Whistle Down The Wind Director Bryan Forbes, Passes Away at 86

Many years ago. I saw a wonderful film called “Whistle Down The Wind”. Made in 1961, I first saw this film in the late 1980s on a TV broadcast

Telling the story of an escaped convict, found in a barn by children who mistake the runaway (played by Alan Bates) for Jesus.


Lovely film, happy yet realistic, I have since seen this film at least a dozen times over the years. So it was with some sadness that I woke this morning to see the news article reporting the death of Bryan Forbes, Director of  “Whistle Down The Wind”

Bryan Forbes

Battling a long illness has taken its toll on Bryan and at the age of 86. He has passed away

Bryan was married to actress Nanette Newman, who also appeared in several of his films, and with whom he had two daughters – the TV presenter Emma Forbes and the journalist Sarah Standing.

Bryan Forbes, was awarded the CBE in 2004 for services to the arts and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, was born under the name of John Theobald Clarke in Stratford, London in 1926.

He began acting in the late 1940s after changing his professional name, playing a number of supporting roles in notable British films including An Inspector Calls and The Colditz Story. But he soon became changed direction and became a screenwriter and director.

His directing debut was the Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

In 1969 Bryan became the chief of production and managing director of Associated British, a studio that produced the classic, The Railway Children (1970)


For those wanting to know more about Bryan Forbes’s life. YOu can check out the two volumes of his autobiography that have been written 

If you havent checked out the wonderful Whistle Down The Wind. Do yourself a favour and seek it out.

Its well worth it.

Thank you for the films Bryan.

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