As WWII encroaches on a small English town, a young lad (Sebastian Rice-Edwards) looks upon it as a great adventure. A break from the monotonous routine of everyday existence. An absolute joy, this may be director John Boorman's best film. War is a horrible thing, we all know that but as politically incorrect as it sounds, it can be an adventure and as seen through the eyes of a child, it's both exhilarating and horrible. Bombed out homes become club houses, children search through the rubble for pieces of shrapnel and other souvenirs, bombs bursting are looked upon with awe rather than terror and when schoolhouses are bombed, children cheer because it means more holiday time. But it's not all frivolity. Boorman, sometimes in a single shot, shows up both the tragedy and the comical. While most WWII films about the homefront (like MRS. MINIVER or SINCE YOU WENT AWAY) focus on how those who wait also endure, this is notMRS. MINIVER. The film is fortunate in young Rice-Edwards and also young Geraldine Muir, two child actors who give fresh and natural performances rather than the usual parroting performances given by child actors. Two other performers stand out. Ian Bannen as a cranky grandfather and the adorable Sammi Davis as a 15 year old girl who grows up in a hurry (when asked about her going out with soldiers, she replies "I'm just doing my bit for the war!"). The rest of the cast includes Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Derek O'Connor, Jean Marc Barr and Susan Wooldridge.