Why am I talking about Candleshoe, a 1977 Disney movie starring young Jodie Foster and the incomparable David Niven? Because someone told me my mystery, The Impersonator, reminded me of that film. Curious, I ordered a copy from Netflix.
Hard to believe a Disney movie existed that I had not seen–in fact, I had not even heard of it! I figured this one must have been a flop to fly so low under my radar. So I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed it very much. Jodie Foster was one of those rare children who really can act. She was 15 when she starred in this film, although her character was younger, like 13-14.
So why did a reader think my story reminded her of Candleshoe? There are several similarities: an orphaned girl who looks like a missing heiress is discovered by an unscrupulous con artist, who plans to get his hands on some loot in an English castle. In the case of Candleshoe, the lure is a missing pirate’s treasure (I have no pirates or missing gold coins in my story, rather an inheritance of family business worth millions). There is a scene where the con man takes young Casey to eat at a fancy restaurant, as there is in my book. And there are other children and a sharp grandmother in both.
For those with young children, this is a great movie–harmless fun with a castle, orphans, pirate treasure, some silly humor, and a happy ending (of course!). There is a bit of violence in the form of some inept sword fighting and the con man slaps Casey at one point, but no one is killed. The best line? During the Disney-esque sword fight between David Niven and the evil con man, Niven’s character slices off the con man’s tie. “You swine!” shouts the con man, “My regimental tie!”