Grasshopper Island

Date: 1971
Director: Joy Whitby
Production Company: Grasshopper Productions

Stars: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Charles Hawtrey, Patricia Hayes, Julian Orchard, Frank Muir
Location(s): Corsica (France), Essex, London, Pembrokeshire (Wales)

Region(s): , , ,

Storyline:

Three young brothers run away to find an uninhabited island.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

This production was originally transmitted as a series on television and later released on DVD as a seamless film.

 

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Outside the house where he and his brothers have been brought up by all sorts of different adults, Toughy shouts as he runs down a plank waving a stick.

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Toughy follows Smarty and Mouse into the tall house in town that has room to run upstairs and down, but not sideways.

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The three brothers are always being told what to do and what not to do and one day they decide to run away.

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Early next morning, a Taxi Driver (Tim Brooke-Taylor) grumbles when Toughy, Mouse and Smarty ask him to drive them as far as their money will take them towards the sea.

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The taxi sets off towards the docks on the other side of town.

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At the docks, no ship will take the boys as they don't have passports. Tilbury Docks on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex.

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When Mouse says that he wants to go home, Smarty marches ahead. The vessel with the 'T' on the funnel is the tug General VII of the Thames & General Lighterage Co. dating from 1962 and this is the Centre Branch Dock at Tilbury.

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Carrying their chest, Toughy and Mouse follow Smarty. General VII sank with the loss of three lives following a collision off Tilbury in 1985. The centre of the three bulk berths at Tilbury Docks in Essex.

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Approaching the edge of the quay, Toughy, Smarty and Mouse spot a boat with what appeared to be an Elderly Boy sitting on deck, knitting. Nelson Quay in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. The warehouses have been demolished and replaced.

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Onlookers watch as the Elderly Boy (Charles Hawtrey) and his new crew prepare to set sail in the former lifeboat. Nelson Quay with the roof of the Fish Market visible to the top right.

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As Toughy weighs anchor, Smarty coils the rope. The buildings in the background stand on Hamilton Terrace in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire.

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A taxi bringing the adults on the trail of the brothers arrives at the quayside. Nelson Quay with the bow of the trawler Picton Sealion on the extreme left.

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While the adults call for forgiveness and make promises to the boys, the boat turns and heads out to sea. Hamilton Terrace runs along the top of the image with the Lord Nelson Hotel standing to the left of centre. The dock was restyled as Milford Marina in 1991.

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As they sail on in search of an uninhabited island, the crew do nautical things and live on potatoes and rhubarb wine.

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The uninhabited island comes into view, just where Smarty said it would be.

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Once on the island, the brothers find a suitable cottage to live in. This building is in Vignaccia to the north of Monticello on the Island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea.

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The three get to work cleaning and tidying.

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With no haircuts, no school dinners, no goodnight kisses and best of all, no grown-ups, the boys enjoy their freedom.

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After finding supplies, mastering cooking and building their own beds, Toughy, Smarty and Mouse make a comfortable box for the latest addition to the group . . . a young chick. Vignaccia, Monticello.

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Toughy discovers another building on the island.

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Lupus (Patricia Hayes) hangs out washing as Cornelius Button (Julian Orchard) leaves the house. This is The Mill at Reginu Monticello, Corsica.

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The building is a former olive mill in Reginu near Camping Monticello railway station in Monticello, a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France. Gerard and Pat Coates advise that they lived in the house between 2005 and the end of 2011.

When the coast is clear, Smarty approaches the house where Cornelius and Lupus live. The Mill at Reginu in the Balagne region of Corsica. Gerard and Pat continue "We used to rent the house to tourists and move into a converted Bergerie on the land. The house is now known as Le Moulin and Reginu is a lovely hamlet five minutes from Monticello where Frank Muir had his holiday home."

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Gerard and Pat provide this image of the property from 2010.

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Toughy climbs into the home of the grasshopper expert and his housekeeper. The Mill at Reginu. The property was owned by Corsican friends of Frank Muir at the time of filming.

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Cornelius Button returns home after sending a letter. This is the old passenger building at Le Regino railway station in Speloncato, Corsica.

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A long shot of the one room cottage where Toughy, Smarty and Mouse have set up home. Vignaccia near Monticello.

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Lupus, Cornelius and the boys are happy spending their days together. The Mill in Monticello.

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Dr. Hopper (Frank Muir) comes looking for Cornelius Button. The Mill at Reginu near Monticello in Corsica, France. Gerard and Pat recall that they always left a DVD copy of the enchanting 'Grasshopper Island' for guests.

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