On Our Screens: Melody (1971)

Title: Melody

Year: 1971

Country/Region: UK

Director: Waris Hussein

Starring: Mark Lester, Tracy Hyde, Jack Wild


When was the first time a face struck you dumbfounded and electrified — a face that set you yearning? A face that got your heart pounding? Do you remember how you started scribbling his or her name involuntarily on every writable surface your hand touched on?  Do you recall whispering that name while you played, while you studied, while you dreamt?

Do you remember your first love?

Daniel Latimer (Mark Lester), a school lad from a middle-class English family, is instantly hooked by the graceful steps and turns of the pretty Melody Perkins (Tracy Hyde) the moment he peeps into her dance class with his troublemaker pal, Ornshaw (Jack Wild).

In the week that follows, in the assembly hall, in the canteen, in the sports ground, Melody’s every smile, every giggle, every gaze will brighten Daniel’s days.

Daniel Latimer decides that he wants to be with Melody, always.  During a period of truancy, he proposes to her …

“Melody,” also released as “S.W.A.L.K.,” is an early 1970s tale of unlikely puppy love between two pre-teens.  It is directed by Waris Hussein, with a screenplay co-written by Alan Parker (who later helmed “Pink Floyd The Wall,” “Fame” and “The Commitments”), and featuring some of the best remembered songs by the Bee Gees.

Certain parents may classify this film in the “horror” genre due to some wild schoolboy behavior. But apart from the anarchic ending (which allegedly may be edited out in some copies), the film will most likely bring back the sweetest of one’s childhood memories and will trigger a smile from the depth of one’s heart…


Rating (one to five whistles, five being the best): Three-and-a-half whistles


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Image: Optimum Home Releasing