1960 Never Take Sweets from a Stranger

Never Take Sweets from a Stranger - 1960

Alternative Title: Never Take Candy from a Stranger

A Columbia Pictures Corporation presentation of a Hammer Film Production.

Copyright MCMLIV by Hammer Film Productions Ltd. Ltd. All rights reserved


MPAA Approved

All characters and incidents portrayed, and the names used herewith are ficticious and the similarity to any names, characters or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional

RCA Sound System

Produced at Bray Studios

Black & White 81 mins


Opening title: This story - like its characters - is fictitious. It is set in Canada. But it could happen anywhere - And it could be true.

Peter Carter meets official resistance when he finds his 9 year old daughter has been the victim of the pedophile patriarch of the town's most powerful family.

Watch the trailer on YouTube


Music Composed by Elizabeth Lutyens
Musical Supervisor John Hollingsworth
Director of Photography Freddie Francis BSc
Production Designer Bernard Robinson
Supervising Editor James Needs
Production Manager Clifford Parkes
Camera Operator Len Harris
Sound Recordist Jock May 
Editor Alfred Cox

Continuity Tilly Day
Sound Editor Arthur Cox
Assistant Director John Peverall
Wardrobe Mistress Molly Arbuthnot
Make Up Roy Ashton
Hair Stylist Henry Montsash
Associate Producer Anthony Nelson-Keys
Screenplay by John Hunter
Based on the “Pony Cart” by Roger Garis
Executive Producer Michael Carreras
Producer Anthony Hinds
Directed by Cyril Frankel


Sally Carter Gwen Watford
Peter Carter Patrick Allen
Clarence Olderby Sr. Felix Aylmer
Defence Council Niall MacGinnis
Martha Alison Leggat
Clarence Olderby Jr. Bill Nagy
Prosecutor Michael Gwynn
Hammond Budd Knap
Judge MacDonald Parke
Eunice Kalliduke Estelle Brody
Sylvia Kingsley Helen Horton
Tom Demarest Robert Arden
Neal Phillips Gaylord Cavallaro
Mrs Demarest Vera Cook
Jean Carter Janina Faye
Lucille Frances Green
Dr Stevens James Dryenforth
Mrs Olderberry Hazel Jennings
Charles Calliduke Cal McCord
Sam Kingsley Larry O'Connor
Mrs Nash Shirley Butler
Sammy Nash Michael Hammond
Nurse Patricia Markes
Usher Peter Carlisle
Receptionist Sonia Fox
Foreman of Jury John Bloomfield
Janitor Charles Maunsell
Olderberry’s Chauffeur Andre Dakar
Taxi Driver Bill Sawyer
Dr Montfort Jack Lynn
1st Policeman William Abney
2nd Policeman Tom Busby


The twin themes are paedophilia and the sexual abuse of children, and the way in which those with sufficient pull can corrupt and manipulate the legal system to evade responsibility for their actions. The film is regarded as bold and uncompromising for its time in the way in which it handles its subject matter.

There is some mild swearing in the original British 'Sweets' prints. It features a line from Patrick Allen's character around the ten minute mark: "If he touched her, I swear I'll kill the bastard." In the US 'Candy' prints, the word 'swine' is used on the audio instead, also recorded by Allen, although the picture remains the same and he can clearly still be seen to say ‘bastard'.

On its original release, the film made little impact at the box-office and its press was mainly negative. It’s reception prompted Hammer Studios boss James Carreras to later comment: "Message pictures? I tried one – “Never Take Sweets from a Stranger”. Nobody bought it. I'm not an artist, I'm a businessman.

Gwen Watford was a popular English TV actress, this was her only performance for Hammer. 

Patrick Allen also appeared for Hammer in “Captain Clegg” 1962. He had a distinctive, authoritative voice which was familiar across the UK, and was often employed as a narrator. He dubbed Leon Green in Hammer’s “The Devir Rides Out” and was narrator for “The Viking Queen” 1967. His voice was used in many other films and television shows and this led to him starting up his own business, running a very successful recording studio for voice-over work.

Character actor Michael Gwynn played the fraudster Lord Melbury in BBC TV's hit comedy "Fawlty Towers"

Details were complied viewing the actual film. 
Source of viewing copy - The Hammer Graveyard Collection