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For the historic location in Lincolnshire, England, see Candlesby.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Tokar
Produced by Hugh Attwooll
Ron W. Miller
Written by Rosemary Anne Sisson
David Swift
Michael Innes (novel)
Starring David Niven
Helen Hayes
Jodie Foster
Leo McKern
Cinematography Paul Beeson
Edited by Peter Boita
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release dates
December 16, 1977 (1977-12-16)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Candleshoe is a 1977 Walt Disney Productions live action family film and heist film based on the Michael Innes novel Christmas at Candleshoe and starring Jodie Foster, Helen Hayes in her last big screen appearance, David Niven and Leo McKern.[1]


Con-artist Harry Bundage (McKern) believes that there is a great treasure at Candleshoe, the large country estate of Lady St Edmund (Hayes).

Harry recruits American Casey Brown (Foster)—a street kid—into the plot, employing her to pose as Lady St Edmund's granddaughter, the Honourable Margaret, 4th Marchioness of St Edmond, who disappeared as a baby after her father died in a car crash. Lady St Edmund, however, is poor and owes money in back taxes. Priory (Niven), her butler (who is forced to pose as a gardener, chauffeur and gentleman Colonel), and some local orphan children help keep the estate finances one step ahead of the government by selling produce made on the estate. All of this happens unknown to Lady St Edmund. Initially Casey enters the con attempting to find the location of the treasure; but her affections gradually turn towards that of the household and Lady St Edmund. She eventually joins them in their quest to uncover Lady St Edmund's treasure for the benefit of Candleshoe, rather than for Bundage. This nearly costs the young girl her life when she is seriously injured trying to prevent Harry from stealing money from Lady St Edmund. Casey is taken to hospital unconscious with severe concussion and remains there for several days before she has recovered enough to return to Candleshoe and try to stop Bundage once and for all.

The four clues revealed in the hunt for the treasure:

  • "For the sunrise student there is treasure among books."
  • "The paths of glory lead but to the grave." (A reference to the poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray.)
  • "He followed the eclipse for riches and fame; and, if ye would prosper, do ye the same."
  • "Underfoot, in the great hall. Look high, look low, discover all."

Casey Brown's "open sesame" for Lady St. Edmund is a piece of music, "Greensleeves." Casey pretends to remember the tune when a music box is discovered hidden in the fireplace.


Compton Wynyates, the main filming location.

Compton Wynyates, in Warwickshire, the home of Spencer, 7th Marquess of Northampton, posed as the fictional estate of Candleshoe. It was also used as the Stratton Mansion in the opening credits of the sitcom Silver Spoons.[citation needed]

The Severn Valley Railway that runs between the midland towns of Bridgnorth and Kidderminister in the United Kingdom was used as a location in the film.[citation needed]



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