Run Wild, Run Free

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Run Wild, Run Free
Run Wild, Run Free.jpg
Theatrical film poster
Directed byRichard C. Sarafian
Produced byAndrew Donally
John Danischewsky
Monja Danischewsky
Based onThe White Colt
1967 novel
by David Rook
StarringJohn Mills
Mark Lester
Music byDavid Whitaker
CinematographyWilkie Cooper
Edited byGeoffrey Foot
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
23 July 1969 (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Run Wild, Run Free is a 1969 British drama film directed by Richard C. Sarafian and starring John Mills and Mark Lester. The film was written by David Rook, based on his novel The White Colt, and shot on location in Dartmoor, Devon, England.[1]


"Philip (Mark Lester) is a troubled 10-year-old boy who has been fleeing the confines of his family's home since babyhood. Like some wild animal, Philip refuses to be penned up. Even more frustrating for his devoted mother and more irritable father, Philip has refused to speak since the age of three. Run Wild, Run Free (1969), directed by Richard C. Sarafian, is occasionally graced with experimental, art film touches, as when, at one point the internal thoughts of Philip's mother (Sylvia Syms) describing her fatigue and inability to love her son can be heard as voice-over as they drive to a therapist appointment.

Out roaming the moors, Philip encounters the kindly, nature-loving retired Colonel (John Mills) who is deeply sympathetic to the boy's plight. Like the nature that surrounds him—the film was shot on location in Dartmoor, Devon, England—the boy is a creature of mute-impulse who must be patiently tamed and drawn out just like the animals he encounters.

The Colonel introduces Philip to the wonders of the moors: the newly hatched birds whose nests are tucked in tree boughs and the copious bugs crawling under the peat. A world opens up to Philip that expands triple fold when he makes the acquaintance of a wild blue-eyed white colt grazing on the moor. The child forms a deep bond to the animal, a creature that seems to understand him like no other. The experience is transformative, until the horse runs away and Philip becomes distraught. He is distracted by a pet kestrel, Lady, given to him by a farm girl neighbour, Diana (Fiona Fullerton). Together Philip, the Colonel and Diana train the bird, reveling in its progress and ability to fly to them. When the bird is horribly injured through Philip's carelessness, all of the progress the Colonel has made seems for naught.

But the bird recovers, the white horse returns and the Colonel teaches Philip to ride. When Diana and Philip are out riding one night and become lost on the foggy moor, it seems possible that this could be their last adventure amidst the wild forces of nature."[2]


Actor Role
John Mills The Moorman (Colonel)
Mark Lester Phillip Ransome
Gordon Jackson Mr. Ransome
Fiona Fullerton Diana
Sylvia Syms Mrs. Ransome
Bernard Miles Reg
Paul Griffiths Young Phillip Ransome

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Run Wild, Run Free (1969) - Filming locations
  2. ^ "Run Wild, Run Free". Retrieved 2013-01-22.

External links[edit]