Swiss Family Robinson (1940 film)

Swiss Family Robinson (1940 Film)

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Swiss Family Robinson (1940 film)

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Swiss Family Robinson is a 1940 film released by RKO Radio Pictures and directed by Edward Ludwig. It is based on the novel The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss and is the first feature-length film version of the story.


In 1813 London, a Swiss father, William Robinson (Thomas Mitchell), wishes to escape the influence of the superficial profligacy of London on his family. His eldest son, Fritz (Tim Holt), is obsessed with Napoleon, whom he considers his hero. His middle son, Jack (Freddie Bartholomew), is a foolish dandy who cares only about fashion and money. And his dreamy son Ernest (Terry Kilburn) is preoccupied with reading and writing to the exclusion of all else.

William Robinson sells his business and house, in order to move with his wife and fours sons to Australia. They set out on a brig bound for the faraway country. Following a long voyage, the family is shipwrecked on a remote deserted island after the captain and crew are washed overboard during a storm.

The family members collaborate to create a home for themselves in the alien jungle environment. They gradually learn to use the unfamilar plants and animals to create what they need to live and thrive. They have many adventures and challenges and make many discoveries. The mother (Edna Best), however, misses her elegant home and community in England, and wishes to somehow be rescued and return. The father slowly convinces her that living in the natural environment is better for the family and that...
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