Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (Never Take Candy from a Stranger) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (Never Take Candy from a Stranger) Reviews

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May 16, 2016
Very disturbing but true!
July 19, 2014
A 1960s Hammer production that departed from their usual horror film for a more realistic type of horror, child sexual abuse. Instead of being about Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy or other various ghouls, this film follows the parents a girs who's fallen victim of a pedophile who also happens to be the small town's rich and powerful patriarch. The tone of the film is somewhat uneven, going between being an "message" picture in the first part of the film and being a suspense/horror story in the second half. Both elements are done effectively, but neither blends very well with the other. It's interesting that over 50 years later, this film this is a topic that rarely makes it onto film (outside of a being motivation for a revenge story) and still today has quite a creep factor to it. Even a recent film like "Hard Candy" still felt this same uniqueness of taking on a topic that few films do, though "Hard Candy" also had a pretty wicket twist to it. Cripstly photographed by regular Hammer cinematographer Freddie Francis this picture is overall a strong, if uneven, bit of film.
½ September 8, 2012
A more than interesting smaller Hammer flick--Quite amazing and modern for 1960!!
½ October 27, 2010
Never Take Candy From a Stranger, is a very unique movie in many aspects, not to mention the delicate subject matter; paedophilia.
From the legendary Hammer Film Productions, known for their english, colorful and characteristic horror movies from the late 1950s all through the 60s, they made this crime/thriller, set in Canada. What impresses me the most about this movie besides the daring plot is the superb direction by Cyril Frankel. You really get as shocked as the character, Jeans's mother after hearing the kid's revelations about their "games" with old Mr. Olderberry.
It's gets really creepy towards the end as well, which qualifies this as one of the best movies in this genre I've ever seen from the 1960s.

9-year old Jean Carter and her friend, Lucille, are on the swings on a playground when Jean loses her candy money in the grass. After looking for it in vain Lucille tells her that she know an old man who always got candy for little girls...
Jean later tells her mother about the "game" they had been playing earlier that day, and her mother, gobsmacked, decides to report it to the police. It turns out being a little bit more complicated then she first expected since the old man is the father of the biggest shot in town, and being newcomers in the town, the Carter-family is having lots of trouble getting any response from Lucille's parents or any credibility at all from the other people in the village. The whole thing gets more difficult since they got no proof for the accusation but Jean's testimony.

Very good movie that deserves more attention.

I owe a special thanks to Monsieur Rick for this!
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2010
1 of the most creepiest films Ive ever seen
July 11, 2010
Also on the Icons Of Suspense collection this shocker about how a small town in Canada deals with the revelation that its patriarch, the mill founder who built the town, has turned in his decrepitude to preying on nine-year-old girls. That the social response is to protect the patriarch and secure their own jobs, and keep the stain away, is beyond mind-blowing to see played out so crisply and truthfully in a film of this era. And this one is a shocker. We were screaming on the edge of our seats by the end, the tension was so high. The emotional treatment of the couple whose daughter's been compromised is beautiful. When the town more or less turn their backs on the parents, who have spoken the truth for all to hear, they accept the coventry that follows and prepare to leave, and our hearts go with them. The courtroom drama is nail-biting, and infuriating, and the details of the story are deftly handled. Other than 'M' there isn't as unsettling a portrayal of this subject. As another reviewer has pointed out, it bears some resemblance in tone to Lewton's Curse of The Cat People, itself one of the most haunting evocations of childhood ever filmed (and undoubtedly the tonal progenitor of To Kill A Mockingbird). Incredible to find such profound filmmaking coming out of Hammer at this time. Beautifully framed throughout by Freddie Francis. More please!
May 30, 2010
A truly frightening look at a town dealing with a child molester. It's still a bit shocking today, it must of been mind blowing when it came out in 1960. Well worth a watch, and shows that Hammer was a damned fine studio even without the Dracula/Frankenstein movies.
March 27, 2010
First-rate serious crime drama and a courageous attempt by Hammer to deal with the difficult subject of child abuse, well ahead of its time.
½ June 7, 2008
Sujet tres controverse pour l'epoque mais raconte avec un realisme hors du commun. On ne peut que suivre avec interet. DVD region 2 seulement.
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