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Candleshoe was a Disney live action film from 1977, directed by Norman Tokar and based on a book by Michael Innes, a.k.a. J. I. M. Stewart.
Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster, already with "Oscar-nominated" attached to her name thanks to Taxi Driver, is Casey Brown, a street smart juvenile delinquent living in Los Angeles. One day, she is discovered by con man Harry Bundage (Leo McKern), who realizes that she is the perfect double for the long-lost granddaughter of Lady Gwendolyn St. Edmund (Helen Hayes). Bundage thus brings Casey with him to England to meet Lady St. Edmund, whom she successfully fools. You see, Lady St. Edmund's old manor house Candleshoe is alleged to contain a hidden treasure and Bundage, along with his partner-in-crime Clara Grimsworthy (Vivian Pickles), need someone on the inside to go through the Linked-List Clue Methodology.
But after joining the household, Casey discovers a terrible truth. Lady St. Edmund is an Impoverished Patrician and doesn't even know it. Her only servant left is the butler, Priory (David Niven), who pretends to be all the rest of the household staff by being a Master of Disguise. A group of local orphans taken in by the Lady (Veronica Quilligan, Ian Sharrock, Sarah Tamakuni, David Samuels) do most of the upkeep on the house and keep Candleshoe in the black by selling food grown on the estate at the local market. Of course, Casey couldn't care less about any of this and is only concerned with finding the treasure... at least for awhile anyway.
Tropes Associated With This Film Include:
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The group does the usual "toss the villains out and move the furniture to block the door" stunt, only to have the baddies reappear through the open door at the opposite end of the room.
- All-Star Cast: Not the entire cast, but it's amusing to note that the three main stars (Jodie Foster, David Niven, and Helen Hayes) are all Oscar winners. (Foster was only nominated at the time, but she would later win twice.)
- Becoming the Mask: Casey
- Broken Bird: Casey
- Defenestrate and Berate
- Driving a Desk
- Fake Brit: Helen Hayes as Lady St. Edmund
- Genre Savvy
- Grande Dame: Lady St. Edmund
- Have a Gay Old Time: "Listen, Miss Clever Dick!" Bundage probably meant "dick" as in "detective".
- 'Clever dick' is a British expression meaning roughly the same thing as 'smart alec'.
- Hidden in Plain Sight
- I Choose to Stay
- Impoverished Patrician
- Land Poor
- Linked-List Clue Methodology
- Obfuscating Stupidity
- Old Retainer: Priory
- Riddle for the Ages: The ending leaves one wondering, is Casey actually the girl she pretended to be?
- Technology Marches On: One of many films in which the plot only works because DNA testing wasn't invented yet.
- Trash the Set: Candleshoe in the climax