image for Candleshoe

Short takes

Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 7 (violence, delinquent behaviour, mild coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Candleshoe
  • a review of Candleshoe completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 June 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to some violence, delinquent behaviour, and mild coarse language.
Children aged 6–7 Parental guidance recommended due to some violence, delinquent behaviour, and mild coarse language.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Candleshoe
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact.
Length: 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Casey Brown (Jodie Foster) is an unwanted and delinquent 15 year-old orphan who is hand-balled from one foster home to the next. Her life takes a major turn when she makes a deal with British con man Harry Bundage (Leo McKern): She agrees to go to England with him and to convince Lady St. Edmund (Helen Hayes) that she is her long-lost grand-daughter Margaret, who was kidnapped and taken to America by her father when she was four years old and was never found. Bundage has knowledge of a precious family treasure of ancient gold coins that is hidden somewhere on the St. Edmund family estate of Candleshoe, and he wants Casey to unravel the clues to find it. Casey manages to convince Lady St. Edmund and is taken in. Casey soon discovers: the kind-hearted elderly Lady has taken four other orphans into her care; the estate is on the brink of foreclosure; and it is only thanks to loyal butler Priory's (David Niven) efforts (for example by putting on different roles of servants that had to be made redundant, unbeknownst to Lady St. Edmund) that they have not been evicted. As Casey starts to feel more and more comfortable, welcomed and at home for the first time in her life, she decides to find the treasure – not to split the profit with Harry but to save Candleshoe.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Coming of age; Family; Adventure; Treasure Hunt; Comedy.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Casey gets slapped in the face by the foster care manager.
  • Casey, Cluny and Anna get into a fight where they slap, hit, and push each other.
  • Bundage and his cousin Clara threaten to harm Casey (indicating they will kill and dispose of her body in the ocean) if she doesn't do what they expect of her.
  • Bundage wants to steal the money that Priory, Casey and the other children earned at the market. When Casey tries to stop him, Bundage hits her over the head, nearly runs her over with the car, and Clara pushes her so hard that she smashes into a tree and ends up in hospital with a concussion.
  • Bundage attacks Priory with a hatchet and a sword.
  • One of Bundage's accomplices is knocked out with an iron saucepan.
  • Bundage, Clara, and their accomplices get buried under rubble – but don't appear to get harmed.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are no further scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children under the age of five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are no further scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children aged five to eight.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • One reference to Cherry Coke.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • You lousy creeps!
  • Shut up!
  • You rotten little scut!
  • Stupid little nutter!
  • You miserable, double-crossing little worm!
  • You swine!

In a nutshell

Candleshoe is a family adventure film from 1977, starring a teenage Jodie Foster, a brilliant David Niven, and other talented cast. Despite its datedness, the catchy story will still entertain a modern family audience, and the movie's messages remain as relevant as ever. Not suitable for children under 6 and parental guidance for 6-7 year olds is recommended due to some naughty and delinquent behaviour, as well as a couple of scary and violent scenes.

The main messages from this movie are that money isn't all that counts, and that nothing compares to the wonderful sense of belonging and feeling loved.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Love and Warmth
  • Selflessness
  • Honesty
  • Working together
  • Protecting what and who you love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Being dishonest, and distinguishing between wilfully scheming, lying, cheating without remorse and resorting to little white lies in order to protect a loved one from getting upset, e.g. Priory taking on many different roles in order to make Lady St. Edmund happy and stop her from worrying – which he gets found out for in the end.