release in Oct.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Hand in Hand" will never be forgotten for those who were fortunate enough to see it during the 1960's and 1970's when it was played often on CBS in several of their children's series. Like others, I've been looking for it for years. Superbly written, beautifully played, most especially by the two children, this story of religous doctrines - and prejudice - separting and dividing people from their true and loving natures has seldom been better rendered in book or film. The only false notes, and they are minor, are struck by the adult actors, who are "acting," while the two lead children are simply "being." And the ending, while touching, would have been stronger if the final shot was of the two children, not the adults, but these are minor distractions from a classic story of innocence confronting the harsh, adult world, and trying to make sense of it. What comes across most strongly is the honestly played love between this boy and girl - both of them talented in singing, in their use of imagination, and in their tender understanding of the world and their willingness to make their love endure, despite the obstacles. Their adventures together, from building a house, hitchhiking to see the Queen (when children could roam free without fear), to sailing to Africa, much of it in thier imagination, are poignantly and honestly rendered. "Fancy fearing that man," the girl says to the boy, remarking on an older man, who they had supposed was nasty, but turns out to be a kind, wise soul. "Fancy fearing anyone," the boy replies. The lessons of this small masterpiece could not be plainer, but what is ultimately the greatest part of this beautiful film is the tender and strong love of these two special childen. A five star must! A classic for the ages!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful movie about tolerance June 26, 2012
I vividly remember this movie from the late 1960's, on the CBS Children's International Film Festival with Kuklaa Fran and Ollie. For decades, the memory of this movie stayed with me, but I could not remember the title or even how it ended. I even had a strong memory of the voice and accent of the child actress who played Rachel.

In the mid 1990's, I went to my local Public Library, to try to find out the name of this movie. When I described the movie to the Reference Librarian, she also remembered the movie and many of the scenes but could not come up with title. She asked two other librarians both of whom also remembered this movie but also could not come up with the name. All said they found the movie to be very powerful while watching the movie on television, and that it stayed with them for a long time. Anyway, the librarian posted a question on some listserv, trying to find out the title and she got the answer of "Hand in Hand" within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, at that time it was not released in any format.

This is less than a review, but how I believe this is a gem of a movie that no one knows about. I watched it for the first time in over 40 years the other day, and found it to be just as memorable and powerful as it was for the first time I watched on television being around 10 years old. Obviously, it is a movie of a certain time and place, but the lessons of prejudice, intolerance, and tolerance are all there and more importantly just as relevant today.

Highly recommended for everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TIMELESS MASTERPIECE March 4, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a movie that no adult or child should miss. The moving story had a place in the deep recesses of my memory until I came across the title when I was surfing on line. I remember the impact it had on me when I first viewed it as a child in the mid 60's and so I immediately purchased it on AMAZON as soon as it became available. It was a surreal experience to watch it again, deja vu if you will, as I found myself recalling what the actors were going to say before the lines were actually uttered. Looking back, it was probably one of the first indications of where my life's journey would take me. For even as a child, I could appreciate the beauty of a loving relationship where differences in religion could serve as an added dimension of understanding and an opportunity to expand one's horizons. Now some 50 years later, I look forward in May to my twin son and daughter graduating from college. They are both wonderful people with a sensitivity to others, the product of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother..........
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic children's movie for all ages and all times.
My mother took me to see this in the 60s.
Great to see it again.
A classic.
Highly recommended.
Great performances by the young actors.
Published 12 days ago by Liscard
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't even know the title till I got the great idea to search for...
Waited over 40 years to see this movie again! Didn't even know the title till I got the great idea to search for Children's Film Festival on You Tube.
Published 1 month ago by John J. Coffey
5.0 out of 5 stars It felt great to share it with my 8 year old
I had been looking for this for over 40 years. It felt great to share it with my 8 year old!
Published 1 month ago by Ruby Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very sweet movie
Published 1 month ago by amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best movie ever!!! Ever!!!!!!
Published 2 months ago by catfood
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Religious Belief
I bought this movie because I remembered it from my childhood. Seeing it as an adult again, it was a bit different than I remembered it, but still a sweet story with a serious... Read more
Published 2 months ago by James W. Doyle
5.0 out of 5 stars This film solidifies the true examples of both friendship &...
Back in 1961, (long before cable television was something then of an future mainstream) CBS released for the first time on The Children's Film Festival Hour (hosted by Kukla Fran &... Read more
Published 2 months ago by IZZY
5.0 out of 5 stars THE THINGS YOU FIND AT AMAZON!
I saw this movie when I was a child, and will watch it now as an adult. This was a pleasant find...thank you
Published 4 months ago by Inez F Gomez
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent storyline but outdated
Excellent storyline, however due to the age of the film, some thinking is outdated..such as it is a "sin to go into a synagogue" and the Jews killed Christ"
Published 7 months ago by MaryAnne Keefe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories from childhood - love it!
I watched this movie when I was 8 years old & have always loved it! I was so happy to find it on DVD @ Amazon!
Published 8 months ago by Lorraine A. Wendt
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