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The Yellow Balloon PG rating

A young boy is coerced into helping a fugitive in J. Lee Thompson’s taut crime thriller, set amid the bombed-out ruins of post-war London.

Thriller 1953 80 mins

Director: J. Lee Thompson



Frankie is devastated when his friend Ronnie falls to his death while playing in a blitzed building, but is even more distraught when the only witness – a hidden fugitive - blackmails him on the basis that he’s implicated in the tragedy.

J. Lee Thompson’s taut crime thriller was controversially given an X certificate by the British Board of Film Censors, only for the decision to be overturned following an outcry when its young lead (Andrew Ray) was unable to watch the film. With its copious images of post-war devastation it remains a highly evocative London film that deserves to be better known.